KiwiNet Board Members

Ngaio Merrick

Ngaio Merrick

KiwiNet Board Chairman
Ngaio has a real passion for relationship management and her key strengths lie in relationships, strategic thinking and innovation...
Dr Will Barker

Dr Will Barker

Founder and CEO - Mint Innovation
Will is an executive experienced in commercialising new technologies through securing IP, fund-raising and building high performance teams...
Steve Lorimer

Steve Lorimer

GM Development Landcare Research
Steve leads the team that covers both the Research office and Commercialisation functions for Manaaki Whenua.
Debra Hall

Debra Hall

(Independent)
Debra mentors young entrepreneurs, trains aspiring directors, and invests in start-up businesses in the high growth / technology space...
Mark Cleaver

Mark Cleaver

CEO Massey Ventures Ltd
Mark has lead commercialisation team at Massey University since 2007.
Vignesh Kumar

Vignesh Kumar

CEO Journey Health
Vignesh has a rich deep tech engineering background and has spent the entirety of his career focused on commercialising and scaling science...
Zoe Murphy

Zoe Murphy

Board Observer
Zoe has 20 years of experience in research and innovation across public and commercial environments
Ngaio Merrick

Ngaio Merrick

KiwiNet Board Chairman

LinkedIn

An early career in science, sales and management of technologically advanced organisations combined with later leadership and development roles provides a wide perspective on success in its many forms. Ngaio has a real passion for relationship management and her key strengths lie in relationships, strategic thinking and innovation.

Dr Will Barker

Dr Will Barker

Founder and CEO - Mint Innovation

LinkedIn

Will is CEO and co-founder of Mint Innovation and Director of the Health Research Council of New Zealand. He’s is an executive experienced in commercialising new technologies through securing IP, fund-raising and building high performance teams. Drawing on a wealth of experience in science and technology-based businesses, with a focus on securing value, technology commercialisation, intellectual property and corporate organization, Will strives to create value across a wide range of technology areas. Will’s specialties: include entrepreneurship, investment, clean energy, business and IP strategy, and sustainability.

Steve Lorimer

Steve Lorimer

GM Development Landcare Research

LinkedIn

Steve leads the team that covers both the Research office and Commercialisation functions for Manaaki Whenua.

Debra Hall

Debra Hall

(Independent)

LinkedIn

Debra draws on her experience as an engineer in the mining industry, a strategic marketing consultant, a business owner and exited entrepreneur to deliver clarity of thinking and strategic direction to the governance and advisory boards on which she sits. In addition to her board work, she mentors young entrepreneurs, trains aspiring directors of early stage companies, and invests in start-up businesses in the high growth / technology space supporting the growth of NZ Inc.

Mark Cleaver

Mark Cleaver

CEO Massey Ventures Ltd

LinkedIn

Mark has lead commercialisation team at Massey University since 2007. His passion and expertise has helped his team to build a strong pipeline of opportunities and deals that have produced a consistent track record of deal-making and outstanding examples of commercialisation impact. In doing so Massey Ventures has generated a strong portfolio of commercialisation success in the food, agritech and animal health areas, reflecting the historical strengths of Massey University. Mark’s achievements include the trade sale of NZ Veterinary Pathology Ltd in 2015 and the acquisition by Nestle in 2019 of a formulation to address iron deficiency.

Vignesh Kumar

Vignesh Kumar

CEO Journey Health

LinkedIn

Vignesh is CEO and co-founder of Journey Health and Venture Partner at New Zealand venture capital firm Global from Day 1 (GD1). Vignesh has a rich deep tech engineering background and has spent the entirety of his career focused on commercialising and scaling science anchored innovations across verticals such as medical devices and consumer electronics. At KiwiNet Vignesh brings to the table his diverse experiences working across global markets, and his deep involvement in the venture ecosystem to help KiwiNet in its goal of growing the funding, pipeline, and capability of its commercialisation partners. Vignesh’s specialties include: investment and entrepreneurship, deep tech, health tech, hardware enabled software, and go-to-market strategy.

Vignesh holds an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, where he was both a Wharton and Kaiser Fellow, as well as a Fulbright Science and Innovation Scholar, jointly awarded by MBIE and the Fulbright Commission (U.S. Department of State). He also holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Master of Engineering Studies (First Class) in Medical Device Design and Technologies from The University of Auckland.

Zoe Murphy

Zoe Murphy

Board Observer

LinkedIn

Zoe is a Board Observer and works for the Health Research Council of New Zealand. She earned a Bachelor of Technology in Biomedical Sciences (Hons) from the University of Auckland and has 20 years of experience in research and innovation across public and commercial environments, including biomedical research laboratories, research management organisations, and research and innovation strategy and policy.