Jake Millar, entrepreneur and Unfiltered founder, dies at age 26

The founder of start-up businesses Unfiltered and Oompher, has died in Kenya.
The founder of start-up businesses Unfiltered and Oompher, has died in Kenya. Photo credit: File.

Jake Millar, founder of startup businesses Unfiltered and Oompher, has died.

It is understood the 26-year-old was in Kenya at the time of his death.

The former Christchurch Boys High School student started his first company, Oompher at age 18, which was later sold to the New Zealand Government for a six-figure sum. 

In November 2015, Millar founded business insights, inspiration and coaching platform, Unfiltered.tv.

On February 9, 2021, it was announced that Unfiltered had been sold Crimson Education for an undisclosed sum. The business is understood to have sold for $120,000, upsetting investors.

Millar is also said to have been a philanthropist. In 2018, he served as an Ambassador for Lifeline, reportedly raising over $200,000 to fight youth suicide in New Zealand.

ANZ Bank chairman and former Prime Minister Sir John Key, told NZME that hearing the news about Millar broke his heart.

"From the first time I met him I knew he was someone special.

"He had a mixture of courage, warmness, intellect and a maturity and strength to deal with adversity, which is never easy for a young person. I respected him and I will miss him."

Former New Zealand politician and Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash recalled how, following the Christchurch Earthquakes, the young entrepreneur had arranged for a number of high profile New Zealanders to talk at Christchurch Boys' High School.

"He showed such an initiative from such a young age," Brash told NZME.

"For someone in year 12 to do that at a time when many of colleagues were feeling quite depressed is remarkable."

Following news of his death, friends of Millar took to Facebook to share tributes and condolances.

"Such potential, such a great loss. RIP Jake Millar," one person said.

"Very sad news only 26 years young, RIP Jake Millar," said another.

"This is very sad. Just another reminder for me to keep up the lifelong journey to be kind and a positive contributor to a society made up of people just trying to make their way," said a third.

Where to find help and support: 

Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633

Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)

Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737

What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)

Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland

Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email talk@youthline.co.nz or online chat

Samaritans - 0800 726 666

Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584