Level One’s intern population has swelled over the summer break with a new swathe of recruits working on a range of projects at Conversant and Vinsight.  Here’s a who’s who and a what they do:


Ben Partridge

Studying:  Third year Software Engineering student at Auckland University

Lives:  Castor Bay

When not at Level One: Enjoys playing boardgames with friends

Self-confessed:  Man of simple pleasures

Lucy McSweeney

Studying: Fourth Year Engineering Science at Auckland University

Lives: Mt Eden.  Hails from Christchurch

When not at Level One: Enjoys anything outdoors

Self-confessed: Bad surfer

Hamish Buckley

Studying: Final stages of Computer Science at Auckland University

Lives: Devonport.  Right around the corner

When not at Level One: Swims

Self-confessed: Lunchtime swimmer

Billy Harris

Studying: Third Year Media Design at Victoria University

Lives: Devonport.  Also right around the corner

When not at Level One:  Skates

Self-confessed:  Homeless man

Mira Tzankov

Studying: Fourth Year Software Engineering student at Auckland University

Lives: Glenfield.  Family originally from Bulgaria

When not at Level One: Plays viola

Self-confessed:  Cat lover

Shibani Timblo

Studying: Third year Software Engineering student at Auckland University

Lives: Parnell.  Hails from India

When not at Level One: Checks out new restaurants

Self-confessed:  Foodie

Max Lay

Studying: Recently graduated in Software Engineering from Auckland University.

Lives: Western Springs

When not at Level One: Does anything related to music

Self-confessed:  Masochist. Enjoys programming in Erlang.

Tate Robertson

Studying: Recently graduated in Software Engineering from Auckland University.

Lives: Beach Haven (and proud of it)

When not at Level One: Organises things.  Board game nights, BBQs,
Curry Mondays, Pizza Lunches.  All-round good guy.

Self-confessed:  Leader of the Pack.

Yubo Wu

Studying: Fifth year Software Engineering Conjoint with Commerce at Auckland University

Lives: Glenfield

When not at Level One: Listens to KPop

Self-confessed: Korean

Level One Hosts TGS Ignition Day

Level One Hosts TGS Ignition Day

At the end of last year Takapuna Grammar School’s Young Enterprise Scheme was revelling in the success of one of its number – the Trident weather app — taking out the Best Digital Tech Company award at the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme National Awards.  And then it came time for the school’s next generation of budding business entrepreneurs to be put through their paces at an Ignition Day, held at Devonport’s Level One community tech hub shortly before Christmas.

Around 30 TGS business studies students from a range of year groups, led by department head, Mrs Emma Johnson, were paired with local mentors Andy Scott, Anna Yallop, Craig Norris, Noah Maffitt, Narly Kalupahana, Simon Lampen and Stephen Goodger.

Following an inspirational talk from ex-TGS pupil Louis Gordon Latty, of Glory League fame, the groups were tasked with generating potential business ideas in a set timeframe, and working up a compelling pitch that was assessed according to the attractiveness and quality of their ideas.  The purpose of the day was to bring the group through `ideation’, validating these ideas, killing off the weaker ones, then communicating the work back to an audience.  Rather than being `all about the ideas’, the day focused on taking the students through a journey and preparing their mindset for their 2017 Business and Enterprise studies.

TGS was able to call on an all-star lineup of local judges including the CEO of SODA Dr. Claire McGowan and Flying Kiwi Angel, Rudi Bublitz.  The judges gave feedback and encouraged multiple attempts to pitch and improve before their final team pitch to the judges and audience.

The results were:

Most Improved Team:  Because improvement was the main point of the day, the main award went to Team Croissant who were supported by Stephen Goodger.  `Croissant’ was named after an object on the table and is a mobile app for classic car enthusiasts.  Team members were Hugh Barker, Jude Gair-Ah Siu and Jacob Silk.

Most compelling Play:  Went to Team Trace (Nicole Linnell, Shayla Rua-Chase, Meg Wallace and Nicholas Young, supported by Narly Kalupahana).  Trace is a tracking bracelet for keeping tabs on kids in difficult to manage situations.

Best Overall Pitch:  Team e-Parking (Shannon Blackhall, Benjamin Fitchett, Annabel Thomson and James Torjussen, supported by Noah Maffitt) is a mobile app that identifies city parking spots and lunch deals near your meeting locations.

Each member of the winning teams was given a business book, kindly donated by Devonport Rotary, who are long-time supporters of TGS through scholarships and Youth Leadership initiatives.

Ignition Day frontman, judge and Devonport local, Duncan Ledwith said, “The day personified what being a community is all about – sharing, supporting and collaborating as to your skill and experience.  It was hugely engaging and everyone benefitted, and not just the students!”

It is hoped that the Devonport community can run this event annually for TGS Business and Enterprise students.