Tech entrepreneur Handley invests in Eat My Lunch

By Aimee Shaw

Derek Handley is a Kiwi tech entrepreneur and investor who is based in New York.  Photo / Joao Francisco
Derek Handley is a Kiwi tech entrepreneur and investor who is based in New York. Photo / Joao Francisco

Derek Handley has invested in the online buy-one-give-one Eat My Lunch intiative aimed at tackling child hunger.

Handley has joined Eat My Lunch as an advisor and investor in the hopes of maximising environmental and social benefits to its current business model.

Eat My Lunch founder Lisa King said she is delighted to have secured Handley as a partner.

"His proven strengths as a game-changing entrepreneur and his values and vision align perfectly with the goals we've set and our mission to create social change through something as routine as eating lunch," King said.

Handley said he believes Eat My Lunch has the potential to create wide-spread social change within New Zealand.

"For the past few years I've been looking into new frameworks for uniting purpose and profit, and I am particularly interested in emerging leaders and businesses developing creative responses to some of our toughest social challenges. Eat My Lunch is just the first example I've backed in New Zealand but expect to support many more," he said.

"There is a big opportunity for Eat My Lunch to look at new models to tackle food waste and child hunger in ways that are sustainable and scaleable."

Handley is New Zealand's youngest managing director of a listed company and has featured on the Silicon Alley 100 list of the most influential people in technology. In 2011 he donated a year of his life to help Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. He is co-founder of mobile advertising network Snakk Media, but recently stood down as chairman.

Eat My Lunch, a initiative that aims to abolish child hunger for under-privileged children, recently expanded its operations to Hamilton. It also plans to launch in Wellington later this year. For every lunch bought, the company gives a lunch a Kiwi kid who would otherwise go hungry.

Since its inception 11 months ago, Eat My Lunch has made over 300,000 lunches and Given 150,000 lunches to kids in 32 low decile schools.

The company has received a string of accolades including Excellence in Social Innovation at the 2015 New Zealand Innovator Awards and last year's a Local Hero Medal.

King, with the help of award-winning chef Michael Meredith, started Eat My Lunch with the goal to alleviate a nationwide issue.

Eat My Lunch is on track to deliver 250,000 lunches this year.

- NZ Herald

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