Welcome to Previously Unavailable.

We are a ventures company, specialising in the rapid creation of innovative products with untraditional business models. We work as co-founders of new start-ups and corporate ventures.

 


Scroll down to browse a selection of our ventures and client projects . . .

 
 
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Toothcrush

Toothcrush is a toothbrush subscription delivery service, shipping customers a fresh, eco-friendly bamboo handled toothbrush each month. Launched in December 2016, the business grew to over 5,000 customers within 8 months and is currently launching in Australia.

Toothcrush is a Previously Unavailable Venture, and a finalist in the upcoming New Zealand Innovation Awards.


Visit toothcrush.co.nz

Watch our recent ad for Toothcrush Kids

 

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Simplicity

Simplicity is New Zealand's only not-for-profit KiwiSaver provider. Launched in August 2016, Simplicity worked with Previously on the development of their product, customer experience, brand and launch strategy. In its first year, Simplicity attracted over 7,000 customers and over $200m funds under management. Simplicity was the winner of the 2016 New Zealand Innovation Award in financial services.

Visit simplicity.kiwi


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Sitterzen

Sitterzen is the new way to instantly find a babysitter trusted by other parents in your neighbourhood. This 'uber for babysitters platform is currently in beta trial in central Auckland.

Sitterzen is a Previously Unavailable Venture.

Visit sitterzen.co.nz

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Stolen Rum

"Once in a while a spirit is introduced that is so singular it has no rivals."

- Robert Plotkin, American Cocktails

When New Zealand premium rum brand Stolen were given an opportunity to enter the US market, we partnered them on the creation of their US product. Stolen Coffee & Cigarettes, the world's first smoked rum, was an instant hit. It was drunk by everyone from Snoop Dogg to Emily Ratajkowski, and led to a majority stake in the company being sold to Chicago's Liquid Asset Brands for $21m in 2015.

Visit stolenrum.com

 


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Storytech

Storytech is 'brand strategy in a box' for start-ups and young companies. Solving the problem of how to help start-ups in a way that's affordable for them and sustainable for us, this 'productisation' of brand strategy is  an exponential technology of our own. Developed by Previously founder and internationally acclaimed New Zealand brand strategist James Hurman, Storytech brings world class brand story tools into a single day process delivered via online video for $500.

Storytech is a Previously Unavailable Venture.

Visit storyte.ch

 
 

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Spark Life 2025

In 2015, Spark asked us to help envision the future of their category and business. We identified several innovation territories through which Spark could play a more valuable role in their customers' lives. Galvanised by the process and outcomes, they then asked us to make a film showing how that innovation could transform a day in the life of a Spark customer in 2025. The film was used as a way to inspire Spark's staff and featured in a branded content partnership with NZME, exploring New Zealand's tech future.

Watch the Spark Life 2025 film


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Our Co-Founders Process

We believe that speed is the new competitive advantage. That the future will be owned by those who can create and adapt faster than their competitors.

Our Co-founders process is a new innovation model that enables the rapid conversion of ideas to commercialisation. We push design thinking, lean startup and agile development to their limits to massively accelerate the development of new products and business.

Examples of this process in action are Toothcrush - from idea to market launch in 13 weeks, Sitterzen - from idea to live beta in 4 weeks, and Stolen Rum - whose US product we conceptualised from scratch in ten days.

We work with either the founders and leaders of the businesses in our venture portfolio, or with senior leaders in external client organisations. Our commercial models include equity splits, revenue shares and traditional fee and retainer arrangements. We often partner corporates who are frustrated with the slow progress of their traditional structures - acting as a surrogate for the rapid development and launch of new products or businesses.

There are six key stages to the Co-founders Process:

Discover

Discover

Qual and quant research and to deeply understand the market and consumer, revealing unmet needs, unsolved problems, and new opportunities

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Conceptualise

Ideation and development of innovative concepts that address those needs, solve those problems, capture those opportunities

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Prototest

Rapid development of prototypes, shared and iterated with consumers and the business toward a concept that’s both desirable to customers and feasible for the business

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Commercialise

Building a business model, operational roadmap and marketing plan that’s viable in terms of revenue generation and profitability

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Create

Product, business and brand creation - full technical product and brand design and development  along with manufacturing, supply chain, distribution, digital and retail partnerships

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Launch

Market entry and go-live  - managing the launch and early stage marketing and customer acquisition before handing off to a management team and advising in a strategic capacity.

 

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Our people

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James Hurman
Founder & Executive Co-founder

James started Previously Unavailable in 2014 following a career as a strategic planner in the advertising industry. In 2013 he was named the world’s #1 planning director, following many years as head of planning at Auckland ad agency Colenso BBDO. He has since led innovation and venture projects across fintech, energy, telecommunications, health, food, beverages, public sector, media, hospitality and professional services. James is also the author of The Case for Creativity, a book about the link between creativity and business success, described by The Coca Cola Company as "beautiful words of wisdom".

Chris Paykel
Partner & Executive Co-founder

Chris joined Previously Unavailable in 2016 following 4 years in London at the UK’s leading Innovation Consultancy ?What If! Innovation Partners, where he worked with a range of global businesses including EA Games, Jaguar Land Rover and Crowne Plaza to set, invent and execute their innovation and venture strategies. Formally trained as a mechanical engineer, Chris enjoyed the first 5 years of his career designing products at Fisher & Paykel Appliances before moving into the Management Consulting and M&A world with EY, both in Auckland and London. Chris thrives on bringing these creative and commercial threads together with a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit to help our most ambitious and innovative companies create the future.

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Eddy Dever
Co-founder


Eddy is Previously Unavailable’s freshest addition. His diverse experience centres on tackling big challenges with creative solutions, whether that be employing co-design to solve for social issues with creative agency Curative, or devising award-winning creative and digital strategy at Air New Zealand. Eddy is no stranger to the start-up world either, as the co-founder and brand-lead on one of Auckland’s most buzziest arts collectives, Snort Comedy. He’s deeply passionate about seeing New Zealand producing an increasing amount of fantastically designed products & services, and he lives for chances to weave together his strategic, commercial, and creative skills to play a role is making that happen.

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Annabel Hurman
Founder & CEO - Toothcrush

Annabel is a mother and biologist who grew tired of using a worn out toothbrush that she always forgot to replace, and found environmentally and aesthetically depressing. Working with Previously, Annabel created Toothcrush to make a better toothbrush more convenient and affordable for everyone.

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Jane Haagh
Founder & CEO - Sitterzen

Jane is a mother and marketer who was struck by the idea for Sitterzen while on a family holiday in Bali. Inspired by how easy it was to book quality childcare from her hotel, Jane dreamt of an 'Uber for babysitters' back home in New Zealand. Working with Previously, Jane created Sitterzen to give parents a way to instantly find a babysitter trusted by other parents in their neighbourhood.

 
 

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Our mark: the uncarved block

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There's a concept in the Chinese philosophy of Taoism known as 朴 or 'Pu'.

It's meaning is 'the uncarved block'. Pu represents a state of pure potential.

Our mark is a symbol suggesting the uncarved block. It represents the process of starting with nothing other than the potential of an idea, and finishing with a tangible product or experience that was previously unavailable.


Working with us

We take on select client, venture and joint venture projects each year. 

If you're interested in working with us, or want to contact us for another reason, please leave a message below and we'll come back to you.