Graham Gaylard, founder of San Francisco-based Real Time Genomics and managing director of software company NetValue, is the latest appointment to the board of Waikato business incubator SODA Inc.
“There is a lot of untapped business potential in the Waikato region, and I see this appointment as an opportunity to use my skills and experience to bring together more people from business, technology, education and other sectors to help more startup businesses enjoy success, and ultimately grow our regional economy," he says.
Petr Adamek, SODA’s acting CEO, says Gaylard represents the essence of SODA: “A passionate local entrepreneur and an investor with deep understanding of how technology startups work, he has done it himself, multiple times, from New Zealand to San Francisco.”
SODA founder Cheryl Reynolds resigned at the end of 2013 to take up a new role as chief executive of the newly formed Momentum Foundation, which aims to raise funds for large projects in the Waikato region.
Gaylard has supported SODA for years as a sponsor and judge for SODA's Innes48 Business Startup Competition, as well as acting as a mentor for SODA clients.
He joins chair John Cook of Stainless Design, Dame Cheryll Sotheran of NZTE, Mark Flowers of Wintec, Hamilton mayor Julie Hardaker and Dr Julian Elder on the SODA board.