No other region has been as hard-hit by COVID-19 as Latin America but there is a silver lining: the tech boom. The uptake of tech is transforming the way businesses work in this region, making economies more competitive and creating opportunities for New Zealand businesses who can provide solutions in this sector.
At this session, hear from Nadia Armelin, an NZTE private sector advisor who spent the last year building a capital venture fund and Steve Jones, NZTE Regional Director for Latin America, on what the news headlines aren’t telling you about the real business opportunity growth in this region.
Nádia is an executive with a background in R&D and multidisciplinary project leadership – and more recently, an entrepreneur with a passion for start-up acceleration and leadership. Nádia began her career as a researcher in one of the largest chemical companies in Latin America, where she was responsible for the development of several surfactants, including biobased surfactants and biofuels additives.
She is a Six Sigma Black Belt with more than 15 years of experience in the management of R&D laboratories, marketing and innovation, project funding, IP strategy, and leadership of multidisciplinary groups. After many years working for large corporations, Nádia became an entrepreneur and joined Yenzah Cosmeticos, a beauty tech enterprise focused on vegan beauty products. As a partner at Leverage Ventures, which invests in early-stage start-ups, she is also involved in venture capital initiatives.
In 2019, Nádia became a fellow of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF), which brings together hundreds of high impact global entrepreneurs to catalyse New Zealand's economy and entrepreneurial community. She holds a degree in chemical engineering and is an alumnus of Harvard Business School's General Management Program (GMP).
Based in São Paulo, Steve looks after operations across Latin America, where NZTE has offices in Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. He is focused on expanding New Zealand's commercial engagement in the region, particularly in agritechnology, food processing, security technology, software and specialised manufacturing.
He has previously been acting trade commissioner and commercial consul in Southern China, consul general in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, and trade commissioner in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan. He has also co-led NZTE's strategies for international education and high-growth technology companies and was NZTE's private sector liaison officer to the World Bank Group. He speaks Arabic, English and French.