Howie Xu is an Executive In Residence at Greylock Partners.  Prior, he worked at Cisco, where he was responsible for the entire Cloud and Networking Services Group engineering team. Before joining Cisco, Howie was VP of Engineer at Big Switch Networks where he built up his engineering team and products from the ground up. Howie is a veteran in the cloud and virtualization industry. During his decade long tenure at VMware, he helped to scale the company that just started the server virtualization journey on ESX with 10+ developers to a virtualization giant with $4B in revenue and 10,000+ employees. He and his team pioneered network virtualization technology, which led to the creation of new markets including Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV). Prior to VMware, he worked at a variety of start-ups including NFR Security. Howie is a Stanford GSB alumnus, holds MSCS from Portland State University, and a BSCS from Shanghai University.


Ian Wright, Founder & CEO, Wrightspeed. Over the course of the last two decades, Ian Wright has emerged as one of the leading minds of the electric transportation era. After co-founding Tesla Motors in 2003 and then breaking away to build the fastest street legal electric car in the world– the X1, Ian Wright proved that electric vehicles could deliver high-performance without compromising intrinsic efficiency. After creating the X1, a concept car based on a modified Ariel Atom, he went onto to pursue a larger vision—solving EV economics. The breakthrough came when Wright asked: how can we save the most fuel, per vehicle, per year to make a compelling payback? Using turbines and applying electric vehicle principles to urban, heavy-duty trucks, The Route™ powertrain was born. Wrightspeed’s range-extended electric vehicle architecture stands as a true economic and technology innovation for transportation and the company has been accelerating more efficient commercial fleets ever since. With each component of every Wrightspeed powertrain engineered from the ground up, Ian and his team continue to manufacture powertrains to meet commercial fleet customers’ ever-evolving efficiency and performance needs.


Toni Moyes is 8i‘s Chief Operating Officer. She started her career in corporate law and also worked in economic and fiscal policy prior to joining 8i in 2014. She studied at NYU School of Law as a Fulbright Scholar and was ranked #4 in the Top 50 Australian and New Zealand Women in Tech 2016 by Startup Daily.  8i is a technology startup on mission to give people the best way to connect with each other and express themselves through holograms. We provide the easiest way to create, mix and experience human holograms that look real and feel as if they were in the same room. Our proprietary technology transforms video from an array of cameras into a photo-realistic hologram of a human that can be viewed from any angle, on any device for x-realities (virtual, augmented or mixed reality). As the world escapes the flat screen, we believe that holograms enable us to experience human content and each other in the most realistic way. Founded in May 2014, 8i is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and Los Angeles.


Peter Cullinane is founder and Chairman of Lewis Road Creamery as well as a founding partner of Assignment Group. Additionally he is a director of NZME, WPP AU/NZ and APN News and Media and a trustee of SkyCity Auckland Community Trust.  His career included roles as CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi New Zealand and Chief Operating Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. Since returning to New Zealand and establishing Assignment Group New Zealand Limited, Mr Cullinane has specialised in providing strategic advice to a wide range of New Zealand and international clients. As a dyed in the wool believer in the power of brands, he established Lewis Road Creamery in 2011 as a personal mission to demonstrate the value of brands in an industry which has traditionally been solely focused on commodities.


Katherine Corich  is the founder and Chair of the Sysdoc Group, a Business Transformation services company with operations in 4 countries. Under Katherine’s leadership, Sysdoc has grown into a global business delivering business change programmes for Jaguar Land Rover, Associated British Ports, National Australia Bank and  Chevron. Katherine also invests in disruptive and digital companies: My Wave, Virgil and Biotelliga. A recipient of several awards, Katherine has been twice awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. (Finance, Services & Arts (2003) and Master Entrepreneur (2010)). She won Aveeno Business Women of the Year and was a finalist in the UK National Business Awards. She was named 2015 UK New Zealander of the Year and in 2016, won a Flying Kiwi award and was inducted into the NZ Hi Tech Hall of Fame.   Katherine’s leadership of Performance-based Philanthropy, including a major current project designed to increase child protection and reduce child abuse, is ground breaking. Testimony to this is that the charity which she chairs has been selected as the Rio 2016 Olympic Legacy project. Sysdoc has twice been in the Top 30 companies in Britain for Best Practices for Working Families (2011 and 2015).


