In 2019 we started a Digital Leadership event series, bringing together our clients and friends to hear the stories and challenges of company leaders, and to meet each other in a relaxed setting. Around 100 people from both startups and large Kiwi companies attended across the two events.
COVID-19 has put a spanner in the works, but we’d like to hold these physical events again sometime in the future, and expand our network to include more great people.
Using a formula
After running a popular event series for a few years showcasing lots of Kiwi hardware companies, I decided to kick off these events using a similar format. What seems to work well is balancing interesting, relevant stories with credible speakers, quality refreshments and event space, and a diverse yet relevant audience.
One of the unique things about Propellerhead is our offices. Designed by one of New Zealand’s leading firms Jack McKinney Architects, they often surprise newcomers with their design quality. I’ve always wanted to host more events in the office, so being able to use this space was ideal. For refreshments, we provided platters and utilized sponsorships with quality suppliers like Chard Farm wines, East Imperial, Sawmill and Nakd water.
Each event saw three people speak about their journey, their roadmap moving forward, and what they think is the future for their industry. The audience could then ask questions.
Matthew Simmons, CEO & Founder of Nyriad
Supercomputing company Nyriad is tackling the world’s increasing need for big data storage and fast processing speeds, by developing software that repurposes graphics cards (a technology originally focused on gaming) to store massive amounts of data quickly. They’ve attracted around $30m of investment so far.
Mattew spoke about his journey, Nyriad's unique location (Cambridge), some of the challenges around having so many graduates on the team, and what the future direction for Nyriad is.
Daniel Karehana, CEO & Founder of BlinkPay
BlinkPay is a startup streamlining the bill-paying process. Unlike existing online banking options and biller platforms, BlinkPay will allow customers to manage bill payments directly within their online banking apps.
Integrating directly with banks is a challenge never before achieved by an outside party in New Zealand, and Daniel spoke about his background, his long journey to get to this point with BlinkPay, his next steps, and what he hopes the platform will become.
Chris Creighton & Regine Deleu from Auckland Transport
We were lucky to have two people from Auckland Transport speak — Chris Creighton — Group Manager Business Technology Solutions, and Regine Deleu — GM of Digital Architecture.
Chris is part of the Business Technology Leadership Team, and works to deliver 100+ of Auckland Transport’s technology programmes and projects annually. Regine is new to Auckland Transport after an interesting career spanning New Zealand, USA and Europe, and she’s focusing on Auckland Transport’s digital architecture.
They spoke about some of the interesting initiatives AT has released, and some of the unique areas they’ll be focusing on in the coming months.
Lindsay Jopson — Engineering Manager at Movio
Movio is the global leader in movie marketing data analytics and campaign management solutions for studios and cinemas. Their clients include Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal and Sony.
Lindsay spoke of the journey Movio has had, his role working across their engineering teams, and where he believes the future of the industry is headed.
Andrew Weston from Propellerhead
I twisted Andrew's arm to speak and asked if he could demo one of our internal apps. Nicknamed “the Practice app”, it essentially pulls company data together and transparently displays it in a way that allows us to manage various parts of the business, in a completely decentralized fashion.
Soon, we’ll be releasing more public info about the Practice App, as we believe it’s helpful enough to be of huge benefit to other organisations. More info soon!
I believe events such as this provide a nice opportunity to share knowledge, hear stories, and new meet people in a relaxed setting. We hope to bring more people together for Digital Leadership events in the future. If you’d like to receive an invite, you can drop me a line here.
Thank you for reading! If you’re interested in finding out more about how we practice software development at Propellerhead, you can see more here.
You can take a look at my other stories here.