The 2019 Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year finalists.  Connor Talbot   Cynthia Hunefeld ,  Christopher Walker  (Left to Right)

The 2019 Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year finalists. Connor Talbot Cynthia Hunefeld, Christopher Walker (Left to Right)

The the 2019 Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year is Cynthia Hunefeld. Cynthia is on a mission to bring herbal medicine into the 21st Century with the help of modern science. With 20 years of experience in the field of integrative medicine and an academic background in ethnobotany, clinical herbal medicine and clinical research she identifies potential new medicines from a unique perspective.


The Momentum Student Entrepreneur of the Year award is an initiative created by Auckland UniServices Ltd flagship Momentum Programme and is sponsored by Matū Fund. The award recognises a highly motivated New Zealand university student who has made significant progress developing an idea that can change the world. This student is making outstanding contributions to commercialisation and innovation, or has created an innovative businesses in New Zealand through technology licensing, start-up creation or by providing expertise to support innovation.

2019 is the inaugural year that this award is included as one of the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation Awards categories to be presented at Wed 7th August ceremony, in Auckland. Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) believes in the power of NZ science to transform lives and change the world. We champion people like you to find a more effective pathway for your science discoveries to be recognised and make a difference in the world.

KiwiNet is New Zealand’s network of public research organisations, working together to transform scientific discoveries into marketable products and services. Our role is to empower people by helping them to access the tools, connections, investment and support they need to commercialise research and deliver economic growth and prosperity for all.

Matū Fund General Partner Greg Sitters, Venture Associate Andrew Chen, and Research Intern Odette Lees are all founding members of the Auckland Momentum Investment Committee and have helped shape the ethos and practices of the Momentum Programme. Matū is a venture capital fund targeting early-stage science and technology ideas. They invest funds through a hands-on approach, and have a vision to get research out of the lab and into the real-world.