Today’s guests, James Hutchinson and May Low, are the CEO and COO (respectively) of the Kiwi Innovation Network (more commonly known as KiwiNet). Their complementary skill sets (James with his science-focused education and May with her financial background) make this duo, along with the rest of their team, a force to be reckoned with!
Their goal is to drive prosperity, subsequently changing the world for the better, and so far they’re doing an incredible job; over the lifetime of the KiwiNet fund they have generated a greater than 8 fold financial return to New Zealand, formed almost 70 spin-off companies, funded 163 projects which have led to 523 commercial deals, and created over 600 employment opportunities!
Tune in today to hear about New Zealand’s emerging and unique entrepreneurial ecosystem, the range of programs that KiwiNet supports (including details about their Maori Engagement Plan), some of James and May’s favorite success stories, and their hopes and dreams for the future!
In This Episode:
- [00:50] Introducing today’s guest, James and May, respectively CEO and COO of Kiwi Net.
- [03:52] May shares what inspired her to get into the technology transfer space.
- [04:52] Where James’s passion lies, and how his science background complements May’s financial one.
- [07:08] How KiwiNet came into being, and an explanation of what the organization does.
- [09:41] KiwiNet’s sources of funding.
- [11:00] The invaluable role played by the investment committee at KiwiNet.
- [11:53] An overview of the various programs that KiwiNet runs.
- [18:04] The key element that forms the basis of the KiwiNet strategy.
- [19:30] What the entrepreneurial community in New Zealand is like.
- [21:39] Similarities and differences between the way technology transfer and commercialization is handled in New Zealand and other countries.
- [26:37] The role played by the New Zealand government in the technology transfer space.
- [28:14] A rundown of how the KiwiNet team is structured.
- [33:31] James shares some of KiwiNet’s incredible achievements.
- [37:50] What James sees as the keys to success in the technology transfer space.
- [40:35] KiwiNet’s relationship with the private sector, and how this benefits both industry and the university ecosystem.
- [43:45] Partnerships between KiwiNet and philanthropic organizations.
- [45:14] May and James share some of their most memorable success stories.
- [52:29] Some of the main challenges that KiwiNet is currently facing, and how these can also be viewed as opportunities.
- [54:28] How the KiwiNet mission has evolved over time.
- [56:49] KiwiNet’s approach to diversity, equity and inclusion, including some details about their Maori Engagement Plan.
- [1:03:56] Three wishes that May and James have for the future of KiwiNet, and technology transfer in New Zealand as a whole.