We’re passionate about supporting entrepreneurs, no matter what stage they’re at. We have the collected knowledge, experience and passion in The Factory to give your business or technology what it needs to succeed.

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DEAN TILYARD,
Chief Executive

Dean has extensive experience with multiple start-ups and technologies. He’s founded an angel investment network, two seed stage funds and is a founding member of the New Zealand Angel Association, where he’s received the Association’s inaugural Kotahitanga Award.

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DAVE CRAIG,
Community Programmes Manager

Dave leads our community programmes and manages client relationships across The Factory and its programmes. Dave’s background is in IT and marketing and has started and run digital companies in the US and NZ.   

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JOHNELLE HOSKING,
Community Programmes Coordinator

Johnelle coordinates our community programmes including Young Enterprise Scheme and AgTech Hackathon. She comes to The Factory from a background in radio, where she co-hosted the breakfast show on More FM. Johnelle’ s started and run her own businesses and is extremely passionate about the youth development space.

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TRISH RODWELL
Office Manager

Trish keeps The Factory office running smoothly, and with a background in starting her own business, she has a good understanding of the journey of entrepreneurship and a passion for what the team at The Factory provides to clients.

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CHLOE HOOPER,
Front of House, The Factory Lounge

When you’re the first person visitors to The Factory see, you need a bright and positive attitude. Chloe’s got that. She also makes a great coffee, which helps to keep all the great minds around The Factory humming.

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NICK GAIN,
Start-up Manager

Nick loves working with start-ups. He’s great at helping founders identify their key priorities and focus. Nick’s an expert in start-up methods and tools, particularly customer and market development and revenue models.

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STEPHEN MCPHAIL
Investment Manager

Stephen has extensive experience in the business and investment world, from managing an investment portfolio to co-founding, running and listing an Inner Mongolian gold mining company. Stephen uses his knowledge to coordinate investors and advise startups on valuation and growth management.

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JANE DONALDSON,
Programme Manager, The Cutting Edge

Jane is the manager of The Cutting Edge, MidCentral DHB’s health innovation programme. Jane’s background in finance, means she has a great eye for detail and ability to navigate and understand systems.

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JAMES BELL-BOOTH
Accelerator Manager, Sprout

As the manager of our successful Sprout Agritech Accelerator, James calls on his experience in sales and business development to support early stage agritech companies to launch their businesses to the world.  

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CHELSEA MILLAR,
Operations Manager, Sprout

Chelsea has a great network in the Primary Industries and knows how to tell agritech success stories. That makes her a great fit for our Sprout Agritech Accelerator.

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STU BRADBURY
Business Strategy Advisor, Sprout

Stu founded start-ups Where’s my Cows and Precision Irrigation, both acquired by Lindsay Corporation USA, and is Managing Director of Agrioptics North Ltd. He’s got great experience in getting products in the agricultural sector to market and strong exit planning skills. His real-world experience as an entrepreneur makes him a great source of advice for Sprout start-ups.

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JONATHAN GOOD
Business Strategy Advisor, Sprout

Jonathan founded Y-Combinator backed 1000memories, which was acquired by Ancestry.com. Since then Jonathan’s brought his passion for agritech to life as CTO/COO at T&G Global and Fonterra, where he led critical parts of strategy and farmer experience. This also makes Jonathan a great source of advice for Sprout start-ups.

 

THE BOARD

 
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DEREK WALKER
Chairman

Derek is an experienced company director and senior executive. He has been involved in the negotiation and implementation of many major projects, and mergers and acquisitions. Derek is the former chief executive of Centralpower Limited. He is a director of business consultancy Third Bearing and the Chair of Speirs Group.

 
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MICHAEL AHIE

Michael has broad international business and governance experience with multinational companies. He held senior roles with Toyota New Zealand Ltd, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Wrightson Ltd. He is Chancellor of Massey University and Chairman of Plant and Food Research Ltd. Michael is also the director of a number of companies in the agricultural sector.

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VICKI STEWART

Vicki has extensive experience in the retail, construction and distribution sectors. She is an active angel investor with several investments in early stage technology businesses. Her family business interests include being current owners of Palmerston North’s Mitre 10 Mega retail store. Previously Vicki was a director of Stewarts Electrical Supplies, a nationwide wholesale supplier to the electrical industry of New Zealand. She is a previous Chairperson of Powerbase New Zealand. Vicki is also active in supporting several community based ventures.

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HON. STEVE MAHAREY

Steve has extensive experience in leadership, education and public sector governance.  He was Vice-Chancellor of Massey University (2008-2016) and before this a Minister in Government for nine years, holding several positions in Education and Science. Prior to entering Parliament, Steve was a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Massey University. He is currently Chairman of Pharmac, the NZ government’s central agency for pharmaceutical purchasing, the Deputy Chair of Asia New Zealand Foundation, Board member of Venture Taranaki Trust, a member of the University of South Pacific Council, and a member of the NZ Police Audit and Risk Committee.

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MURRAY GEORGEL

Murray has held senior leadership roles in diverse sectors, including as the CEO of MidCentral District Health Board, a position he held for 15 years. He has also developed governance experience across several organisations. Besides being chairman of CalfSmart, Murray is also chairman of Palmerston North Airport.