About us

About us

At AUT Beta, we help make sure every AUT student and graduate with a business idea or solution gets the support they need to start-up while they study.

Our mission

To ensure that every student with a business idea gets the support they need to start-up while they study, and an opportunity to develop entrepreneurial thinking as a tool for their future. Through a range of initiatives including inspirational events, practical workshops and clinics, start-up accelerator programmes, business idea competitions and a student space, we are creating a dedicated student entrepreneurship support system that helps students to build invaluable skills, to collaborate, create, adapt, fail, pivot and grow their business and themselves while they study.

Our people


Martin Bell

Director, Entrepreneurship and Innovation

As the co-founder of Idealog, Good and stoppress.co.nz, Martin helped launch some of New Zealand’s most highly-regarded and durable media brands and has been working on the front-lines of innovation, entrepreneurship, media and technology for more than 25 years. Martin is the Executive Producer of Project Connect and is also the Founder of JAVA Hi-Fi.


Sabrina Nagel

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Manager

Sabrina enjoys seeing synergies and connecting people. An experienced CO.STARTERS facilitator and trainer, Sabrina has worked in the startup space as an “intrapreneur” as well as starting her own startup. Her passions for education, entrepreneurship and sustainability are brought together in her role at AUT and she is embarking on an MPhil with a focus on enterprise education in NZ schools. She wants to revolutionise education one prototype at a time.


Sinead Watson

Manager, Entrepreneurial Engagement

Sinead is a passionate community builder who enjoys working with others from ideation right through to product development. She has worked within the co-working, disability and mental health, and government sectors, and is now the Entrepreneurial Engagement Manager at AUT. She is on a mission to support and grow the innovation and technology ecosystem to create value-add opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, taking concepts and turning them into a reality. Sinead has a Master of Science in Health Psychology.


Shayna McWhirter

Programmes Manager

Shayna is passionate about helping students build skills through AUT's entrepreneurship programmes and competitions. She thrives on seeing students succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors and supporting them along the way. Adept in organising events and facilitating workshops, she loves building relationships and connecting with students and stakeholders.


Anneke Lewis

Creative Development Manager

Anneke is a comms-marketing-events-design-techgeek-fixitgirl-researcher who has recently discovered a love of statistics. Who knew formulas and graphs could be so satisfying? Can be found on Canva writing or making things pretty, running around at Project Connect events making sure it’s all OK, or deep into a hundred or more tabs of Google research. She is currently reading mountains of studies in entrepreneurship education for her part-time psychology studies.