Fun Gum Tech is an educational technology company that focuses on designing effective learning experiences that deliver meaningful outcomes for children, parents, and teachers.

Our team weaves advanced technology with the best education methodology to create groundbreaking products.

Our aim is to become a leading creative educational software company in the Asia Pacific and in so doing transform the way people view education.

Interested in language-learning technology and want to know more? You can contact us here.

The Team


CEO – Founder

Derek Reeves

Derek has over 15 years experience in the media industry, including 10 years working with Corus Entertainment ( running the Asia region for Children’s division Nelvana ( and covering the development of new properties, structuring co-production pipelines, overseeing productions and managing key governmental and financial relationships throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Derek has produced and executive produced over 300 hours of children’s television in association with international broadcasters YTV, Disney and Nickelodeon in a career that started with documentaries and feature films.

Prior to his career in media he was a teacher of English (BA, Dip Tchg) with a special interest in English as a Second Language and holds a post graduate diploma from International House in London.


Technical Lead

Vince Edwards

Vince is our technical guru, with more than 15 years of experience in developing web apps and SAAS software. He has worked for many companies and clients over the years, including Vindiweb and SwipedOn. Vince enjoys building projects that provide world-class software that scales.


Head of Growth

Niki Pedder

Niki is a proven development specialist who is experienced in process management with a particularly strong interdependency management capability. Niki joins us having returned from Hong Kong where she was a key member of digital start up Grana ( as Head of Product. Niki is also an NZTE Beachhead Advisor, a group of private sector specialists with expertise in export and entrepreneurship contracted to support our national trade board.

Niki is applying pipeline experience gained in Asia and Europe to our educational content production process and how it integrates with Mark’s programming team’s activities. Niki also adds her expertise to the development and implementation of the company’s strategy and sales plan as we further develop our go to market path.


Head of English Language

Ph.D. Auckland University of Technology Master of Arts University of Isfahan

Dr. Mae Tadayyon

Maedeh joins us via Australia and Iran and brings with her a wealth of educational experience. Maedeh combines a strong practical teaching background with an excellent academic research background, with her areas of English learning specialisation being in methods of oral corrective feedback, individual learner differences, and sociolinguistics. Maedeh has worked in the TESOL and TEFL industry as an educator, teacher trainer, journal editorial member, and researcher.At FunGum, Maedeh leads a highly qualified team of EFL teachers dedicated to our speech focused curriculum and pedagogy. The team combines scientific research findings and innovative teaching strategies to design and develop the most effective language teaching methodologies that promote spoken language.


Head of Education – Mainstream

Joe D'Ambrosio

Joe D’Ambrosio is an Education specialist with a breadth of experience in all areas ranging from Early Childhood to Intermediate levels. His years of experience teaching both face to face and digitally in the US, NZ and Asia provides a well rounded pedagogical view of multiple education systems. He currently holds four university level degrees focussed in education from US and NZ institutions including a Masters of Professional studies in Education.
Joe has held senior roles across schools he’s worked in involving Digital technology, Leadership and Curriculum development. He has focussed his career on implementing new and innovative programs that support teachers development and student growth.

At FunGum, Joe’s focus is to provide an educator’s perspective to the products we create, aid in the development of new products. His skills range from cross disciplinary collaboration, scientific research and analysis, and innovative pedagogical practices.


Artistic Director

John Payne

Like all good Art Directors, John learnt his skills during a misspent youth creating artwork in the gig economy before there was one (John created the bFM logo still in use today) and playing in a number of well known Auckland bands. Adding to his range of creative experiences John has worked in print and has a published novel The Golden Sword - A Secret History Of Thomas Stamford Raffles.

More recently John worked on a number of children’s animated TV series running the art and layout departments before becoming a Director of the TV series ‘Franklin and Friends’. John has over 100 hours of internationally acclaimed TV episodes to his name and has a wealth of experience creating and directing exceptional artwork. John has headed up teams in New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore over the past 15 years.


EFL and Japan Market Consultant
Mai Sakamoto

Mai Sakamoto is a Japanese language and market consultant. She specialises in teaching English as a foreign language with a wide range of experience in Japan and holds a master’s degree in TESOL from the University of Auckland. Passionate about helping every young learner to enjoy learning English, she is our Japanese market specialist.

