We laughed, we cried, we engaged in robust discussions and, eventually, our editorial team whittled down the huge list of amazing, inspiring humans and chose the following people as category winners of Idealog and Accenture’s Most Creative People. Smart humans indeed.
Kiwi company Soul Machines revealed its first virtual assistant called ‘Nadia’, which has been voiced by actress Cate Blanchett. The Auckland-based company develops intelligent, emotionally responsive avatars that improve the user experience on artificial intelligence platforms. After receiving a $7.5 million investment from Hong Kong-based artificial intelligence and virtual reality investor, Horizon Ventures, the company formally launched in November last year – and has already become one of Aotearoa’s – and the world’s – most recognisable AI companies.
Maddy King, a 2015 Westpac Women of Influence Awards finalist and co-founder of The Drawing Board Challenge, chronicles how a head injury changed her life – and what she learned in overcoming it.
4. Ezel Kokcu, a 24-year-old onto her third start-up, talks breaking into the New Zealand tech industry
There’s been a lot of talk around diversity initiatives in tech industry, but if Ezel Kokcu’s achievements are anything to go by, there’s hope for the future. After selling her previous two businesses, Kokcu is about to launch her third start-up – Passphere – in October. We had had a chat to her about her business, as well as what needs to be done to encourage more women into tech.
It’s been nine years since men’s clothing label I Love Ugly shook up the fashion scene in New Zealand and since then, there’s been highs and lows along the way. After keeping a low profile for the past year, the brand is back with a vengeance – and a collaboration with global sneaker giant Onitsuka Tiger.
The Weta Group of companies smashed the doors wide open to a world of on-screen imagination and along the way provided the anchor to Wellington’s booming screen and technology sectors. Now, a gaggle of talented Weta offspring are exploring new frontiers as they help turn the capital into a global hotspot for virtual reality.
?Aotearoa’s largest company has embraced the Age of Disruption by launching Fonterra Ventures Co-Lab, its own collaboration platform. Are we really at the point of “innovate or die?”
8. Bill Reichert’s New Zealand innovation report, part 2: The top ten (and a bit) New Zealand businesses
Garage Technology Ventures’ managing director Bill Reichert spent four weeks in New Zealand as entrepreneur in residence at AUT University and travelled the country meeting some of our most promising and passionate startups, innovators, educators and regulators. In the second and final part of a feature, he tells us about the New Zealand companies that impressed him most.
Mobile technology is evolving rapidly, says Userp’s Anouk Papillon. But it goes far beyond faster processing speeds and more apps.
A web-based recruitment service that connects employers with part-time workers based on real-time availability and where they live – not necessarily experience – is making waves in Aotearoa and overseas. And Rebecca Gidall was just 18 when she started it all.