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Idealog Year in Review: Velox Innovation co-founder Colart Miles

In the latest edition of our series asking some of Aotearoa's best-known businesspeople and visionaries to take a step back and offer their insights on how the past year has gone and how the future might unfold, we chat with Velox Innovation co-founder Colart Miles.

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

That’s easy! My favourite innovation this year is ‘Baby X V4.0’ by Dr Mark Sagar…  Dr Sagar’s next release of this amazing application will accelerate uptake of AI in mainstream areas. Watch this space closely! http://www.abi.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/our-research/animate-technologies.html

Favourite innovation that is yours?

It might seem a bit ‘meta’ but my favourite has to be the Driving Innovation programme that we developed for Callaghan Innovation. It’s a 12 month skills development programme that helps kiwi companies speed up their discovery practices by applying Agile practices (https://www.callaghaninnovation.govt.nz/innovation-skills/driving-innovation).

Most interesting launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

Kaila Colbin from Ministry of Awesome hosted the recent Singularity University Summit in Christchurch: http://www.singularityunz.com/…  This is an important platform for the conversation about how NZ will find its’ future beyond primary industry.  Over 1500 Kiwi change makers gathered to understand the advent of exponential technologies and the grand challenges that we are facing as a species, and as a country.

Lamest launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

The US Elections resulting in Trump being elected… We seem to be entering the age of Idiocracy.

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

I’m a huge fan of Vend, the POS platform that supports a global base of retailers with beautifully designed software: https://www.vendhq.com/

Heroes?

Outgoing US president Obama…  that guy is class personified.

Villains?

Trump, Putin… Brian Tamaki

Best stoush?

The best stoush of the year has got to be the exchange of insults on morning television between Paul Henry and Gareth Morgan (http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/87333109/paul-henry-v-gareth-morgan-the-tax-loophole-cowboy-and-the-wowsery-socialist).

Your own biggest success?

I’m quite proud of the four companies that went through the Driving Innovation program during 2016 (http://veloxinnovation.com/driving-innovation/). 

I was also invited to join the Spark Lab national tour (http://www.sparklab.co.nz/videoarticles/changing-the-game and http://www.sparklab.co.nz/videoarticles/lean-and-agile).

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make in 2017?

Underestimating the impact that Trumps’ leadership will have on the global arena. Get ready for a bumpy ride!

What do you expect to see in the next five years?

A couple of trends worth watching include the uptake of Electric Vehicles, decentralized energy (solar), disruption of education, financial services, precision agriculture, medical technologies and AI reaching mainstream consumers. I reckon this will be complimented by a steady side-show of political satire and sporadic geo-economic drama.

What will be dead in the next five years?

Pokemon Go.

What should be invented and/or un-invented?

Teleportation should be invented…  Landmines should be un-invented…

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

I’m enjoying listening to Simon Pounds podcast series “Business is boring" (http://thespinoff.co.nz/author/simon-pound/) and some the talks shared on http://www.sparklab.co.nz/.

One piece of tech you’d have on a desert island?

I’d want my Billowbag with me… and my iPhone of course

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

Chances are they’ll become sentient, transcend this world and then leave us to our fate.

As you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, The Kiwibank Conservation Dogs will be out there too, hard at work, giving our nature a future. 

Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription, an Idealog t-shirt and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).