Emerging Business

Sponsored by BusinessNZ 


ROSTRON FINANCE PTY LTD - From tiny beginnings towards top three in three years

Rostron Finance has a great 
outlook - literally and in terms 
of its business growth.
Rostron Finance has a great outlook - literally and in terms of its business growth.

Dunedin’s Rostron Finance is taking the fast lane on the technology superhighway. Since it was formed in 2021 with just one employee, general manager Hayden Washington, it has grown to have 14 staff nationwide.

‘‘We are currently one of the top 10 largest brokerages in the country and set to be in the top three in 12 months,’’ Hayden said.

‘‘Rostron Finance is a 100% paperless business operating throughout the entire country online and providing competitive finance and insurance services to customers using financial technology.

‘‘We are continuing to grow where we will see 30+ employees in our Forsyth Barr House location alone within the next 12 months.

‘‘Our mortgage arm of the business is set to launch later this year, creating more job opportunities for local Dunedinites,’’ Hayden said.

‘‘We have invested heavily into technology to make the user experience a lot easier and fairer for the customer.

‘‘Technology paired with excellent customer service, strong relationships and fantastic workplace culture have enabled Rostron Finance to become a truly emerging business with incredible growth expected for the future.’’


DUNEDIN SOLAR LTD - Solar business has bright outlook

Harnessing the sun affordably 
and efficiently is behind 
Dunedin Solar’s success.
Harnessing the sun affordably and efficiently is behind Dunedin Solar’s success.

Back in April 2021, Dunedin Solar started with the ambitious goal to become the ‘‘go to’’ solar provider in Dunedin and the surrounding areas. ‘‘We are experts in the design and installation of solar systems, specialising in residential and commercial solar solutions,’’ operations manager Laura Kettle says.

‘‘We offer grid-tied solar, battery, and off-grid solar systems. Our mission is to provide the highest-quality systems at an affordable price, providing a complete end-to-end solution. Through transparent advice, we tailor the ideal solar system for the customer’s needs.

We are locally owned and operated, with an in-house installation team — a seamless process is our top priority.

By staying true to our values and purpose, the customer is at the heart of what we do. This has led to only ‘‘5*’’ Google reviews and referrals being a strong sales channel.

Dunedin Solar has grown very quickly in just two years. Sales from year one to year two grew by a whooping 263% and the team has grown from just one employee to six,’’ Laura says.

‘‘The trajectory for year three is looking great, with sales figures for the first quarter exceeding targets and Dunedin Solar now holding over 70% of the market share of residential solar installations in Dunedin.’’

Book a survey or free solar quote: dunedinsolar.co.nz


TALES FROM DARKEST DUNEDIN - Shining light on past lives

Gregor scouts out locations to take tourists this summer
Gregor scouts out locations to take tourists this summer

Stories of luminaries and lowlier locals are behind the business with the intriguing title Tales From Darkest Dunedin.

It began two years ago to present the work of historian Gregor Campbell. Manager Lolene Pepers said he was a genius who ‘‘spent decades passionately collecting lost threads of the lives that lived here to weave them together and create a narrative that is unique to him’’. The natural-born storyteller craved an audience, she said.

‘‘But as a typical Kiwi bloke, as humble as they come, he wasn’t prepared to put himself our there and build an audience.’’

‘‘We absolutely did not set out to get as big as we have and admittedly, we are still small fry,’’ Lolene says.

‘‘We have tours of four cemeteries and a city walk that have been popular with locals and tourists through Trip Advisor and Viator.

They have incredible stories to tell of the common folk that made Otepoti Dunedin their home but also the big wigs, William Cargill, Rev Dr Donald Stewart, Thomas Bracken.’’

Tales From Darkest Dunedin has made videos to cater for local interest, and been listed on the AA website. Lolene said her favourite achievement was making the front page of the New Zealand Heritage Magazine. A Toyota Hiace van is being bought to ‘‘crack into the cruise ship market’’.

For more information or to experience a tour with the team at Tales From the Darkest Dunedin click here


CORALCONE LTD - Innovative approach to once-taboo topic

Coralcone founder and chief executive Yvette Shum displays the menstrual cup.
Coralcone founder and chief executive Yvette Shum displays the menstrual cup.

An Otago startup called Coralcone is transforming the way we approach menstruation.

Yes, the subject that was hush-hush for generations is being discussed openly as an issue that needs practical solutions.

Founder and chief executive Yvette Shum said Coralcone, based in Dunedin, is ‘‘empowering individuals and charting the future of sustainable periods’’.

Coralcone aims to reduce the burden of disposable menstrual waste upon landfill and oceans.

‘‘By improving upon conventional menstrual cup design, Coralcone addresses usability concerns and tackles the issue of varying cervix heights,’’ she says.

‘‘Coralcone’s innovative engineering ensures a user-friendly experience, simplifying insertion and removal for all menstruators, promoting comfort and confidence.’’

Of all eco-friendly period products, the menstrual cup is the most sustainable — causing less than 1.5% of the environmental impact of single-use products. One Coralcone period cup can be washed and reused for up to five years.

Since Coralcone.com was launched in December 2021, its flagship product has won the Best of Natural Award 2022 for Most Mindful use of Materials. Menstrual cup influencer Period Nirvana named it in her top three global period cups of 2022, and it won gold in the Clean + Conscious Awards 2023 for feminine hygiene products in Australia and New Zealand.

Coralcone has participated in the Start-up Dunedin Distiller Incubator and Ministry of Awesome Founder Catalyst. This year it honoured its annual pledge to donate a portion of profits to Live Ocean.

Read more about our other 'Finalists '....


To buy tickets or find out more about the Grand Business South Awards 2023 on Friday 17th November click here.