Teō Haka
Centre for
growth &

Emerging Stronger: Aotearoa’s Innovation Edge

What is Aotearoa’s innovation edge?

Join us for a new, 90-minute webinar to explore why startups and innovators in Aotearoa, New Zealand are the key to our growth post-COVID19.

Facilitated by Kaila Colbin, CEO of Boma New Zealand, and featuring a panel of exceptional Kiwi entrepreneurs and startup community leaders, this session will shed light on the unique position of Aotearoa’s innovation ecosystem in the global startup landscape, the distinct strengths that separate us from other global innovation hubs, and how we can leverage these gifts to emerge stronger and thrive as a community.We’re pleased to confirm the following speakers for this session:

– Marian Johnson: Chief Awesome Officer at Ministry of Awesome
– Melissa Clark-Reynolds: Futures Strategist and Independent Director
– Rachel Taulelei: CEO, Kono NZ
– Dave Moskovitz: Tech Entrepreneur and Investor
– Dr. Rachel Wright: Director of University of Canterbury Centre of Innovation

Powered by MYOB, this webinar is an exclusive, joint initiative from the Ministry of Awesome and Boma New Zealand that you won’t want to miss.

Register now to secure your place, and bring your burning questions with you!


Meet your speakers


Marian Johnson
Chief Awesome Officer at Ministry of Awesome Marian Johnson is Chief Awesome Officer at Ministry of Awesome. She is an experienced senior executive with 20 years experience developing and executing marketing and business growth strategies for software and edutech startups in NZ as well as with entertainment multinationals Universal Studios and Discovery Networks in the US and Europe. She is passionate about the startup and innovation ecosystem in Canterbury and committed to its ongoing success.
Melissa Clark-Reynolds
Futures Strategist and Independent DirectorMelissa Clark-Reynolds, ONZM, is best known as a digital strategist, foresight practitioner, and professional director after 25 years’ experience as a technology entrepreneur and CEO of a number of technology companies. She is Chair of Little Yellow Bird, Deputy Chair of Radio NZ, and sits on the Boards of Jasmax and Beef and Lamb NZ Ltd. Melissa has been part of the Te Hono Primary Sector Bootcamp at Stanford University twice. She trained as a foresight practitioner with The Institute for the Future in Palo Alto and also with Clayton Christiansen in his approach to Disruptive Innovation through Harvard.

Rachel Taulelei 
CEO of Kono NZRachel Taulelei (Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Rarua, Ngāti Koata) is CEO of Kono NZ, a Māori-owned, top 100 New Zealand food and beverage company employing over 400 staff and exporting to over 25 countries. Kono brands include Tohu, Kono and Aronui wines, Tutū cider, Kono mussels, Kiwa oysters and Annie’s fruit bars. Kono also grows apples, pears, kiwifruit and hops, and is involved in sustainable seafood through its business Yellow Brick Road—founded by Rachel.
Dave Moscowitz
Tech Entrepreneur and InvestorDave Moscowitz is a successful technology entrepreneur, professional director and startup investor, with deep roots in software development and Internet technologies. He was one of New Zealand’s Internet pioneers in the mid 1990’s, and his recent career has focused on helping entrepreneurs and organisations use new technology to create exceptional value for their customers and stakeholders. When people ask what he does, “I’m building the world I want to live in” is the answer.Dave was awarded the New Zealand Angel Association’s Arch Angel award as New Zealand’s top angel investor in 2018.

Rachel Wright 
Director of University of Canterbury Centre of InnovationDr Rachel Wright is the founding Director of ThincLab Canterbury and Director of the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE). She is passionate about growing the capability of our founders locally and the impact of their ventures
globally.As the Director of UCE, Rachel created a number of programmes to develop student capabilities including the celebrated Summer Startup programme. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from Otago University and spent 10 years in Silicon Valley, initially as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and then working in the Biotechnology sector.