A 26-year-old has been selected over seasoned professionals to head a company matching local start-up businesses with Kiwi investors.

Josh Daniell will lead Snowball Effect as it begins trading in April following a law change allowing peer-to-peer investment called equity crowdfunding.

The business matches local investors with small- to medium-sized New Zealand businesses in need of a funding boost.

Minimum investments will be under $1,000 for shares in the businesses after the law change next year.


Snowball Effect co-founder Richard Allen, who with fellow Fonterra executives Simeon Burnett and Francis Reid came up with the idea in 2011, said Mr Daniell beat a long list of candidates for the job.

The Rathkeale College (Masterton) old boy studied law and arts at the University of Canterbury before working in corporate law at Bell Gully.

He left to start his own business consultancy company, Soup Kitchen, study finance and to travel overseas last year.

Mr Daniell, who took up the position last week, said the legal implications around equity crowd-funding had always interested him, and he believed the sector would help grow New Zealand's economy.

"There's a big funding hole for early-stage businesses here. They can't always qualify for bank lending ... or necessarily have rich friends and family that can support their growth."