Done Deal: A collation of recent fundings secured, contracts inked and deals did, for the tl;dr crowd, 03-06-16

Kiwi entrepreneurs Victoria Ransom and Katherine Corich have been announced as new trustees for Pure Advantage, the business-led green growth organisation.


Image: Victoria Ransom

Ransom, the co-founder of social marketing software firm Wildfire, and Sysdoc Group founder Corich join a group of trustees that includes founder Phillip Mills, Stephen Tindall, Jeremy Moon, Chris Liddell and Geoff Ross, among others.

Chair Rob Morrison says the organisation is excited to have two such prominent New Zealanders join the trustees’ ranks: “Victoria and Katherine bring another important intellectual perspective to Pure Advantage. Their rigour and understanding of the key environmental issues facing New Zealand will add to the research outcomes, and bolster our argument that we need to secure future wealth through embracing the green economy.”


Image: Katherine Corich

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Internet safety organisation NetSafe has been appointed as the “Approved Agency” under the Harmful Digital Communications Act 2015.

Budget 2016 included $16.4 million of new funding to support the Harmful Digital Communications Act including operation of the Approved Agency. 

The Approved Agency’s role includes advising on steps people can take to resolve a problem, investigating and attempting to resolve complaints where harm has been caused, and providing education and advice about online safety and conduct.

“NetSafe is experienced in addressing many of the issues associated with harmful digital communications,” says Justice Minister Amy Adams. “It brings a strong body of knowledge and experience in this area.

“They already work with a range of enforcement agencies to help victims. NetSafe has established relationships with companies and schools both in New Zealand and overseas, who they work with to remove or stop the spread of harmful content,” says Adams.

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Zealandia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Victoria University. The agreement, signed by Denise Church, chair of Karori Sanctuary Trust, and Professor Grant Guilford, Vice-Chancellor of Victoria, formalises the ongoing collaboration between the two organisations and proposes plans to build a joint research centre with a focus on urban ecology.


Image: Denise Church and Professor Grant Guilford

Professor Guilford says the partnership will support important work safeguarding the country’s natural environment.

“Zealandia is a living laboratory for our staff and students, and we’re proud to be able to contribute to such an important research facility. Its contribution to the study of urban ecology and other disciplines will have a ripple effect well beyond the city and bring together those who are passionate about urban ecology.”

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Entrepreneur Phil McGrath has been appointed to a new role of food entrepreneur in residence at Riddet Innovation. The aim is to encourage greater food innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and commercialisation of food science and technology ideas.


Image: Phil McGrath

Riddet Innovation director Dr Abby Thompson says McGrath’s experience in the food industry will be an invaluable asset.

“We have numerous companies approaching us to work with our Food Innovation Team, and use the FoodPilot to utilise our technical expertise around product development. Being able to discuss new ideas with someone who has global experience in the commercialisation and marketing of food products can be really valuable when considering how to proceed.”

“This is also a great opportunity for Mr McGrath to work alongside Massey staff and students and help tweak their entrepreneurial thinking,” she says.

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The Directors & Editors Guild of NZ (DEGNZ) has announced DEGNZ member and director Jackie van Beek as the recipient of the 2016 International Director Mentorship – Drama with New Zealand director Niki Caro.

Caro will provide one-on-one mentorship to Van Beek on her projects and career, offering genuine insight into creative process and engagement with the industry as a whole, while providing a solid platform upon which to build an international career.

“Jackie van Beek is an exciting film maker with a strong and original point of view, and I’m thrilled to be able to support her in this stage of her career,” said Caro.

“I'm really excited to have the opportunity to meet and spend time with Niki Caro. I look forward to discussing directing, parenting and everything in between,” Van Beek said.

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A new Kiwi technology hub opens in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday. The Kiwi Connection centre at Quang Trung Software City will be “the gateway for delivering Kiwi technology in Vietnam”, according to Augen, one of New Zealand’s leading tech firms with strong Vietnamese connections.

“The concept tech hub is to support New Zealand ICT and hi-tech companies investing in and doing business in Vietnam, as well as across the wider ASEAN region,” says Augen Software Group director Mitchell Pham.

“This landmark new development has been headed by us since we were the first New Zealand company to win the prestigious Vietnam IT Excellence award last year. Orion Health, insurance technology company HealthTech and manufacturing technology company Shapeshifter are the first Kiwi companies to join us at Vietnam’s largest software park site.”

“We have also been well supported along the way by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, NZTech, NZ Health IT, NZ Software Association, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development and Grow Wellington.”


Image: Mitchell Pham

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Associate Professor Marjan van den Belt has joined Victoria University of Wellington to address “one of the biggest global challenges of our time”.

“Victoria is the only university in New Zealand and one of very few, if any, internationally to have such a high-level role dedicated to sustainability as a focus across research, teaching and the running of campuses,” says Marjan van den Belt, Victoria’s new Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability).

“This is a measure of the importance the University places on sustainability—one of the eight areas of distinctiveness in its Strategic Plan.”

Associate Professor van den Belt comes to Victoria from Massey University, where since 2009 she was Director and Principal Ecological Economist of Ecological Economics Research New Zealand.

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Comvita has promoted Ben Shaw to the position of chief marketing officer and Simon Pothecary to the position of chief sales officer.

Comvita CEO Scott Coulter said, ‘‘Mr Shaw has responsibility for our global marketing strategy, planning and execution for Brand, Category and Product, Regulatory Affairs. His role will ensure a high degree of coordination across our businesses and markets and deliver a consistent brand experience.’’

‘‘Mr Pothecary will develop, lead and implement global sales strategies, in-market promotional campaigns and communications and ensure the right organisational structure is in place to support the global strategies. He will maintain and strengthen Comvita’s relationship with its customers, wholesalers, retailers and key accounts.’’

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