Our Company

Since 2013 the Appreciation Engine has been built with a lot of coffee, streaming music, and smart brains. We believe that our engine can help consumers & brands connect in deeper ways. This belief powers us to lead the way with real-time analytics and data that businesses can really use to connect with their customers. We like to think of this as the smart data sweet-spot!

Meet the talented and kind people who run, design, build, cajole, laugh, guide and support AE. Hello from all of us 🙂


Jeff Mitchell, CTO and Co-founder

I have over 12 years experience in the US, Canada and NZ, developing technology strategies, leading development and creating extraordinary companies as part of senior management teams.

Although I’ve worked at the enterprise level, I’m also passionate about working in start-up environments because they offer me the chance to develop technology platforms and business strategies from the ground up.

I use my skills, knowledge & leadership to develop technology that creates powerful solutions at all levels of business.

Follow Jeff on Last.fm or LinkedIn


Annabel Youens, CMO and Co-founder

I do a little bit of everything. I write up strategy docs, test out new technology, strategize with our fun clients & work with the team to build a better Appreciation Engine. I love that my job never gets boring and the people I get to work with are amazing. Brilliant!

My startup bug hit when I worked for five years at an internet start up in Victoria, Abebooks. With that amazing team I discovered how technology could really bring people together & make people money. I was hooked. In 2002 I moved to Wellington, NZ to work and consult in digital and web. After founding AE I ran the LA office for 5 years and now I’m back in beautiful BC.  I’m lucky that I’ve found a job that combines all my loves – the web, writing, community and media.

See Annabel on Twitter and LinkedIn


Mike Penhall, Senior Developer

I’m a Silverstripe and Rails developer, music fan, fine wine sampler, and pug enthusiast based in Wellington, New Zealand, mainly for the fantastic weather. I’ve worked in the startup world for 6 or so years, as a content creator, community guide, and production manager, but primarily as a developer. I love the way that in the startup space no two days are the same, and that the landscape is constantly changing. Anything is possible!

Meet Mike on Last.fm and LinkedIn




Dave Moskovitz, Chairman

Dave is an experienced entrepreneur turned angel investor, having co-founded one of Wellington’s early web development companies, and taken it from the garage to strategic trade sale. Dave is a great communicator and collaborator who brings out the best in the teams he works with. Dave works hard to continue to develop the Wellington early-stage ecosystem. He’s been a member of the Institute of Directors since 2002, and believes good governance is central to building strategic value.

Meet Dave on LinkedIn



Paul Mabray, Director

Paul is an innovator, strategic thinker and a guy who makes things happen. He founded VinTank, the world’s most pervasive software solution for the wine industry and thought leader in all things wine and digital.

Meet Paul on LinkedIn




Stefan Korn, Director

Stefan has a strong background in corporate e-commerce, and extensive experience in building transactional web-based businesses. Stefan founded WebFund to help leverage his own experience to help take web-based Kiwi startups to the world.

Meet Stefan on LinkedIn




Richard Laverty, Director

An innovative and strategically focused General Manager, with 18 years experience in achieving revenue growth through the successful implementation of strategy-led marketing and business development initiatives. Is an experienced leader, with well developed relationship building skills, particularly in a cross cultural environment. An enthusiastic and creative person with a passion to determine company direction and implement growth through business and technology led innovation, with a particular emphasis on food and biotechnology.

Meet Richard on LinkedIn

Our four values inform our work everyday




Explore our values