Jeff Mitchell

CTO and Co-founder

I have over 12 years experience in the US, Canada and NZ, developing technology strategies, leading development and creating extraordinary companies as part of senior management teams.

Although I've worked at the enterprise level, I'm also passionate about working in start-up environments because they offer me the chance to develop technology platforms and business strategies from the ground up.

I use my skills, knowledge & leadership to develop technology that creates powerful solutions at all levels of business.

Follow Jeff on or LinkedIn

Annabel Youens

CMO and Co-founder

I do a little bit of everything. I write up strategy docs, go to gigs, test out new technology & work with the team to build the Appreciation Engine. I love that my job never gets boring and the people I get to work with are amazing. Brilliant!

I'm originally from Canada but travelled a lot with my family, as a child. We lived in Jakarta and Brisbane and finally went back to Calgary.

My startup bug hit when I worked for five years at an internet start up in Victoria, Abebooks. With that amazing team I discovered how technology could really bring people together & make people money. I was hooked. In 2002 I moved to Wellington, NZ to work and consult in digital and web. I'm lucky that I've found a job that combines all my loves - the web, writing, community and media. Now I'm discovering what life is like in Los Angeles. I'm already a member at LACMA & love being able to go to a gig any night of the week.

See Annabel on Twitter and LinkedIn

Mike Penhall

Senior Developer

I'm a Silverstripe and Rails developer, music fan, fine wine sampler, and pug enthusiast based in Wellington, New Zealand, mainly for the fantastic weather. I've worked in the startup world for 6 or so years, as a content creator, community guide, and production manager, but primarily as a developer. I love the way that in the startup space no two days are the same, and that the landscape is constantly changing. Anything is possible!

Meet Mike on and LinkedIn

Josh Preston


With over 10 years experience in the digital space and a Masters Degree in Interactive Media, Josh has a proven track record of delivering successful digital solutions for brands including; Universal Music, Virgin Airlines, Rimmel Cosmetics, Ford Motor Company, Boost Mobile, Toshiba Electronics & Livenation Entertainment. Josh was the founder of Autumn:01 North America, a digital agency specializing in digital strategy and user experience. Prior to this, Josh worked with Australia's leading telecommunications (Telstra Media) and entertainment (XYZ Networks) companies.

Meet Josh on LinkedIn

Dave Moskovitz


Dave is an experienced entrepreneur turned angel investor, having co-founded one of Wellington’s early web development companies, and taken it from the garage to strategic trade sale. Dave is a great communicator and collaborator who brings out the best in the teams he works with. Dave works hard to continue to develop the Wellington early-stage ecosystem. He’s been a member of the Institute of Directors since 2002, and believes good governance is central to building strategic value.

Meet Dave on LinkedIn

Paul Mabray


Paul is an innovator, strategic thinker and a guy who makes things happen. He founded VinTank, the world's most pervasive software solution for the wine industry and thought leader in all things wine and digital.

Meet Paul on LinkedIn

Julian Carver


Julian Carver is the nominated Investment Director for Rutherford Innovation Fund LP. He is an entrepreneur and consultant with a background in Internet startups. He has significant experience in the New Zealand scientific research sector, and consults to research institutes, Government ministries and funding agencies on policy, technology transfer, commercialization, and eResearch.

Meet Julian on LinkedIn

Stefan Korn


Stefan has a strong background in corporate e-commerce, and extensive experience in building transactional web-based businesses. Stefan founded WebFund to help leverage his own experience to help take web-based Kiwi startups to the world.

Meet Stefan on LinkedIn

Richard Laverty


An innovative and strategically focused General Manager, with 18 years experience in achieving revenue growth through the successful implementation of strategy-led marketing and business development initiatives. Is an experienced leader, with well developed relationship building skills, particularly in a cross cultural environment. An enthusiastic and creative person with a passion to determine company direction and implement growth through business and technology led innovation, with a particular emphasis on food and biotechnology.

Meet Richard on LinkedIn

Kevin King

Strategic Advisor

With over 15 years experience in the digital, media and music space Kevin King brings his industry knowledge to advise the Appreciation Engine. Kevin was previously a Director of BD & Advertising at Blip.FM, and has advised several other US based music start-ups while consulting on a variety of international digital music projects.

Meet Kevin on LinkedIn

Eric Garland

Strategic Advisor

Eric Garland is the Founder and CEO of BigChampagne, a technology-driven media measurement company which produces on-line intelligence primarily by entertainment industry professionals, major brands and their advertising agencies, and Wall Street analysts to access information about the popularity of music, film, and television as it is distributed and sold. Eric's knowledge, experience, and contacts are proving invaluable in moving the company forward.

Meet Eric on LinkedIn

Stop guessing and start knowing.

The Appreciation Engine tracks private consumer behavior on every major social network. We’ll help you harness and transform your customer data into a powerful stream of insights, engagements and analysis.