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Victoria Crone

Think global, act local is no cliché when it comes to business.

There is more than one way to find business success, but one way is proven – harnessing current science and research, says Vic Crone, CEO for New Zealand’s Innovation Agency, Callaghan Innovation, and Napier’s second Business Breakfast speaker for 2019, on Thursday 23 May.

“Our established businesses and start-ups are finding they need to focus on solutions for global problems. To go after high-value international markets they must harness the great science and research going on in Aotearoa.”

Callaghan Innovation is tasked with helping businesses grow faster, for a better New Zealand, through R&D and innovation.

It recently launched Scale-Up NZ, a free online platform showcasing innovative New Zealand businesses and helping them find funding, talent and partnership opportunities. Already more than 500 businesses, investors, incubators, co-working spaces and NZ-based multinationals are listed, and this is expected to grow to over 2000 within the next year.

Vic was previously the Managing Director of Xero, NZ and New Markets, following executive roles at Chorus and Telecom New Zealand.

She has significant executive and governance experience in technology and innovation. This is supported by her strong customer focus, and a track record of leading and implementing strategy and building organisational culture. She has been an Independent Director on the boards of a number of companies and organisations in the technology sector, including RedShield, Figure.NZ, Creative HQ and the Hi-Tech Trust.

Callaghan Innovation's Vic Crone: "No doubt we are facing an increasingly uncertain future. We have an aging population, growing old in a warming world that faces monumental environmental challenges. Our core industries, which have traditionally been the engine room of growth, are being questioned by a new generation of consumers."

The Napier Business Breakfast, which is run by Napier City Council, happens to fall within TechWeek.

Callaghan Innovation’s recent report, Growing the Pie, found since the sale of Navman 15 years ago, over $34 billion of value has been created in the form of nine ‘unicorn’ companies with valuations north of $1 billion that have emerged. Another eight technology businesses estimated to be worth more than $500 million each have arisen, along with over 20 worth more than $100 million each.

“There is great momentum but there is much more we can be doing so our businesses stay relevant and competitive.

“While Aotearoa doesn’t yet match its peers internationally, we are starting to close the gap. And one thing’s for sure — it’s innovation that will power the next wave of billion-dollar Kiwi companies,” says Vic.

The latest data shows many businesses are cottoning onto this competitive advantage. NZ Statistics figures this year revealed the highest increase in business R&D spend in a decade, increasing by $548 million in the past two years.

“No doubt we are facing an increasingly uncertain future. We have an aging population, growing old in a warming world that faces monumental environmental challenges. Our core industries, which have traditionally been the engine room of growth, are being questioned by a new generation of consumers. And technology is changing so rapidly that we have to run faster just to keep up.”

What: Napier Business Breakfast
When: Thursday 23 May 
Time: Arrive 7am for a light breakfast. Vic's talk begins at 7.30am.
Venue: Napier War Memorial Centre, Marine Parade
Cost: $25 per person
Registrations: Bookings are essential. Register by 5pm on Monday 20 May. 

21 May 2019

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