Meet the team

Meet the team

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, 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.


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.


Hal Josephson

Project Connect Programme Chair

Hal was a keynote at the first Project (R)evolution conference in 2012 and then came onboard to (re)organise and shape Project Connect into the international speaker series it is today. Hal is a life-long catalyst, connector and sourcer for Project Connect's "GREAT Minds Thinking Differently” programme. Hal produced the first Hollywood Meets Silicon Valley invite-only event titled: “Lights, Camera, Interaction" ('92). Hal now lives in Hawke’s Bay but zooms or flies in/out of Auckland, Australia, San Francisco and elsewhere as business needs require.