Digital Marketing Strategist and Indonesia Market Consultant
Elnie Meirinza

Elnie is a Digital Marketing Strategist and cosmetic products influencer with a strong passion and skill for online and offline experiences. Having successfully led the creation and execution of several successful digital media campaigns for clients such as Unilever, Lemonilo and ERHA clinic under her own digital agency COCO Media Asia, Elnie is working as part of the growth team focused on market entry, and she brings to Fungum a strong understanding of the digital landscape in Indonesia and a wealth of cross sector digital marketing knowledge.


Editor & Content Co-ordinator
Mona Cui

With a Master of Interactive Media Design, AUT and a BA Film Production BNU, Beijing, China, Mona has produced and directed several independent documentaries and true-story-inspired short films. She is a creative individual, using expressive and experimental mediums to tell stories, this is the passion that motivates her. Mona works within the Content team as an editor and project admin coordinator, she is dedicated to facilitating positive change and collective effort.

Creative Writer and EFL Specialist
Beverley Morgan

Beverley has a Masters in Education, and her background is in teaching. She has taught academic English at two universities in the UK, and for eight years, and she ran her own language school in Bulgaria, predominantly teaching English to children.

As a freelance writer, she has worked on a wide variety of interesting projects over the years including writing race reports, advertising material, writing speculative fiction novels published under the pseudonym Eve Moran, and she is also the co-creator of, a series of children’s audiobooks and songs.

Beverley combines her teaching knowledge, EFL experience and love of creative writing to create content for the Chat Lab curriculum.



Chairperson of the Board of Advisors

Michael Moynihan

Michael is an experienced business leader who is currently the Chair of Creative New Zealand, the Chair of NZTE Beachhead Advisor and sits on a number of Boards in New Zealand. Michael is a strong advocate for the importance of corporate governance and the role quality leadership plays in an organisation. Michael has an international reputation running media organisations around the world. Michael helped develop the Auckland Readers and Writers Festival and was the inaugural Chair of its trust board, he chaired the Publishers and Booksellers Associations of New Zealand and was a member of the New Zealand Book Council.

More recently Michael was CEO of Harper Collins (Australia, New Zealand and India), CEO of Random House India, and Managing Director and Chairman of Random House New Zealand.

Michael heads a group of four advisors, all of whom have kindly offered their valuable time to assist in the structuring and delivery of the Fun Gum Tech strategy as it prepares to test and take products to market.


Co – Founder

Cosmas Lee

Cosmas is a Digital Media professional of over 16 years, having worked in the full business spectrum of games, animation, broadcast, film, VFX to interactive media, for both the entertainment and education markets.

He has held senior roles in various organisations including concurrent Business Development and Operation Director roles at ST Electronics (Digital Media), the Country Manager position of Double Negative Singapore and the Games Business Lead at Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (now the Info-communications Media Development Authority).

With his major in Computer Technology, prior to moving into the Digital Media domain, he held development and consultant positions in the Stock Exchange of Singapore, Singapore Telecommunications and Baan.


Board of Advisors

Katrina Bassett

Katrina has been involved in application development for the past 25 years. In that time she has worked in a number disciplines, including software engineering, systems integration, solution architecture, project management and project governance.

Her background has been predominantly in web development using open source tools and agile methodologies. She is a strong proponent of iterative development models that get products into the hands of end users fast so that refinements are made with the benefit of real life feedback.

Katrina is General Manager Auckland for Catalyst IT, where she continues to focus on software delivery.

Board of Advisors
Riki Teteina

Riki is an experienced educational leader with over 30 years in the industry. Currently Principal of Newton Central School in inner-city Auckland, Riki is president of the Auckland Inner-City Principals Association, as well as co-lead of Kāhui Ako O Waitematā - a collective of 13 inner city schools supporting over 500 staff and 3,500 students.

Riki's past experience in leading international schools throughout Asia provides valuable insight into the online education landscape. He enjoys being part of a team of advisors that provide a diverse set of skills to support the Fungum leadership team.