Derek Handley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Derek Handley
Born1978 (age 40–41)
Hong Kong
CitizenshipNew Zealand
OccupationEntrepreneur, speaker, author

Derek Handley (born 1978 in Hong Kong) is a New Zealand entrepreneur, speaker and author.

He co-founded global mobile marketing and media company, The Hyperfactory[1] and is also co-founded mobile advertising network, Snakk Media.

Early life[edit]

Handley was born in Hong Kong but grew up in New Zealand.[2]

He attended Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), Massey University (New Zealand) and an MIT Sloan School of Management executive program.


The Hyperfactory[edit]

In 2001, Handley founded global mobile marketing and media company The Hyperfactory[3] with his brother Geoffrey Handley. According to the company's former website, The Hyperfactory claimed to "power brands and businesses through the mobile medium" for clients such as BlackBerry and Coca-Cola. In July 2009 the company was sold to Des Moines, Iowa-based media and marketing company Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP).[4]

The Hyperfactory won six Webby Awards in 2009[5] placing them second in the inaugural 'Global Webby Agency of the Year' award. The company was nominated for more awards in the Global Mobile Marketing Association Awards in 2007 than any other company in the world[6] and won two. In 2008 The Hyperfactory won the most awards (five)[7] including two global categories. The company has also won the top awards Best in Show at 2007 OMMA Awards and Best in Show at 2007 AdWeek Awards.[8]

The Hyperfactory is also the winner of numerous Cannes Lions (Grand Prix Media Lion & Bronze Lion 2007, Cannes Media Lions Gold 2007), Clios, Mobile Marketing Association, Marketing-Interative 2010 Agency of the year – Mobile 2010,[9] IDC’S TOP 10 Wireless Companies to watch in America 2007[10] Effie's, DMA, OMMA, Deloitte Fast 500 Asia Pacific (2004, 2005), AdTech and Webby awards, including AdAge Top 15 Mobile Agencies 2012 and the iMedia Mobile Agency of the Year for both 2011 and 2013.[11]

Snakk Media[edit]

Handley, with brother Geoff, also co-founded mobile & 'smart screen' advertising business Snakk Media.

The company compliance listed with no money raised on the NZX in 2013, becoming one of the first publicly listed B-corporations in the world. The market capitalization of the company was just NZ$813,000 on 24 August 2018.[12]

He stepped down as Chair in September 2015.[13]

Other ventures[edit]

He was also previously Chair of Booktrack, a company that has created the idea of soundtracks for books; is also backed by Peter Thiel and described by The Atlantic as "the future of reading".[14]

Prior to launching The Hyperfactory, Handley founded a global online sports and racing betting business, Feverpitch. At the age of 22, Handley became New Zealand's youngest managing director[15] of a listed company when he led Feverpitch to list on the venture-style 'New Capital Market' of the New Zealand Stock Exchange. The company subsequently launched 'betting exchanges' around the world similar to the business Betfair but eventually floundered.

In 2003, Handley led a merger of several major players in the New Zealand childcare sector to form Kidicorp Group Limited, a large national operator which was listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange.[16]

Handley is an active speaker in the entrepreneurship, marketing and digital industry, having spoken at events around the world including ad:tech, Mobile Marketing Association Forums, OMMA, iMedia, Informa, CTIA, Consumer Electronics Show, Mobile Entertainment Forum, iHollywood and Webstock and Better by Design in New Zealand.

In December 2011, Handley spent a year helping to create what is now The B Team,[17] a not-for-profit initiative formed by a global group of leaders to create a future where the purpose of business is to be a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.

In 2013 Handley was named an Adjunct Executive Professor for AUT University in Auckland.[18] He also released a book, ‘Heart to Start’, a memoir about the beginning of his own entrepreneurial journey aiming to become an entrepreneur who does business to have a positive impact on social or environmental problems.[19] In 2013 he joined the board of directors of publicly listed Sky Television New Zealand, then one of the top 200 public companies on the Australian Stock Exchange.[20]

In 2016 Handley founded Aera VC, a network of family funds investing in start-ups trying to tackle social problems.[21][22][23]

Chief Technology Officer[edit]

Handley applied for the role of the New Zealand Chief Technology Officer (CTO). The role was being created under the auspices of Government Digital Services Minister Clare Curran. On 24 August 2018, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern dismissed Curran from the Cabinet after it became clear Curran had met Handley in February at her Beehive office to discuss his interest in the vacant CTO role. Curran had failed to disclose the meeting in her ministerial diary and to inform staff or officials about it (the second meeting she had failed to disclose). Curran apologised to the Prime Minister for her actions and eventually resigned as a Minister.[24][25][26][27]

In September 2018, Handley announced that he had been offered, and had accepted, the CTO role in August.[28] Soon after, the Government announced that it would not be proceeding with the role in its current form, and paid Handley compensation of $107,000 (three months' pay plus reimbursement for moving costs). At the time of the announcement the Minister for Government Digital Services Megan Woods said: "This decision in no way reflects on him as a candidate and the State Services Commission review shows that the process was suitably robust".[27] Handley said he was "deeply disappointed" by the process but the Government's decision to halt it was understandable.[28]

Awards and honours[edit]

In September 2006, Handley was a finalist in the Bayer Innovator Awards (Information Technology and Communications Category).[29]

In October 2009, he received the 2009 EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.[30]

In December 2010, he was named finalist for the New Zealand Herald Business Leader of the Year.[31]

In October 2011, he was listed on the 'Silicon Alley 100' of the most influential technology people in New York.[32][33] That same year he was named a New Zealand 2011 Sir Peter Blake Leader by the Sir Peter Blake Trust,[34] and became a World Class New Zealander.[35]

