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Kiwi start up Ora announces first winners of Dreams grants

Kiwi start up Ora has announced the first winners of the Ora Dreams grants initiative.

Forbidden Brewing Co, a family start-up business in Auckland that produces high-quality cider; Terrain, a Taupo-based forestry and safety supply store, and Wellington’s LittleMonkey, a web, app, mobile and game products developer, have each been awarded with an Ora Dreams grant worth up to $50,000 to significantly boost their growth plans.

The Ora Dreams grants were presented at an event in Auckland that celebrated small business and its contribution to the New Zealand economy.

Judges Nick Fox, ‎GM, Digital Platforms at NZPost; Damian Sharkey, SME Lead at Westpac and Christina Domecq, CEO and founder of Ora, commented that the winners each have a unique formula that is producing outstanding results.

“The inaugural winners of the Ora Dreams grants have showcased innovation and entrepreneurship to help them get to where they are today and we believe the grants will provide the fuel to make them go far,” says Domecq.

She says Terrain is a great example of smart business owners who purchased a business and increased its revenue, and are now expanding from traditional bricks and mortar to online sales.

“LittleMonkey is a business that has demonstrated through its conference app the possibility to scale a product beyond New Zealand,” she says.

Damian Sharkey, Westpac’s SME Lead, presented Forbidden Brewing Co with a Westpac-sponsored grant exclusively for a Westpac business customer.

“We selected Forbidden Brewing Co because of their inspiring backstory, award-winning products, significant growth, and our belief in their future potential,” says Sharkey.

LittleMonkey was founded in 2007, and develops web, mobile and game products, and has been doing so before the release of the first iPhone or Android phones.

The company were well positioned to support customers in smartphone app development as the industry grew. A diverse range of skills in-house and a focus on custom development for their clients has made LittleMonkey a flexible provider of unique solutions.

Nicholas Koirala, owner of LittleMonkey, says his dream for Little Monkey is to grow and expand its market share of the business. “We develop mobile apps, websites and games and are striving towards being the number one mobile app developer in New Zealand,” he says.

“I dream of being the lead agency for small to medium-size businesses, and I think with our programming skills, coupled with ideas for apps from businesses will mean that we are seen as the go-to developer for mobile apps”.

Koirala says he aims to use the Ora Dreams grant to focus on promoting new apps LittleMonkey has developed and raising brand awareness throughout New Zealand.

Each Dreams grant includes Ora’s unique Business Navigator tools and marketing services, as well as strategic business support from Ora’s partners - Westpac, Vend, 2degrees, MYOB, NZPost and Xero - worth up to $50,000.