At KiwiNet, we recognise the unsung heroes: researchers, commercialisation professionals, and investors – the driving forces behind groundbreaking ideas that transform into global success stories.
Behind every innovation that shapes the future, there is a passionate, science-driven team, and we are honoured to be a part of this collective endeavour.
Today’s innovation landscape is fiercely competitive, and securing grant funding is an uphill battle. Many brilliant researchers find their transformative ideas overlooked, their potential untapped.
This is where we come in. We provide guidance, support, and expertise to help you commercialise your groundbreaking ideas effectively. Through our collective knowledge and unwavering enthusiasm, we empower you to make a genuine impact on the world and advance your career.
Let us be your champions on this exciting journey of innovation and discovery.
A collaborative effort from a range of awesome individuals
James is passionate about the important role that science and the scientific community have to play in growing our economy into new high-tech and knowledge-based sectors, informing public policy and in changing our world for the better.
James has experience in supporting research & innovation in the UK and internationally with a particular focus on the life sciences and global societal challenges. He led a team of highly-knowledgeable programme specialists to develop and implement a programme of science policy, advocacy, networking, conferences, workshops and other initiatives, working in close partnership with the international chemical science community. He is an experienced project leader who has a strong track record of working with government, industry and academia at senior levels.
James is a Junior Policy Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) at the University of Cambridge, UK, having authored over 20 pieces of science policy covering strategic reports, government consultation responses and position statements. He led a successful campaign to the UK Government in 2013, on behalf of the broader chemical science community, to protect public investment in science, and has participated in several advisory groups and expert panels to government bodies and NGOs.
Chief Operating Officer
May helps manage the Investment Committee and Board meetings as well as assisting New Zealand publicly funded research organisations to assess the commercial potential of their technologies and expertise. May also helps maintain KiwiNet’s financial obligations.
May has a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Commercial Law and a Bachelor of Science majoring in Logic and Computation. Prior to starting at KiwiNet, May worked for BDO and PwC with experience in auditing, financial reporting, management accounting and tax compliance.
Commercialisation & Investment Advisor
Glen Beattie provides KiwiNet with commercialisation management services. Glen has a background in a number of sectors, which including consulting, M&A and investment services. Glen was also the founding director of a company that helps start up and early stage companies develop growth strategies, become investment ready, and raise capital. Glen holds a MSc in Earth Science from the University of Waikato.
Private Sector Engagement
Madushi, a results-oriented business development professional, holds a Masters in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Auckland. Her expertise spans diverse sectors, including Pharmaceutical, Biotechnological, and IoT industries. Proficient in Business, Science, and Intellectual Property Law, Madushi combines in-depth knowledge with hands-on experience in strategy development, product and project management, and business development. She plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between academia and the private sector, adeptly connecting researchers with industry players.
Seumas, a driving force behind KiwiNet’s Emerging Innovator Programme, catalyses commercialisation and entrepreneurship among New Zealand scientists. With a PhD in Molecular Pathology, he transitioned from a senior advisory role at the Environmental Protection Authority. Seumas, an experienced manager in government and academia, excels in business opportunity assessment, deep tech commercialisation, environmental impact assessment, and molecular biology. He encourages scientists to adopt a commercial mindset, bridging the gap between the lab and real-world impact, ensuring that their groundbreaking research translates into tangible outcomes.
Marketing and Communications Manager
Kate is a dynamic marketing and PR professional dedicated to elevating brands globally. With a passion for storytelling, she crafts compelling narratives for diverse organizations, from tech startups to multinational corporations. Kate excels in executing strategic PR campaigns across major markets. Her expertise spans communications strategy, reputation management, corporate communications, and content development. Having worked across the UK, US, NZ, Australia, Germany, France, and Singapore, Kate brings a wealth of experience in channelling brand narratives with personality and precision, ensuring impactful and resonant communication strategies.
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Bringing a Master of Communications Studies and over five years of diverse experience in consumer PR, corporate communications, and events, Shannon is passionate about creating impactful marketing and communications. This passion drives her expertise in content creation, copywriting, and social media, contributing to positive change for a better world. At KiwiNet, Shannon actively participates in crafting engaging content and nurturing community connections.
Portfolio & Systems Manager
Dylan plays a vital role in administering the PreSeed Accelerator Fund by MBIE. Armed with a 2019 Bachelor of Laws, he efficiently manages KiwiNet's systems for New Zealand research commercialisation. Dylan skilfully organizes crucial Investment and Pipeline Committee meetings. His legal expertise, demonstrated during a three-month contract with Tompkins Wake, contributes to his interest in intellectual property law and the legalities of research commercialisation. With his robust background, Dylan is integral to advancing PreSeed funding initiatives and bolstering Aotearoa’s commercialisation pipeline.
Commercialisation Programme Manager
Alan, a seasoned innovator with 20 years of experience, excels in the entrepreneurial realm. He founded and successfully exited three startups and serves as a mentor, guiding entrepreneurs in innovation methodology. Leading business development and the incubator growth program at Creative HQ, New Zealand's top innovation training provider, he collaborated with UniServices on projects like HalolPT, acquired by Qualcomm. Alan is a dedicated advocate for science commercialisation and champions creative technologies and digital innovation, emphasising their crucial roles in New Zealand's future success.
Commercialisation Programme Manager
Michelle brings a wealth of experience from within New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem, paired with her personal experiences as a business owner and founder. As the former Enterprise Manager at the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship and Programme Director for the Kiwi FinTech Accelerator, a CreativeHQ initiative, she has navigated the complexities of research commercialisation. Michelle's expertise spans innovation, business improvement, digital storytelling, sales, marketing, and investment strategy, positioning her as a key player in driving forward Aotearoa’s commercialisation pipeline.
Commercialisation Development Manager
Deborah, a seasoned professional, contributes her expertise to advancing the commercialisation of projects under The Science for Technological Innovation National Science Challenge (SfTI). With expertise in science-based R&D commercialisation, her focus spans digital tech, product development, and circular economy solutions. From telecommunications engineer to Run The Red's co-founder, a trailblazer in mobile marketing, she later co-founded UsedFULLY, overseeing science-based materials research, design, and commercialisation. As a past mentor in the KiwiNet Emerging Innovator Programme, Deborah showcases dedication to fostering innovation in New Zealand. Her multifaceted journey reflects a commitment to advancing technology and sustainable solutions.
Mindy, a seasoned auditor and group accountant, boasts a robust history in both public and private sectors. Proficient in International Accounting Standards, auditing, and financial accounting, she passionately offers independent consultancy services. Dedicated to the success of small to medium businesses, Mindy excels in financial planning, strategic direction setting, costing reviews, and process improvements. A proud graduate of the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, she remains committed to driving financial excellence and fostering business growth.