John O’Loghlen joined Alibaba Group as Director of Business Development for Australia and New Zealand in March 2016. In this role, John focuses on serving clients across all of the Alibaba Group’s business units, with a particular focus on growing the Tmall Global and Tmall Fresh platform to assist Australia and New Zealand fresh food brands and businesses connect with the Chinese consumer. John brings to Alibaba strong cross-border trading experience and knowledge to support the company’s developments in Australia and New Zealand. Before relocating to Sydney in 2014, John co-founded a leading gourmet pizza delivery and dine-in chain in Beijing, Gung Ho! Pizza, a commercial and strategic partner in China for Fonterra and winner of all major industry awards. This venture allowed John to develop significant operations experience in cross-border importation of live seafood, wine, beer, dairy products, and chilled and frozen red meat from Australia and New Zealand to China.  He holds a BA from Harvard University and an MPhil from Cambridge University. He studied Chinese at Tsinghua and BLCU in Beijing, and is proficient in Mandarin.


Steven Newman, CEO / Director, EROAD. Steven brings a wealth of experience to EROAD after a long and successful association with Navman, since cofounding the company. In his roles as COO and CEO, Steven helped establish Navman as a leading international brand within the marine electronics and consumer car navigation sectors, with annual sales in excess of NZ$400 million. Steven has been CEO since 2007 and an EROAD Board member since 2007.


Colin Groves has spent the past 23 years primarily as Director of M&A at Tetra Laval, one of the world’s largest private companies and maker of the renowned Tetra Pak packaging solutions and DeLaval milk processing machinery. He has also held roles at Informix Software, and US healthcare multinational Johnson & Johnson. A chartered accountant and former English schools & colts rugby international, Mr Groves is currently Chairman of mobile app development company MEA Mobile, New Zealand’s largest refiner and blender of high quality Omega-2 and Omega-3 fish oils SeaDragon, and the Agri Group of Companies, which includes dairy consumables business, Deosan, and Waikato Rugby. He also sits on the Board of Oriens Capital and is an independent director of VetSouth.


Aidan Kenealy is the founder of (Entertainment Media Gaming Network). Launched January 2014, quickly became one of the fastest growing websites in history, attracting over 30 million unique users per day. The site operates in a very disruptive, maturing market place and has successfully navigated many challenges to become one of the worlds leading entertainment websites.


John Diddams is the principal of JFDCPA Advisors. John has managed the process to raise capital and seek ASX listing for a number of enterprises over the past 25 years.  Most recently John managed the IPO and ASX listing process for Australia’s first indoor skydiving wind tunnel (ASX: IDZ), Martin Aircraft Company Limited (ASX: MJP), Martin Jetpack, Skydive The Beach Group Limited (ASX: SKB), and Volpara Health Technologies Limited (ASX: VHT).  He is a non-executive Director of Skydive The Beach Group Limited, and Volpara Health Technologies Limited and Deputy Chair of House with No Steps ( an NFP organisation that supports 3,000 people to make the most of their abilities.  John has a B.Com from UNSW, is a Fellow of CPA Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


David Gowdey is the Managing Partner of Singapore based Jungle Ventures.  He is an experienced investor and seasoned corporate development executive in the digital media industry, particularly within the world’s emerging geographies, such as Indonesia, Russia, India and the Middle East. Successfully completed numerous transactions (acquisitions, investments, JV) around the globe. David spent twelve years at Yahoo! where he was the Head of International M&A. From Yahoo! he spun out a venture capital fund, Xplorer Capital, focused on internet investments across the emerging markets. In 2012, David then joined TPG Growth to focus on internet and technology investments outside of the U.S. He has been involved in several TPG investments and will continue to represent TPG as a member of the board of directors of Propertyguru, the largest online real estate portal in SE Asia.


Brendan Roberts is the COO of 9 Spokes. Brendan has extensive experience in tech businesses from start-ups to corporates, including international experience at senior levels across various disciplines including marketing, sales, customer success and operations.  At 9 Spokes Brendan looks after Product, Partners, Channels and Customer Success.  He was first to join Mark Estall, CEO, at the birth of 9 Spokes and is working to move the business forward and grow the necessary teams and capability internally.  Brendan is also responsible for steering the task force that establishes 9 Spokes in each new geography. 9 Spokes is the smart dashboard that SME businesses connect their quality software to so they can know more about their performance and act on it, now.  The company listed on the ASX in June.


