Growing Entrepreneurs programme and speakers

Growing Entrepreneurs programme and speakers

Last updated 17 November 2016
Last updated 11/17/2016

This page sets out the programme and speakers for the Growing Entrepreneurs 1-day Symposium event held in Auckland on Thursday 17 November.



9.00am - 5.30pm

Venue: Orakei Bay, 231 Orakei Road, Auckland

Read about the speakers and panelists

Arrival and morning coffee

Mihi Whakatau

Welcome: Tim Fowler, Chief Executive
Tertiary Education Commission

Minister for Skills, Education and Employment 
Hon Steven Joyce

International Keynote Session: Professor Ikhlaq
Sidhu, Entrepreneurial Behaviours. Insights and Research from Berkeley

Interactive Session

International Keynote Session: Professor Ikhlaq
Sidhu, Practical Guidelines to Grow Entrepreneurs

 Lunch 12-12.45pm 

 12.45pm Lightning talks

Interactive Session

Lightning talks

Panel Session

Closing remarks

5.30pm Networking and drinks


Dr Ikhlaq Sidhu

Dr Ikhlaq Sidhu is the Chief Scientist and Founding Director of the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology at the College of Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.

He has been granted over 60 US patents in networking technology, IP telephony, communications, and mobile computing awarded 3Com Corporation’s “Inventor of the Year” in 1999.

Ikhlaq serves as a Venture Advisor at Onset Ventures, a leading Silicon Valley investment firm. Along with the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, Ikhlaq founded the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership and serves as the faculty director of the Engineering Leadership Professional Program (ELPP). 

His research areas include systems and stochastic models, strategic data analytics, and learning models and he co-founded, developed and codified the Berkeley Method of Entrepreneurship.  Ikhlaq has raised over $20 million of external support for Berkeley’s Engineering Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation programmes. 

Fady Mishriki

After studying wireless power systems through his Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical & Electronic), Fady Mishriki was the catalyst for the creation of PowerbyProxi and the initial driver for commercialising new wireless power technology developed at The University of Auckland.

Fady continues to lead PowerbyProxi, dividing his time between Auckland and the United States where PowerbyProxi has offices in Austin and Silicon Valley.

With experience in designing and delivering thousands of real-world customer applications of wireless power, Fady is one of the world’s leading specialists in the deployment of wireless power systems in the most difficult and demanding environments. He has an intimate knowledge of wireless power architecture, applications and solutions.

Frances Valintine


Frances Valintine is a technologist and an education futurist. She started her education career in 1991 before moving into specialist creative technology education at the Media Design School which has a focus on visual effects, game development, animation and digital media.

In 2013, Frances set up The Mind Lab in Auckland which now has centres across the country. The Mind Lab is an inter-disciplinary learning lab offering science, creative and technology programmes for school groups and professional development for teachers. In April 2014, The Mind Lab merged with Unitec to deliver postgraduate studies in Digital and Collaborative learning for New Zealand teachers. It  won ‘Best Engagement of Youth in ICT’ at the 2014 NZ CIO Awards and ‘Best Start -Up in Asia Pacific’, judged by Steve Wozniak and Sir Richard Branson.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor

Former television presenter Ian Taylor is of Ngāti Kahungunu and Nga Puhi descent.  He holds a LLB degree from the University of Otago. After founding Taylormade Media in 1989, Ian established Animation Research Limited, which quickly became one of New Zealand’s top computer animation companies as well as known internationally.

In 2009, Ian was inducted into the New Zealand Technology Hall of Fame and named North & South Magazines 2010 New Zealander of the Year.  He was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the New Zealand Computer Society (HFNZCS) in 2010.  In the 2012 New Year Honours, Ian was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to television and business and, in 2013, was named Outstanding Māori Business Leader of the Year.  In 2014, he was part of a team who were awarded a prestigious Sports Emmy under the category “Outstanding New Approaches – Sports Coverage" for developing an innovative mobile application for the 34th America’s Cup.

Annah Stretton  

Annah Stretton

Annah Stretton is a woman of many talents. She runs a highly successful fashion business empire that she built from scratch; has written three books and publishes a regular blog; was awarded an Order of Merit for Services to Business, Fashion and the Community in 2008; and was Verve Clicquot’s Business Woman of the Year in 2009. 

Annah’s life motto is “Live and Love Fearlessly.”  

Annah is also a philanthropist and involved with many trusts and charities, in particular the True Colours Charitable Trust, Waikato Breast Cancer Trust and Waikato Women’s Refuge.  In 2014, she introduced RAW (Reclaim Another Woman), a mentoring service for female victims of abuse.

Reclaim Another Woman (RAW) website

Sir Ray Avery

Sir Ray Avery

Sir Ray Avery was born in England and dragged himself up by his bootstraps, from a childhood in orphanages and foster homes and living on the streets of London, to become a scientist, businessman and self-made millionaire.

In the mid-90s, Ray worked in Eritrea and Nepal where he set up two world-class intraocular lens laboratories. From living and working in the developing world, Ray saw the need for sustainable global interventions to address poverty.

From his Mt Eden garage Ray now manages Medicine Mondiale, a global network of experts to work on specific projects. Ray believes that science and technology has neglected the needs of the world’s underprivileged majority and he and his team are committed to turn this around.

Anyone who has met Ray knows that his practical can-do approach and his ability to get international experts to back him makes anything possible.


Wendy Kerr

Wendy Kerr

Currently, the Director of the Centre of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland, Wendy Kerr is an experienced general manager with global experience in technology and media start-ups. She is the author of two bestselling books on female-led start-ups and owned a web-based mentoring and training company for new business owners. She is passionate about changing the way work works – she has already helped over 1,500 women reorganise their working lives and is on a mission to help 10,000 more women do the same.

Previously, Wendy spent 20 years working for multi-nationals including Apple and the Financial Times, where she specialised in launching new businesses globally. Wendy has featured on BBC Radio 4 Women's Hour and writes regularly for The Guardian. 

Richard Blaikie

Richard Blaikie

Professor Richard Blaikie is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise, and Professor in Physics, at the University of Otago. He received the BSc (Hons) degree from the University of Otago in 1988 and the PhD degree in physics from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1992. For one year, he was a visiting scientist at the Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory, investigating single-electron transport effects in semiconductor nanostructures. He returned to New Zealand in 1993, taking up a position in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Canterbury before moving to his current role at Otago.

Ang Nayyar

Ang Nayyar

Ang Nayyar is studying a Bachelor of Engineering specialising in Software Engineering. Along with a strong academic record, he has played an active role in Velocity (formerly Spark) as the 2015 CEO and 2016 Chair. He is also the Founder and CEO of a tech start-up and is an active sportsperson.