Grant Ryan

Grant is particularly proud of his iwi for the development of the innovative Whai Rawa programme, which he has joined, and for the work the iwi does with the wider community. As Grant says, “I am a huge believer in the entrepreneurial side of Ngāi Tahu”. 

Grant Ryan (Kāti Huirapa) has worked out where his business skills and abilities lie, and has built his business around that knowledge.

Grant grew up in Invercargill where he  developed his entrepreneurial spirit thanks at least in part, to his inventor father. In high school when asked to declare what he thought he would do in life, he wrote ‘Inventor’, an uncommon answer that provoked much discussion. After school, and still with the dream of being an inventor, Grant studied at the University of Canterbury completing a mechanical engineering degree and then a PhD in Ecological Economics.

“While I could have tried to be a Bert Munro type and invent things from my back shed, I knew the course of study I took would give me the technical know-how to turn design ideas into realty in a systematic way.  Finding the right educational pathway that matches our strengths and our passions is crucial to enabling us to develop as people and achieve a better future.”

Grant’s now applied his qualifications and skills to many projects and after his well-documented success with the YikeBike, he’s again breaking new ground with his latest business venture, HunchCruncher. HunchCruncher arose because Grant identified that for many people, starting a business is like running a marathon, in that it takes a lot of energy and preparation, can be difficult with unpredictable results.  Unlike most people however Grant finds the startup phase invigorating and enjoyable and has developed HunchCruncher to provide a service assessing the likelihood of success of new ideas. “I love creating something that didn’t exist before and enabling others to do the same.”

Grant lives in Akaroa and from there he seeks out great ideas where his company can become involved. Finding the right idea requires a knack that can be honed through repetition and practice and that is part of refining the craft of his business. Each idea that is assessed is another chance to refine the abilities and skills needed in this specialised area of business which is, as far as Grant knows unique; he has not found another company anywhere in the world that works in the specific start-up phase of a business as his company does.

One way that Grant maintains the unique focus of his innovative company is in the businesses that they assess. They don’t target ‘trendy’ ideas looking instead at ideas that others may ignore because they are a “bit out there”. For that reason they  are projects that generally are less likely to happen The ability to see value where others don’t is one of the qualities of the truly successful and just as Grant displays this quality; he also recognises it within Ngāi Tahu.

Grant is particularly proud of his iwi for the development of the innovative Whai Rawa programme, which he has joined, and for the work the iwi does with the wider community. He sees some very good investment decisions being made on the commercial side, and a willingness from the Iwi to back and support Iwi members such as with Whale Watch where a genuine, hospitable, authentic cultural tourism vision is shared with visitors. As Grant says, “I am a huge believer in the entrepreneurial side of Ngāi Tahu”.  The future for Grant and his business, HunchCruncher, is looking bright and from his base in Akaroa he continues to invent the future he wants to live in.