Serial tech entrepreneur Claudia Batten, 39, last night became the youngest recipient of the Supreme World Class New Zealand Award in the programme's 11-year history.
Batten sold the software venture Massive to Microsoft in 2006, then co-founded crowdsourcing ad agency Victors and Spoils in 2009. Her most recent endeavour is Broadli, an app that helps manage LinkedIn networks.
She says building strong networks has been critical to her success.
“I made a choice early in my career to deviate from the linear and safe to instead follow a what I call the ‘squiggly path’ to an uncertain future. Great networks are what have allowed me to take that path with great success.
“It is through the connectedness and influence of networks such as World Class New Zealand and Kea that I can help influence other New Zealanders and make a contribution from anywhere in the world.”
Craig Donaldson, global CEO of Kea New Zealand which organises of the World Class New Zealand Awards, says Batten and the five other award recipients amplify goodwill towards NZ Inc.
“Their success has been earned in workplaces far less glamorous than the world-famous sports fields and concert stages but their contribution to our country is immense and should be widely promoted to inspire others to dream big," he says.
Kiwi director of the animated box office hit Shrek, Andrew Adamson, flew from Russia to receive his award for services to the creative sector.
Multi-millionaire Wellingtonian businessman turned Neville Jordan won the award for services to business and investment. Surgical robotics technologist Dr Catherine Mohr was recognised for her global impact on life sciences and surgical oncologist Dr Murray Brennan was recognised for his contributions to research.
World Class New Zealand also acknowledged the substantial impact American tech entrepreneur and Kiwi Landing Pad director Craig Elliott has had on New Zealand’s standing in America’s tech world, announcing him this year’s Friend of New Zealand.
The 2014 World Class New Zealand Awards were judged by Sir Tipene O’Regan, professor Margaret Brimble, Dr Craig Nevill-Manning, Peri Drysdale, Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, Jon Mayson and Phil Veal.
Each World Class New Zealand Award winner receives a Tall Poppy statuette designed by Weta Workshop co-founder and 2009 Supreme Award winner Sir Richard Taylor.