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OUR PEOPLE

Meet the team behind the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship


Wendy Kerr

Director 

An experienced general manager with global experience in technology and media start-ups. Wendy wrote two bestselling books on female-led start-ups and owned a web-based mentoring and training company for new business owners.

Professor Rod McNaughton

Academic Director

Rod is professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School. He has extensive experience developing entrepreneurial ecosystems and helping start-ups launch and grow. An internationally-recognised thought leader on entrepreneurship issues, Rod’s scholarly research is published in more than 100 refereed journal articles and books.

 

Darsel Keane

Associate Director – Unleash Space

The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s first employee to establish and grow the centre. Previously, Darsel worked at EverEdge IP in intellectual property and commercialisation consulting.

Natasha Koekemoer

Peter Rachor

Hynds Entrepreneurial Teaching Fellow

As our Hynds Fellow, Peter focuses on integrating entrepreneurship across curricular courses and programmes throughout the University. With a lifelong passion for innovation and global opportunities, he has co-founded three companies, taught at 3 US academic institutions, developed learning modules for university and community-based entrepreneurship initiatives, and lived on four continents. 

Judith Marecek

Programme Manager

Judith has held a variety of digital and traditional marketing roles in the publishing industry in New Zealand. She has worked in events at the Parliament House of Australia in Canberra and the Irish Management Institute in Dublin.

 

Jessica Schneider

Programme Coordinator

Jessica is an allrounder with extensive experience in consulting, HR, teaching and finance. Having worked in the corporate environment including start-up’s, she understands the opportunities and challenges of the business world. Jessica is looking forward to help advancing CIE programmes while being instrumental in connecting and supporting our students.

Kirsten Beckman

Velocity Programme Coordinator

Kirsten has a depth of knowledge in training, hospitality, and administration. She enjoys enabling people to grow their ideas and discover their capabilities, while pushing the boundaries of what they think is possible. She thrives in a creative environment with passionate people.

Nancy Jones

Executive Assistant

Nancy has a wealth of experience as an executive assistant in the education field, working with CEOs and Boards in both the education consultancy and independent schools fields. She has a passion for connecting with a diverse range of people and enjoys contributing to the company’s growth and development. She is honoured having worked with a number of industry leaders.

Naomi Bradshaw

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Engagement Manager

Naomi is passionate about community development and enabling the potential of others. She has previously held marketing and communication roles at the University of Auckland and Ministry of Social Development and an economic development role with the K Road Business Association.

Tiger Chen

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Engagement Coordinator

Tiger is passionate about inspiring and enabling people to turn their ideas into reality, by providing the support and resources they need to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. She comes from a marketing and business analytics background, and was involved in Velocity and Unleash Space as a student.

Sean Kelly

Unleash Space Manager

Sean is passionate about cultivating a new technological culture that brings together and encourages entrepreneurs and makers alike. A graduate of International Studies from Deakin University and a former tradesman Sean transitioned to the tech sector in the U.S. by working as a Technologist at the successful and unique technology space, Do Space.

Ariel Dannenbring

Unleash Space Venue Coordinator

A former Creative Technologist within Unleash Space’s Maker Space, Ariel is passionate about empowering people with entrepreneurial tools and frameworks. She warmly welcomes the diverse experiences people have to offer and believes everyone has the potential to ignite their creativity.

Hayden Moore

Unleash Space Maker Space Coordinator

Hayden is passionate about technology and making things. He has a broad knowledge in many areas including electronics, programming, wood/metalwork and manufacturing. He loves to use his skills on personal projects, startups and helping others bring their ideas to life.

Wendy Kerr

Director

An experienced general manager with global experience in technology and media start-ups. Wendy wrote two bestselling books on female-led start-ups and owned a web-based mentoring and training company for new business owners.

Professor Rod McNaughton

Academic Director

Rod is professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland Business School. He has extensive experience developing entrepreneurial ecosystems and helping start-ups launch and grow. An internationally-recognised thought leader on entrepreneurship issues, Rod’s scholarly research is published in more than 100 refereed journal articles and books.

 

Darsel Keane

Associate Director – Unleash Space

The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s first employee to establish and grow the centre. Previously, Darsel worked at EverEdge IP in intellectual property and commercialisation consulting.

Natasha Koekemoer

Peter Rachor

Hynds Entrepreneurial Teaching Fellow

As our Hynds Fellow, Peter focuses on integrating entrepreneurship across curricular courses and programmes throughout the University. With a lifelong passion for innovation and global opportunities, he has co-founded three companies, taught at 3 US academic institutions, developed learning modules for university and community-based entrepreneurship initiatives, and lived on four continents. 

Judith Marecek

Programme Manager

Judith has held a variety of digital and traditional marketing roles in the publishing industry in New Zealand. She has worked in events at the Parliament House of Australia in Canberra and the Irish Management Institute in Dublin.

Jessica Schneider

Programme Coordinator

Jessica is an allrounder with extensive experience in consulting, HR, teaching and finance. Having worked in the corporate environment including start-up’s, she understands the opportunities and challenges of the business world. Jessica is looking forward to help advancing CIE programmes while being instrumental in connecting and supporting our students.

Kirsten Beckman

Velocity Programme Coordinator

Kirsten has a depth of knowledge in training, hospitality, and administration. She enjoys enabling people to grow their ideas and discover their capabilities, while pushing the boundaries of what they think is possible. She thrives in a creative environment with passionate people.

Nancy Jones

Executive Assistant

Nancy has a wealth of experience as an executive assistant in the education field, working with CEOs and Boards in both the education consultancy and independent schools fields. She has a passion for connecting with a diverse range of people and enjoys contributing to the company’s growth and development. She is honoured having worked with a number of industry leaders.

Naomi Bradshaw

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Engagement Manager

Naomi is passionate about community development and enabling the potential of others. She has previously held marketing and communication roles at the University of Auckland and Ministry of Social Development and an economic development role with the K Road Business Association.

Tiger Chen

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Engagement Coordinator

Tiger is passionate about inspiring and enabling people to turn their ideas into reality, by providing the support and resources they need to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. She comes from a marketing and business analytics background, and was involved in Velocity and Unleash Space as a student.

Sean Kelly

Unleash Space Manager

Sean is passionate about cultivating a new technological culture that brings together and encourages entrepreneurs and makers alike. A graduate of International Studies from Deakin University and a former tradesman Sean transitioned to the tech sector in the U.S. by working as a Technologist at the successful and unique technology space, Do Space.

Ariel Dannenbring

Unleash Space Venue Coordinator

A former Creative Technologist within Unleash Space’s Maker Space, Ariel is passionate about empowering people with entrepreneurial tools and frameworks. She warmly welcomes the diverse experiences people have to offer and believes everyone has the potential to ignite their creativity.

Hayden Moore

Unleash Space Maker Space Coordinator

Hayden is passionate about technology and making things. He has a broad knowledge in many areas including electronics, programming, wood/metalwork and manufacturing. He loves to use his skills on personal projects, startups and helping others bring their ideas to life.

EMAIL
CIE@AUCKLAND.AC.NZ

PHONE
09 923 4526

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