Ryan Baker is CEO and Director of Timely. Prior to Timely, co-founders Ryan and Andrew built BookIt — a booking engine for the New Zealand tourism industry. In 2010, BookIt was acquired by Fairfax and became the software behind the travel division of Trade Me, New Zealand‘s largest ecommerce site. Launched in 2012, Timely is cloud-based appointment scheduling software for services businesses such as salons and clinics. The company has grown quickly with customers in over 85 countries, a team of 30 and were recently selected by Apple to be the first and only booking software Mobility Partner. Timely have developed a unique way of working that is based around a remote office model… and robes.


Vivien Maidaborn is the Co-founder and Chair of Loomio, a social enterprise collectively owned by the people building it. Unlike a traditional profit­ maximising company, revenue is not an end in itself, but a means towards achieving a core social purpose. Vivien is also Executive Director of UNICEF New Zealand.


Terry Gold was the co-founder, CEO and President of Gold Systems, a software development company that created self-service solutions powered by voice. He has now stepped away from Gold Systems and is applying his twenty years of experience in business and software development to several technology companies in Boulder, Colorado and Adelaide, Australia.  A software developer, Terry worked for AT&T Bell Laboratories on AT&T’s first computer telephony product, the ISDN Gateway, which facilitated the ‘screen pop’ concept, now known as Computer Telephony Integration (CTI). He was a founding member of the Colorado chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs’ Organization and is a former member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. In 2000 he and his co-founder were recognized with the “Esprit Entrepreneur of Distinction” award, and in 2003 Terry was recognized as a finalist at the Rocky Mountain Ernst and Young ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.



James Valentine is the CTO of Fronde.  He has more than 20 years’ experience in the IT industry and is one of Australasia’s leading experts in cloud computing, specialising in complex cloud-centric solutions. He is a passionate advocate for the benefits that cloud computing offers. James joined Fronde in 2004 where he now holds an executive position leading Fronde’s technology vision to its customers and staff. He has architected and project-managed numerous solutions across a range of technologies and platforms for various organisations. Previously, James worked in the United Kingdom as a development manager and technical architect; and as a consultant for Accenture in Wellington. He has a Bachelor of Technology degree from Massey University in Manufacturing and Industrial Technology.


Anton Blijlevens is Partner Patents at AJ Park.  Anton specialises in patent and related intellectual property law, in particular for mechanical and manufacturing patents. Anton is also a copyright and designs specialist.  Anton has experience with a range of technologies including: packaging, marine, composites, engine design, fluid dynamics, clean technologies, and thermo dynamics.  Anton has experience in conducting intellectual property audits and due diligence for several large New Zealand companies in the fields of maritime technology, aviation and packaging. He is also involved in establishing and maintaining policies and procedures at several organisations to help them foster a culture to extract high value from their intellectual property.


Corinne Cole is Partner Trade marks at AJ Park.  She specialises in a range of industries including telecommunication, IT, cosmetics, fashion, food & beverage and clean technology. Corinne advises on: trade mark creation, trade mark and brand clearance and protection issues, trade mark strategy, trade mark assignments and other ownership issues, copyright, passing off and Fair Trading Act issues, franchise, licence and other commercial agreements, brand, trade mark and copyright transfers, domain names, and advertising. Corinne’s clients include start up ventures, individuals, and small to medium enterprises.


Rebecca Smith is the driving force behind New Zealand Story; an initiative set up to help exporters get a competitive advantage by sharing a strong, consistent story about what New Zealand has to offer in international markets.  With more than 20 years’ experience in marketing and communications, Rebecca has worked in a variety of New Zealand businesses. As General Manager Brand & Communications for Fonterra’s NZ Milk Products division, Rebecca led the development of the dairy giant’s global B2B brand and spearheaded a new approach to global communications for the business. Prior to Fonterra she worked at BNZ and Telecom.


AJ Park
NZ Trade and Enterprise


Craig Investment Partners
UK Trade and Investment
No8 Ventures
Xero Accounting Software & Online Bookkeeping
Centre for Business Growth
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment