Combining financial education with technology to change the narrative and relationship with money for Māori and Pasifika young adults.
STILL is a local fintech start-up with a vision to pivot our rangatahi away from the intergenerational debt cycle.
How can we pivot our next generation of rangatahi away from the intergenerational cycle of vicious debt? A local start up believes the answer lies in the use of technology.
Tyrone Tangata-Makiri (Ngāpuhi) is the catalyst behind an application designed to support young adults to manage their current financial situations and plan for their financial future through accountability, support, credit building and rewarding positive habits and the achievement of goals.
Early stage fintech start-up STILL was selected to participate in Kōkiri 2021, the national kaupapa Māori business accelerator programme run by Te Wānanga of Aotearoa from its business and innovation hub, Te Ahikōmako – Centre of Māori Innovation & Entrepreneurship. STILL founder Tyrone is joined by his partner, Kamilla Witehira (Ngāti Kahungunu), as well as team member Naomi Taripo.
STILL was borne out of a local Tamaki Makaurau (Auckland) hackathon, Hack Tamaki, just two weeks prior to starting Kōkiri. Tyrone had taken the idea of debt into the challenge as he had seen it was occurring for many of people he talked to through his podcast or the local entrepreneur business community he started.
Tyrone says, “A lot of people are suffering with vicious debt and that goes all the way to end of life. During the hackathon, we realised that when the debt starts is when people come of age, when they turn 18 and can get a credit card or personal loan. We thought, how can we put a fork in that situation?”
STILL’s application has been developed to provide education and tools to help change the narratives around money and the relationship people have with money, particularly Māori and Pasifika between 22 – 26 years old.
Tyrone says, “We realised that many young adults have subscriptions such as Netflix, Spotify and memberships. They were telling us they don’t know which cards the payments are coming out of or when they have to pay them back.”
“Part of our solution is looking at how we can simplify that but also how we can improve their credit history. These are reoccurring expenses people are continually paying off, but it doesn’t show a lender that they are a reliable source to lend too.”
The proven business acceleration processes used during the 12-week Kōkiri programme have helped the team gain further business knowledge to help them on their journey. “It’s helped us level up in a sense around different types of things in business,” says Tyrone.
Tyrone Tangata-Makiri (Ngāpuhi, Ngāti Toro) and partner Kamilla Witehira (Ngāti Kahungunu, Rangitane) are the co-founders behind In the Flow State.
The Kōkiri Māori kaupapa-based approach encourages the teams to consider the purpose and value of their ideas beyond growing global businesses.
“Kōkiri has created an environment where through being naturally led by Te Ao Māori or the values of our own upbringing we can connect and enjoy it.” says Tyrone.
“There has been a lot of development happening personally too from the opportunities to upskill ourselves and learn about our culture.”
The structured sequence of the Kōkiri programme has helped the team uncover the compliance requirements they need to meet to continue with their initial solution, however they are also exploring how they can start helping rangatahi with their money at the same time.