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Peter Wren-Hilton

Transforming New Zealand’s agritech sector post COVID-19. That work has begun.


At 12.00pm last Thursday, the Agritech New Zealand Insights survey of the current New Zealand agritech sector landscape was closed.

Almost 40% of the sector’s stakeholders – corporates, SMEs, startups, researchers, government and support services took part in the survey. It was an amazing response. The survey results are currently being analysed by Thematic. The insights that this analysis provides will create the basis for a set of targeted recommendations to both government and industry. That process begins later this week.

Supporting this initiative, I am tomorrow, hosting the first of a series of 8 webinars over the next three weeks. Leading experts, both domestic and offshore, will provide their vision for the transformation of New Zealand’s agritech sector post COVID-19.

The insights they provide will be challenging. I have asked each presenter to be frank and direct in their approach. With New Zealand’s borders closed for the foreseeable future, the impact on the flow of capital and people will be significant. How consumers and our traditional supply chains respond to the new world in which we will live, will create new challenges, but also massive new opportunities. Preparing ourselves for the economic and geopolitical landscape that will emerge over the coming weeks and months, is key to the long term prosperity of our sector.

The webinar series is free to join and you can register your interest now. I am grateful to each of the presenters for the time and commitment they are making to New Zealand’s agritech community. It is very much appreciated.

Arama Kukutai, Founder and Managing Director, Finistere Ventures
Topic: Current global agritech investment landscape and its impact on local agritech companies.
Wednesday 15 April 11.00am – 12.00pm.
Register here.

Ian Proudfoot, Global Head of Agribusiness, KPMG
Topic: AgriFood’s ‘Now Normal’ post COVID-19.
Thursday 16 April 11.00am – 12.00pm
Register here.

Vic Crone, CEO, Callaghan Innovation and Simon Yarrow, GM Agritech.
Topic: New initiatives to support early stage businesses in the current environment.
Friday 17 April 11.00am – 12.00pm.
Register here.

Dennis Donohue, Director, Western Growers Technology & Innovation Center.
Topic: Stateside challenges and how New Zealand agritech businesses can help solve them.
Tuesday 21 April 11.00am – 12.00pm.
Register here.

Richard Dellabarca, CEO, NZ Growth Capital Partners
Topic: Navigating the NZ Investment Landscape post COVID-19
Wednesday 22 April 11.00am – 12.00pm
Register here

Claudia Roessler, World Wide Director, Agriculture, Microsoft.
Topic: Microsoft’s investment in agriculture, the role of agritech and how local companies can partner.
Thursday 23 April 11.00am – 12.00pm.
Register here.

David Downs, New Zealand Government Agritech Industry Transformation Plan Taskforce.
Topic: Supporting the growth and scaling New Zealand’s agritech sector – an update on the planned delivery of the agritech ITP.
Wednesday 29 April 11.00am – 12.00pm.
Register here.

Dr. Adrian Percy, former Global Head of R&D at Bayer CropScience.
Topic: The role of major agri corporates, early stage collaboration and the impact on innovation.
Thursday 30 April 9.00am – 10.00am.
Register here.

I very much hope you can join us on this journey.

Peter Wren-Hilton Peter is Executive Director of Agritech New Zealand and founder of Wharf42 in Tauranga. Peter helps organise major agritech conferences in New Zealand and offshore and connects early stage New Zealand agritech companies with international markets.