We celebrate modern businesses
Ambitious, authentic, passionate, and unafraid to take risks — entrepreneurs tend to build business on what they love. They're leaders in our communities, growing businesses, making a positive impact, and realizing their dreams. Start-ups, scale-ups, fast-growing chains, we salute you!
Growing a small business is exciting, rewarding, and gratifying. Yet, it's not always plain sailing. The personal stakes are high, the work all-consuming, and it can be a lonely adventure. And, even with a deep understanding of the industry, and a strong team to boot, rebuilding a flourishing company is a difficult art to master.
New normal, new challenges
COVID-19 has changed everything, but modern small businesses are agile and resilient. They've needed to act quickly, pivot hard, and reimagine ways of working. Chances are most are having a few difficult conversations with their teams, partners and bank managers.
Welcome to 9Spokes. We get it.
Small businesses are the backbone of economies. Across all industries, they are retailers, eateries, fitness studios, distillers, carpenters, IT gurus — you name it! They are digital start-ups, single-site stores and burgeoning chains. And, although essential, they're often undersupported. We started 9Spokes to change this.
It began in 2012. Apps were on the rise, and options that were previously only accessible to larger organizations were suddenly available for small businesses. We saw an appetite for digital technologies among SMBs, we also noticed they were often overwhelmed by choice. We wanted to bring a big business edge to all businesses, and so 9Spokes was born. Our combined experience told us there are 9 key business functions — 'spokes' if you will — from money and product to people and sales, and everything in between. We set about building something to bring these functions together, to harness the data and support small business growth.
- Co-founder, Chief ExecutiveAdrian Grant
Adrian is co-founder and chief executive of 9Spokes. He has extensive corporate management experience across international markets, including roles at Microsoft UK, as a Director and General Manager at information technology company Unisys in the UK and New Zealand, and Chief Executive of New Zealand-based cloud solution provider Umbrellar. His accumulated experience in leading tech companies laid the foundations for Adrian’s move into the technology sector as an entrepreneur.
- General Counsel, Company SecretaryMelisa Beight
Melisa has 19 years’ legal experience, including 15 years’ in private practice at leading law firms in Auckland and London. She’s worked as Senior Legal Counsel at integrated services company Downer New Zealand and has executive and operational experience in commercial roles. Melisa has also founded and operated a luxury travel company.
- Senior VP Americas & Global Head of PartnersChris Simmons
Chris brings skills and experience from around the world, most notably from the United States, New Zealand, and the wider Asia-Pacific region, where he has developed a deep, proven understanding of high-performance business development. He has held roles as a Project Manager, Strategic Advisor, Consultant, Director, and President. He also successfully ran his own management consulting firm, where he led a team to provide advice on strategy and change management.
- Senior VP Asia PacificAudrey Chia
A strategic leader, Audrey brings extensive experience in business development for the professional services industry to the table. Her skills in problem solving — coupled with a solid history managing complex accounts worldwide — help ensure 9Spokes delivers a global solution with regional perspective that drives business growth.
- Senior VP Europe, Middle East & AfricaAndy Birch
Andy brings extensive sales and business development skills and expertise working in the vast EMEA region. His experience includes Senior Director, Partner, and Vice President roles at leading, global IT companies, and smaller enterprises, working primarily in IT and technology consulting, software and telecommunications.
- Finance ManagerSylwia Janiszek
Sylwia is a chartered accountant and financial leader with experience working in accounting firms in Canada and NZ-based tech companies. The scope of her roles has included financial audit engagements, financial & compliance management, and supporting the expansion of business operations into new regions. Her dog Lulu is all that comes before her job.
- Chief Technology OfficerJesper Petersen
Jesper is a former Director, Principal Consultant, and Head of Technology and Development. He has worked for tech-focused and highly innovative companies across New Zealand, the UK and Denmark, bringing global experience in SaaS, IT team leadership and agile product development from ideation and strategy to execution. Jesper is also a mentor for Lightning Lab, a business accelerator in New Zealand supporting innovative companies.