With over fifteen years experience in digital production and innovation management, BizDojo Co-Founder Jonah Merchant is taking the Dojo goal of unleashing people’s potential right to the top - delivering and realising business value for the company he has co-created.
Before BizDojo, Jonah applied his knowledge and interest in design-led, user-focused thinking to introduce online, mobile and other interactive technology solutions to a range of industries. He has developed and led high performing teams, who were sometimes co-located and cross-functional, in Western Europe, the Middle East, United States, and Australia.
Jonah’s versatility in organisational settings means he can drive outstanding results whether working with an emerging startup or established large enterprise. His keen interest in innovation methodology keeps BizDojo ahead of the game!
Nick Shewring, Cofounder of BizDojo, is a spatial design enthusiast and rebellious innovator. After pioneering start-ups centred around mobile applications, experiential marketing and working shoulder to shoulder in a full-time collaborative environment with a hub of creative minds on the redesign of Air New Zealand’s long-haul experience, Nick was struck by the intense loneliness of autonomy upon returning to freelance work. After outstaying his welcome at a number of local cafés for whom he’d installed wi-fi to operate his business, Nick partnered up with his former Skunkworks colleague Jonah Merchant to launch BizDojo’s first coworking space on Auckland’s Karangahape Road in 2009.
In the six years since, the BizDojo empire has grown to include BizDojo Wellington, Auckland’s GridAKL tech precinct and the Neck of the Woods venue. But this pariah of the cubicle farm has far from reached his ceiling, with Nick is involved with plenty of exciting, experimental projects with BizDojo.
A natural entrepreneur, Lachlan brings a breadth of experience that aligns seamlessly with the offer of the BizDojo Group. He has enviable experience at a governance level along with practical hands-on skills in the startup world both here in New Zealand and overseas. Operating and informing BizDojo Group operations is only made possible through a diverse background in recruitment, technology, business growth, leadership and investment. These skills are grounded with significant experience in the shared spaces industry as one of the founding members of Compass Offices. Lachlan was a key player within Compass, taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer, then Board Director and later Vice President of Corporate Development. His work was instrumental in helping to grow Compass Offices into a leader in the shared space market in Asia, taking the business from one location in Hong Kong to 45 locations across Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Australia, Thailand and Kazakhstan during his tenure.
Lachlan returned to New Zealand with his family in 2014 with a desire to be further involved in the sort of innovative, creative businesses that he feels makes New Zealand stand out from the rest of the world. This paired with his passion for connecting people, and the connections people can make through physical spaces makes The BizDojo Group the perfect place for him to bring his experience, and future thinking together.
With extensive senior leadership experience in both the public and private sector, Tracy leads our consulting services and Founders Central programmes - initiatives that support New Zealand's community of creators, from entrepreneurs spinning up a single idea, to serial creators across startup or scaling businesses. These initiatives include partnerships with local government in Auckland and Wellington, where BizDojo develops and deliver concepts such as the GridAKL innovation hub and the Wellington tech hub and Collider programme.
Prior to BizDojo Tracy led a number of high profile public sector strategic programmes of work to drive economic growth in Auckland. These local projects are complemented with global experience in senior roles in London, San Francisco and Hong Kong with Streaming Media Inc. - a company that helped shape and propel the streaming media industry.
An impressive background in people and business management makes Ginny Ryder the natural choice to help shape and drive the vision for BizDojo across New Zealand. Bringing an analytical mind and solutions focused approach to BizDojo, Ginny's leadership skills are informed by more than 20 years in Management and 6 years in Director roles across successful New Zealand businesses such as Trademe Jobs and Paystation. This experience not only puts Ginny in good stead to serve the future of BizDojo, but to also do so with an innate understanding of the needs of the growth focused resident businesses that call BizDojo home.
Passionate about the start-up and innovation eco-system; Ginny joined the team with a real motivation to make a difference for the BizDojo community, keeping the genuine care BizDojo has for its residents, staff and the wider eco-system at the core of what BizDojo delivers.
Although Paul joined our team in mid-2016, he is a longstanding familiar face in the BizDojo Community. Paul has been a resident based out of BizDojo Wellington for over two years working with the team from Europlan. As a Regional Manager, Paul manages our Wellington location with a user-centric focus. His has a unique understanding of BizDojo from both management and resident user perspectives.
User-centric business models are a topic close to Paul's heart, with extensive experience in user focussed workplace design and space management gained from 11 years working at our BizDojo Partners - Europlan Group. Here at BizDojo, Paul can combine these skills with strong leadership, sales and people management focus to deliver amazing outcomes for BizDojo as a company, and for our residents.
Leon has built a career around his passion for people. Previously vice president of Coastguard Canterbury, Leon splits his time between being at the helm of BizDojo Christchurch as Regional Manager with an ongoing board member and active crew role with The Coastguard.
This experience of governance at charity level is balanced with plenty of hands-on experience leading teams, and driving sales within the telecommunications industry. Here, Leon worked within organisations such as Vodafone where he lead a diverse and high performing team of 11 business development managers in a role that saw him take on leadership at a national level.
Leon is excited about supporting and growing the team in Christchurch in order to achieve great outcomes for BizDojo and the Canterbury region.