INTOUCH : Online money lending takes top prize

An online marketplace that sidesteps the banks, allowing people to lend and borrow directly with each other, claimed the top prize at the Spark Challenge held at The University of Auckland Business School last month. ‘Nexx’ went home with $20,000 in seed funding and nine-month tenancy at The Icehouse business incubator.
The Spark Entrepreneurship Challenge arms university staff and students with the tools to turn promising research and business ideas into commercial ventures.
Nexx applies the social networking concept of websites like MySpace and YouTube to the world of finance. Borrowers list their financial projects online www.nexx.co.nz and lenders pledge funds and interest rates via an auction, cutting banks and finance companies out of transactions.

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A focus on culture

Rabobank’s 520-plus New Zealand employees work from 27 locations – places like Ashburton, Pukekohe and Feilding and from a purpose-built head office in Hamilton. Its employees are proud of the

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