In March 2015, he was named one of 100 visionary leaders by the Young Presidents' Organization, a global network of business leaders who have achieved success at an early age.[36]

In April 2015 he was year named a Distinguished Young Alumni of Victoria University of Wellington (Wellington, New Zealand).[37]

In September 2015 he was named in the world’s top 100 influential leaders by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a global accrediting body and membership association for business schools.[38][39]

In November 2015 he was named one of the top 10 most influential social entrepreneurs on Twitter (by Chivas’ The Venture, US).[40]

In November 2016, the Wharton Social Impact Initiative, at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania invited Handley to join the David Nazarian Social Innovator in Residence Program, naming him the third "Innovator in Residence" to visit the school.[41]

Personal life[edit]

He has a wife, Maya, and a son. During the process of applying for the Chief Technology Officer he moved his family back to New Zealand to live in Auckland.[2]

In November 2017 he was granted New Zealand citizenship by Minister for Internal Affairs Tracey Martin under the 'exceptional circumstances' provision. The exceptional circumstances provision was required because he had not spent enough time in New Zealand to meet the usual requirements to become a New Zealand citizen (865 days short). He suggested that he didn't meet the requirements because he frequently travelled for business reasons.[2]

He has purchased a ticket on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.[42]


  1. ^ "Why Hyperfactory Buy Makes Sense for Meredith". Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bennett, Lucy (2018-11-17). "Derek Handley granted citizenship under exceptional circumstances provision". NZ Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 16 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "The Hyperfactory sells strategic stake to Meredith Corp". 3 News. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  5. ^ Hall, Mitchell (6 May 2009). "Hyperfactory and Xero big winners at 'online oscars'". National Business Review. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  6. ^ "Mobile Marketing Association Announces 2007 Global Award Finalists | Mobile Marketing Association". 1 November 2007. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  7. ^ [2] Archived 30 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ [3] Archived 4 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "mobiForge – Mobile Web Development". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. ^ "IDC Selects 10 Wireless Entertainment Companies to Watch in 2007: Small Players That Could Have Big Impact. – Free Online Library". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  11. ^ "iMedia Agency Awards 2011". Archived from the original on 27 December 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Snakk grows annual revenue by 83% | Snakk Media Investors – Smartphone & Tablet Advertising". 4 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Snakk appoints new Chair; refreshes Board for next phase" (PDF). Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Books With Soundtracks: The Future of Reading?". The Atlantic. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  15. ^ Griffin, Peter (16 January 2002). "Betting exchange offers investors a safer punt". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
  16. ^ "BestStart Childcare Centres". Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  17. ^ "Derek Handley, Mobile Marketing and Media Pioneer, Joins Madison Alley as Special Advisor | Madison Alley Global Ventures". 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  18. ^ Matthews, Benjamin (4 June 2013). "AUT appoints Derek Handley to executive professor role". Idealog. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  19. ^ "From near ruin to success – Derek Handley – Business – NZ Herald News". The New Zealand Herald. 24 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Handley joins Sky TV board – Business – NZ Herald News". 13 September 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  21. ^ Fletcher, Hamish (4 November 2016). "Kiwi Derek Handley backs 'social' start-ups". New Zealand: New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  22. ^ Peters, Adele (16 November 2016). "This Activist VC Firm Will Help American Social Entrepreneurs Move To New Zealand". US: Fast Co Exist. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  23. ^ "Dollars and Change interviews AeraVC founder Derek Handley". Wharton University of Pennsylvania, Social Impact. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 14 December 2016.
  24. ^ "Jacinda Ardern sacks Clare Curran from Cabinet, removes her from two portfolios after second failure to declare a meeting". 1 News. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  25. ^ Hurley, Emma (24 August 2018). "Prime Minister removes Clare Curran from Cabinet". Newshub. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  26. ^ "Clare Curran sacked from Cabinet, PM Jacinda Ardern announces". New Zealand Herald. 24 August 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  27. ^ a b Pullar-Strecker, Tom (14 September 2018). "Derek Handley receives $107k in compensation after being dumped as chief technology officer". Stuff. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  28. ^ a b Hadnley, Derek (14 September 2018). "The Role of New Zealand CTO". Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  29. ^ "Bayer Innovator Awards: Information Technology and Communications". NBR. New Zealand. 11 September 2007. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  30. ^ Hunter, Tim (25 October 2009). "Young entrepreneur goes global". Sunday Star Times. New Zealand. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  31. ^ Twose, Helen (10 December 2010). "Business Leader of the Year 2010 Finalist: Derek Handley". NZ Herald. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  32. ^ "2011 Silicon Alley 100: A-Z Order". Business Insider. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  33. ^ "The Complete 2011 Silicon Alley 100 List: RANKED!". Business Insider. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  34. ^ "The Blake Leader Alumni". The Sir Peter Blake Trust. 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  35. ^ "World Class New Zealand". Export New Zealand. 2011. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  36. ^ "Derek Handley, Serial entrepreneur". Real Leaders. 27 March 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  37. ^ "Victoria honours distinguished alumni". Victoria University. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  38. ^ "Influential Leaders". AACSB International. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  39. ^ "Victoria alumnus named in world's top 100 influential leaders". AACSB International. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  40. ^ "Top Ten: Most Influential Social Entrepreneurs on Twitter". The Venture. 2015. Retrieved 4 August 2016.
  41. ^ "Social Innovator in Residence Program to Host Entrepreneur Derek Handley, Nov. 2–3". 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  42. ^ [4] Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine