• Agritech

Leading agritech venture capitalist Arama Kukutai to present keynote speech at Techweek Headline Event, 10 Billion Mouths, plus more panellists announced.

Techweek'18 Headline Event 10 Billion Mouths is a one-day exploration of the future of food production, highlighting New Zealand agricultural innovation that's good for the world, in Tauranga on 23 May. We are thrilled to announce our keynote speaker, Arama Kukutai.

Kukutai's connection to agriculture in Aotearoa goes back seven generations. On his father's side, he is of Ngāti Maniapoto and Te Aupōuri descent, and his family have farmed in New Zealand for decades. He's continued in the family line, working for over 20 years in agribusiness. He served as as executive chairman of PKW Farms, a successful agribusiness and diversified investment entity involved in dairy farming and aquaculture activities in New Zealand, Asia and Australia. Arama also led the New Zealand government’s Trade and Investment agency in North America, following which he emigrated to the USA.

In 2005, he and Dr. Jerry Caulder co-founded Finistere Ventures, a pioneer in the agriculture and food technology sector. Kukutai led the creation of Finistere’s global network in agritech which includes offices in Tel Aviv, San Diego and Silicon Valley, and Dublin, Ireland in partnership with the Irish Strategic Investment Fund. Finistere is one of the leading agritech focused venture funds, and is partnered with industry leaders including Nutrien, Bayer, Pepsico, Graincorp and International Farming Corporation. Kukutai serves on the boards as a Director or Observer of Finistere portfolio companies AgGenetics, Biolumic, Crop Pro Insurance, CropX, Hi Fidelity Genetics, Plenty, Taranis and Zeakal.  Mr. Kukutai is an active member of the agritech investing community - currently investing from Finistere Ventures' second fund - and a regular presenter at leading industry events. 

Panellists announced for 10 Billion Mouths panel discussion, "Leveraging a Collaborative Model"

Collaboration is vital – it fosters the generation of new ideas and refines existing products – but doing it successfully can be a challenge. Collaboration within the New Zealand agricultural sector is something we can be increasingly proud of; our size, location and culture mean well-connected communities, united by a globally-focused attitude. How can this collaborative spirit can be cultivated in other sectors that are typically more isolated to generate supportive, interconnected tech ecosystems? This 10 Billion Mouths panel discussion will uncover the not-so-secret-secrets of successful collaboration.

Speakers include:

Shane Stuart, Bay of Plenty
Shane works as innovation manager for the Bay of Plenty, a joint role between the University of Waikato and Priority One (Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty’s economic development organisation). In this role, he focusses on facilitating collaboration and exploring new opportunities at the interface of research and business in the region. He is currently managing the establishment of PlanTech, the new regional research institute involving 10 organisations including eight companies, and has also supported successful large-scale collaborations in powder metallurgy, cybersecurity and robotics. Shane’s focus for the panel will be his experience in the development of PlanTech, and the importance that collaboration has played this development.

Toni Laming, Lincoln Hub

Toni Laming speaker at Techweek 10 Billion Mouths

Toni is currently CEO of Lincoln University's The Lincoln Hub, He Puna KariKari, a collaboration between research, education and industry that aims to transform the productivity and performance of New Zealand and the world’s primary sector. She has had over 20 years’ experience in agriculture, food and beverage, consulting and industrial sectors across corporate strategy, transforming the customer experience, designing and delivering growth initiatives and technology solutions, establishing new business ventures across multiple stakeholders and geographies.

Nicky Molloy, Callaghan Innovation

Nicky Molloy is a business innovation advisor within Callaghan Innovation's Agritech team. She has over 20 years experience working across the food supply chain for companies such as Goodman Fielder, Kiwi Dairies and Tatua Co-op Dairies, both with a New Zealand focus and global ambition. Focusing now at the start of the food chain, she is working with agritech companies across NZ to help farmers work smarter, not harder. She is passionate about building a strong agritech sector in NZ that is connected, collaborative and recognised globally as a leader in innovation solutions on-farm. 

Sarah Nolet, AgThentic

Sarah Nolet speaker at 10 billion mouths

Sarah Nolet is a globally recognized food systems innovation expert. Sarah works across the global food system supply chain, helping farmers, agribusinesses, universities, investors and entrepreneurs to achieve their goals. Sarah holds a Masters in system design and management from MIT, a certificate in sustainability from the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan, and a B.S. in computer science and human factors engineering from Tufts University. Sarah is also a writer, startup investor and advisor. 

 10 Billion Mouths, Wednesday 23 May, 8am-7pm, ASB Baypark Arena, Tauranga. Get tickets.

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