2023 Awards Judges

Evaluation Panel

Nick Willis

Nick Willis – Chief Technology Officer of Adminis

2022 KiwiNet Awards judging panel convenor

Nick has over 20 years technology leadership experience in high growth start-ups through to global multi-nationals in New Zealand and overseas.

As an experienced founder, chief executive and board director, Nick is actively involved in the deep-tech sector as a mentor and advisor for incubator programmes and entrepreneurs. After completing his Ph.D in Theoretical Physics from Cambridge University, Nick worked as a management consultant at Deloitte Consulting, and then started his own wireless security company VizpIN which is now based in the US. He has also been CEO of online gaming company Outsmart and fibre infrastructure company Vital. Nick has been an independent member of the KiwiNet Investment Committee for the past four years.

Hanie Yee

Hanie Yee - Chief Operating Officer of Alimetry

Hanie is a champion for the med-tech sector in Aotearoa. She has over 23 years of international experience working in the commercialisation, biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. Hanie chairs the Medtech and Surgery Investment committee for Return on Science and is also the Executive in Residence at Matū. Hanie is passionate about helping grow the NZ medtech ecosystem and supporting Kiwi companies to access and thrive on the global stage. She mentors young entrepreneurs and next-generation leaders through KiwiNet, SheEO and Wāhine Connect.

Hanie has a BSc in Molecular Biology, MSc in Medical Science from the University of Auckland, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Darden Business School, University of Virginia. She has also served on multiple boards as a non-executive director.

Sean Simpson

Sean Simpson - Founder of LanzaTech

Dr. Sean Simpson knows how to grow a business into a global leader with unmatched technology. He co-founded Lanzatech in 2005 and under his leadership, LanzaTech built collaborations with experts around the world to become a global leader in gas fermentation with a broad and unique patent portfolio.

Prior to LanzaTech, Sean worked across biologics research and bio-product development in Switzerland, Austria, Japan, and New Zealand. He is the author of over 20 publications and 200 patents. Sean has received many awards including the 2015 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Presidential Green Chemistry Award, the 2014 Sanitarium NZ Innovator of the Year Award, the 2013 Kea NZ World Class New Zealander in Science Award, and the 2011 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Bridget Coates

Bridget Coates - Executive Director

Bridget is an experienced global leader who has built and led businesses in both the United States and New Zealand. She is currently Chair of Fonterra's Sustainability Advisory Panel to the Board, Chairperson of Toitū Tahua: Centre for Sustainable Finance, and Chair of Koi Tu: Centre for Informed Futures at the University of Auckland. She is also a Director of Comvita NZ Ltd., Yealands Group Holdings Ltd., and Northern Regional Helicopter Trust.

In the past Bridget has held director and chair roles at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Tegel Group Holdings Ltd., and the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand. Bridget was Founding Chair of The ICEHOUSE incubator, and founder of ArcAngels, an angel fund which invests in women entrepreneurs. In 2015 she was awarded an MBE for services to New Zealand business.

Eleanor Chambers

Eleanor Chambers – 2023 Momentum Representative

Eleanor is Chair of the Wellington Momentum Investment Committee, supporting New Zealand's next-generation of start-up ventures and innovators.

Eleanor has background in physics, studying at Victoria University of Wellington- Te Herenga Waka, and currently works for renewable energy firm OpenStar Technologies. She is passionate about creating lasting environmental benefit through science.<