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The latest in innovation and entrepreneurship news, research and insights from the University of Auckland and around the world.

The latest in innovation and entrepreneurship news, research and insights from the University of Auckland and around the world.


Latest News


Angels sing praises for Kara Technologies

CIE spin-out Kara Technologies has received the Puawaitanga Award from the Angel Asssociation New Zealand. The award recognises founders and investor directors who exemplify what can be achieved when committed people draw on their collective skills and experience.

Spalk’s Olympian effort to make sports commentary accessible

The kick of closing one sale was all it took to set a school-age Ben Reynolds on the path to an entrepreneurial career. The co-founder of Spalk – a software service which localises sports content by providing alternative commentaries for sports streaming providers, teams and brands – was still a student when he took part in the Young Enterprise Scheme. It’s not surprising, then, that Ben chose to nurture his nascent business skills by embarking on a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Auckland, majoring in Economics and Entrepreneurship.

Toku: A clear vision for preventive healthcare

Toku, founded by Waipapa Taumata Rau, University of Auckland scientist Associate Professor Ehsan Vaghefi, is driven by a deeply personal mission. Ehsan's father lost his vision to glaucoma, a disease that could have been treated, sparking Ehsan’s determination to prevent such needless suffering. Initially known as Toku Eyes, the company has since broadened its focus from ocular health to addressing wide-ranging cardiovascular risks. Utilising advanced AI technology, Toku's CLAiR platform scans the eye to predict not only blindness but also the likelihood of other cardiovascular diseases and events like strokes and heart attacks. It is currently used in hundreds of locations around the world.

Entrepreneurial spirits ignited during 2024 Summer Lab

The entrepreneurial spirit shone brightly this year, with the 2024 Summer Lab students demonstrating entrepreneurial traits such as resilience, resourcefulness, and a solutions-oriented mindset.  Over the course of the programme, they learn about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), identify a problem space to explore, form teams and come up with a business idea based around their solution.

From FOMO to fortune: Pradeep Raman’s journey

Meet Pradeep Raman: a name synonymous with entrepreneurial spirit, whose journey into the world of business began with an unlikely catalyst: FOMO. From humble entrepreneurship to remarkable success, his story is a testament to resilience, innovation, and the power of seizing opportunity.

Staff Profile: Nina Liepold – Engagement Adviser

As Engagement Adviser, Nina's role is to champion entrepreneurship within the University and to strengthen and uphold the University's external image as hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. She promotes the award-winning, free programmes on offer to students and staff of all faculties through CIE, and writes articles about our community of students, staff and alumni. In short: you can see her work in our newsletters, on our website and across our socials.

Harvesting success: Hectre’s fruitful journey in AgTech

It’s been a fruitful (pun intended) few years for agritech entrepreneur Matty Blomfield. Momentum continues to build at pace for Hectre, the orchard management software company he founded with Menilik Dyer and Nico Gabarra in 2017; over the last few years the start-up has rapidly grown into what Blomfield describes as “an AI company for the fresh produce industry”, developing a suite of innovative new products, expanding its reach across the globe and winning its categories for three years running at the annual AgTech Breakthrough Awards.

New Zealand’s innovation challenge: bridging the gap to global leadership

Opinion: The latest Global Innovation Index shows how New Zealand needs to close the gap between its innovation inputs and outputs, writes Professor Rod McNaughton – Academic Director of the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

New Zealand’s ranking of 27th in the Global Innovation Index 2023 is a significant marker of our nation’s capabilities and potential areas for growth. While showcasing our robust education and governance systems, this position underscores the urgent need to elevate our technological prowess and market development.

Earthquake innovation shakes up global construction industry

The team behind engineering venture Tectonus, which emerged from Velocity, the entrepreneurship development programme organised by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), was moved by the impact of the Christchurch earthquakes, prompting them to innovate a better damping connection. Their invention automatically readjusts buildings post-quake, providing seismic resilience for both new and existing structures without needing post-event maintenance, offering cost and space efficiency.

Bhuvana Kannan: championing sustainability within New Zealand’s deep-tech sector

Bhuvana Kannan has held a range of roles within New Zealand’s deep-tech community for over a decade. Her professional journey has included roles in project management and research commercialisation in everything from nanotech to biotech, developing innovations utilising novel materials including fish skins and recombinant bee DNA.

During her time at Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, she completed a Master’s degree in commercialisation and entrepreneurship, which complemented her PhD in Chemistry.

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