Speaking Events

Turning Innovation into Gold - AUCKLAND - 17th November 2016

Innovation is on the boardroom agenda like never before. Everyone is talking about it, but what is the point of innovation if you cannot transform it into sustainable commercial success?

Join James & Wells, Innovation Council and a host of Kiwi innovators as they travel the country sharing their stories on how they’ve turned their innovation into gold.

With the spotlight on New Zealand’s changing innovation landscape, our panellists will share how to maximise innovation in today’s fragmented and challenging business world, successfully commercialise innovation and build channels to market.

Kirsten Taylor, Managing Director, SleepDrops International

SleepDrops International is a small Kiwi company taking on the big guys in one of the fastest growing natural health categories worldwide.

Started quite simply out of desperation, the SleepDrops International product range supports sleep in people of all ages, including new-borns. The range has struck a chord with New Zealand’s sleepless and stressed population to become the number one brand.

Company founder and product formulator, Kirsten Taylor, will share what she believes is the winning formulation for turning innovation into commercial success, including the importance of timing your market entry just right.

MC: Jon Bridges, Author, TV Presenter and Producer
After an extensive 20-year career in the media, Jon Bridges has now stepped behind the scenes as producer of TV3’s award-winning comedy programme, 7 Days. After earning a Master’s degree, Jon went on to appear in TV shows such as Away Laughing (1991), ground-breaking youth programme IceTV (1995-2000) and Would I Lie to You.

He’s had a diverse media career; from regular Listener columnist, breakfast radio DJ for Channel Z, and blogger for Stuff.co.nz to author, having published four books. His most recent being 2014’s best-selling No.8 Rewired – 202 New Zealand Inventions that Changed the World. Co-authored by David Downs, the book celebrates New Zealand inventions while also examining how our number-8 wire mentality may actually be holding us back from making innovation pay in the 21st century.

Ceri Wells, Foundation Partner, James & Wells
Ceri is an experienced attorney and outspoken champion of innovation. With a career spanning 30 years in the intellectual property space, Ceri has grown James & Wells from a one-man band to the internationally recognised firm it is today. He’s passionate about New Zealand and committed to ensuring Kiwi’s don’t miss the opportunities their ideas generate.

Ceri’s experience has given him a great deal of insight into what is limiting New Zealand’s economy. Sharing his views on the challenges Kiwi innovators face, Ceri will explain why he believes dealing in innovation is this country’s next big revenue stream.

Louise Webster, CEO and Founder, Innovation Council
Established in 2009 as a direct response to customer demand for a national business networking group and an innovation-driven community of practice, the New Zealand Innovation Council has grown to reach 2.6million people both here and abroad. In 2016, its Founder and CEO, Louise Webster, successfully negotiated the sale of Innovation Council to global accountancy and business advisory firm, KPMG. As CEO, Louise sits on the Innovation Council Advisory Board and leads a team dedicated to providing business growth services to Kiwi companies.

With knowledge into New Zealand’s innovation economy and its diverse industries, sectors and business types, Louise will share her insight on the key components enabling Kiwi businesses to grow.

Todd Gisby, CTO and Co-Founder, StretchSense
With over 200 customers in 28 countries, StretchSense have successfully taken their award winning wearable sensor technology from Auckland to the world. A clear understanding of the company’s strengths and capabilities have enabled the team to focus on perfecting what they are good at, without re-inventing the wheel.

As a customer-centric business, it’s the frequent conversations had that enable StretchSense to deliver a product their customers actually want – and fast. A short feedback loop enables them to ensure resources are appropriately allocated. Todd Gisby, CTO of StretchSense, will offer his insight on how understanding their customers has been critical to StretchSense’s innovation journey.

Binu Paul, Founder and Managing Director, SavvyKiwi
SavvyKiwi is a fintech start-up that helps users choose a KiwiSaver fund and maximise their wealth in retirement. The tool, which is available as an iTunes app and a mobile website, aims to educate and engage Kiwis to better understand who is managing their money, how they’re doing it and where it’s being invested. The online subscription service is a first of its kind available to Kiwis which is also independent from any KiwiSaver scheme providers.

From taking the plunge into entrepreneurship to validating an idea, Binu Paul, SavvyKiwi Founder and Managing Director, will share his commercialisation journey, detailing the challenges entrepreneurs face and how to overcome them.

Murray Chapman Enterprises Lunch Club - 17th March 2016

Murry Chapman Lunch Club presents Conversations with Women
Be encouraged.Be uplifted.Get connected

Kirsten Taylor
Founder & CEO SleepDrops International Ltd

The incredible story of how a dream became a reality – about the highs and lows on the journey to becoming New Zealand’s fastest growing an number one sleep remedy range.
It’s also a story of how tenacity, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit can overcome any obstacle. Kirsten is living proof that a woman can achieve anything.

Sharon Scott
National Corporate Services and HR Manager at Waste Management

Often the only female member of the Senior Management team, Sharon has a personal belief that women can do anything. Her story is about being a female in a predominantly male environment and not letting that be a barrier.
This is also about not letting race, gender or even your background define you. It’s about the struggle to find balance both within and outside of your work environment.

Pwc Herald Talks, Breakfast event - Growth - 9th December 2015

PwC Herald Talks returns for its final 2015 event: Growth – a breakfast seminar at SkyCity on December the 9th, where thought leaders come together to share knowledge, insight and strategies to grow and diversify business in New Zealand.

The process of improving business growth or managing unexpected growth can be difficult. As businesses grow, different opportunities and challenges present themselves which require different solutions. What once worked a year ago may now not be the best outcome. Join us on Wednesday 9th December at SKYCITY as our speaker, Kirsten Taylor shares her insights for understanding, planning and overcoming potential challenges for managing growth.

Kirsten Taylor – keynote speaker
Founder of SleepDrops
Brought to you by: The New Zealand Herald and Newstalk ZB

Westpac Queenstown Chamber Business Women’s Conference “Real Women, Real Leaders” May 2015

Kirsten Taylor  SleepDrops inventor was asked to be a speaker at this wonderful business event along with other fantastic women making a difference in our world

Rachel Smalley (MC) host of NewstalkZB’s Early Edition and the highly regarded political programme, ‘The Nation’. She is the former anchor of Firstline, TV3’s hard news morning programme.
Dame Susan Devoy  New Zealand Race Relations Commissioner and one of NZ’s greatest sportswomen
Jacinda Ardern  ranked no.9 in Labour’s Shadow Cabinet, Labour List MP for Auckland Central, Spokesperson for Children, Small Business, Justice and Arts, Culture and Heritage

Annette Presley New Zealand telecommunications entrepreneur, co-founder of Slingshot – one of New Zealand’s largest internet service providers

Kate Coughlan Editor of NZ Life & Leisure Magazine

Julie Bartlett Founder of Star Jam which creates empowering performance opportunities for young people with disabilities

Lisa O’Neill Stylist, Author, Media Presenter, Inspiring Speaker