Startup Advisors Council

The Startup Advisors Council was formed by the Government in 2022.

The following includes excerpts  from Hon Dr Megan Woods media release

The Government has appointed a Startup Advisors’ Council to help identify and address the opportunities and challenges facing high growth start-up businesses, Research, Science, and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced.

“Startups are major contributors to the knowledge and innovation that we know are fundamental to New Zealand’s economic recovery as well as resilience, ongoing economic growth, the creation of highly skilled jobs, and to people in Aotearoa enjoying a high quality of life,” says Megan Woods.

“Startups are often high tech, rapidly growing businesses which compete in the global market. They can generate significant levels of research and development and drive economic growth, sometimes developing entirely new industries.

“The Startup Council will help us to better understand the challenges facing startups and the actions we need to take to create an even better environment for innovative startups to thrive. I have seen the value of the approach through my work with the Small Business Council, which produced a strategy in 2019. The government backed these recommendations through immediate changes, and the strategy continues to influence Government policy today.

Seven members will sit on the Council for a term of 12 months. The Council will be chaired by Phil McCaw, founding partner at venture capital fund, Movac and former chair of the Angel Association New Zealand.

The members of the Council include:

  • Suse Reynolds, Chair of the Angel Association New Zealand
  • Marian Johnson, Chief Executive of Ministry of Awesome
  • Grant Straker (Ngāti Raukawa), co-founder of the A.I. language translation platform Straker Translations
  • Mike Carden, founder of a number of start-ups including Sonar6 and Joyous
  • Imche Fourie, co-founder and Chief Executive of Auckland-based Outset Ventures
  • Carl Jones, Managing Partner of WNT Ventures.

More information on the Startup Advisors Council, including the terms of reference, can be found on the MBIE website.

26 May 2022


Venture Essentials Workshop Series

Finding Talent for Deep Tech Startups

On April 14th, Outset Ventures hosted its subsequent workshop in the ‘Venture Essentials workshop Series’ called Finding Talent for early stage Deep-Tech Startups.

This dynamic workshop series brings together industry experts and experienced founders to give you a thorough breakdown of essential topics related to science and engineering ventures.

The workshop was co-presented by Nicola Dunn, Stephanie Gray (Senior Client Partners at Human Kind) and Dr. Ollie Crush (Chief Scientific Officer at Mint Innovation).

This extensive 90-minute virtual workshop was specifically designed for the needs of early-stage science/engineering start-ups and entrepreneurs and covered the topics below.

  • Useful methods and frameworks to develop a talent finding strategy for young companies.
  • Insights and experiences around finding key talent
  • Current challenges with talent finding and skills shortage
  • The Importance of an employee Value Proposition and Talent Retention

About the Presenters

Dr. Ollie Crush

Co-founder and CSO of Mint Innovation, a cleantech company founded at Outset in 2016. Mint grew to 10 employees before graduating from Outset in 2019, and now numbers 32 across NZ, Australia, and the UK. Ollie has been heavily involved in all aspects of recruitment, onboarding, and employee retention, and like any scientist, he’s tinkered with different approaches throughout the growth of the company. Ollie will share his experiences on what works and doesn’t work in the NZ start-up context.

Stephanie Gray

Stephanie has extensive leadership experience, having led and grown high-performing teams in financial and government environments across New Zealand and Australia. She brings this experience, insights, and knowledge into the leadership programmes she runs for her clients and through Humankind’s public leadership programme. She enjoys partnering with clients to create employee experiences that matter whilst also supporting them in achieving their business outcomes. She brings generalist HR skills and experience in culture, diversity and inclusion, HR strategy, and service design.

Nicola Dunn

Nicola’s passion for people and her interest in what makes them tick started long before her career in HR. Her background is in people leadership and coaching at a senior level, across mid to large private entities. With a firm belief that everyone comes to work to do their best. Nicola loves navigating how to create environments where people can truly thrive, with great employee experience leading to great business outcomes. Nicola has led complex change programmes, union engagements, culture development and has a breadth of senior generalist experience in the employee experience space.

Stay tuned for more workshops in the Venture Essentials series in 2022!

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