2019 YES Alumni Awards

Steph Benseman

Innovation Specialist at Creative HQ
2018 Young Enterprise Emerging Alumni of the Year Finalist

Steph completed YES in 2013 at Marlborough Girls’ College with her company ‘Reverb Boutique’ winning the Nelson/Marlborough Regional Finals.


Her experience through YES ignited a passion for business and entrepreneurship which led Steph to participate in Venture Up in January 2014, before heading to Victoria University of Wellington where she would complete a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Information Systems and Commercial Law. As
a university student, Steph began working for Young Enterprise as Project Coordinator and then Communications Manager, all while continuing her Venture Up startup, ‘Filtr’, a recruitment platform targeted to university graduates.
Now an Innovation Specialist at Creative HQ, Steph has helped lead the Lightning Lab GovTech Accelerator which is an opportunity for the public sector to validate and experiment with new approaches to enable truly extraordinary government. Steph is currently also in the process of establishing her third startup venture in the sustainable fashion industry.

In 2016 Steph was nominated for two awards at the New Zealander of the Year Awards, as well as receiving the Ministry of Youth International Leadership Award. In 2017 Steph became
a partner at First Cut Ventures, a youth-led
fund which invests in New Zealand’s emerging entrepreneurs. A strong appreciation for all of the support and guidance she has received throughout her entrepreneurial ventures has left Steph with a keen interest in giving back and therefore she regularly mentors young entrepreneurs.