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Tech accelerator announces 2023 cohort, fosters the start-up scene

Individuals part of the OnBoard’s programme for their 2023 accelerator will be joining the boards of Tracksuit, CoGo, Cirrus Materials and much more as board observers with the goal to foster a pipeline of future directors.

The annual one-year programme by OnBoard is an accelerator designed to support the top tech start-ups of New Zealand.

OnBoard places 20 individuals onto tech boards as a board observer role to help teach these observers what governance is.

OnBoard says that the accelerator is all about solving problems through increasing diversity, opening up the ecosystem to a wider pool of talent and fostering a pipeline to be future directors and govern the accelerating number of start-ups.

“Over 70 percent of our alumni have gone on to secure subsequent governance roles following the programme, giving us validation that the market recognises the win-win our program delivers for both start-up boards and aspiring directors,” says Founder of OnBoard, Cassie McAdams.

Read more: Tech trailblazer: Tracksuit’s Co-Founder Matthew Herbert recognised on B&T’s 30 under 30 list

“In addition, 82 percent of all cohort groups are from underrepresented groups in technology which covers female, non-binary and underrepresented ethnicities.”

Representation is a key global issue McAdams wants to tackle as it is reported only 20 percent of board roles globally are occupied by women.

Susanne Axelsson, Cassie McAdams, Sophie Mclernon.

With diversity and representation becoming a more pressing issue in the industry, OnBoard wants to tackle this.

 “We see the same problem here in New Zealand, start-up directors tend to refer to independent directors from their own network, which is limited,” says Programme Director Sophie McLernon.

“We want to level the playing field and create opportunities for those who may have previously been overlooked, ultimately contributing to stronger Kiwi businesses.”

The OnBoard accelerator programme is also supported by local venture funds such as Movac, Blackbird, Punakaiki, Nuance Capital, GD1, Matu Fund, BrideWest Ventures, WNT Ventures, Pacific Channel, and Motion Capital.

Through the programme, OnBoard aims to take the New Zealand tech start-up sector to the next level.

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