Evaluation Panel

Dr Andrew Kelly

Andrew Kelly

Dr Andrew Kelly is a founder and co-CEO of BioPacific Partners, a business dedicated to bridging the best of life science innovations into global markets. His breadth of contacts and experience with multinational corporates is unparalleled in New Zealand.

Andrew previously founded New Zealand’s first specialist life science venture fund, the $100 million BioPacificVentures which invested in health, food & agriculture start-ups across New Zealand & Australia. Prior to that he has had long experience in product development, in research management and in R&D in both New Zealand & Australia.

Helen Robinson

Helen Robinson

Helen Robinson has led many technology companies over the past 25 years, including as CEO of Microsoft, New Zealand, and as Vice President of APAC, Pivotal Corporation, a Canadian CRM software company. Most recently Helen was the Founding CEO of the TZ1 Registry which was acquired by London based Markit Group Ltd in 2009, where she continued to act as Global Managing Director, Environmental Markets until mid-2011. Since then in addition to independent directorships Helen has been assisting numerous NZ companies including Rex Bionics and a number of (mainly technology enabled) businesses from within her own organisation, Penguin Consulting Ltd.

Helen is the Chair, The Network for Learning Ltd (N4L), a new crown entity charged with improving educational outcomes by transforming schools to technology-based learning environments. She also acts as a Director for a variety of organisations including the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA), the NZ Business Excellence Foundation, and Mondiale Technologies Ltd, a company formed by Sir Ray Avery to develop disruptive, innovative medical solutions and ethical businesses to create a healthier world.

Dr Ray Thomson

Dr Ray Thomson

After graduating with a doctorate in Physics, Dr Thomson worked as an investment analyst in share broking and investment companies from 1979 to 1999. He has served as a director of a number of public and private companies; was until recently Chairman and founding shareholder of Manuka Health (annualised rev : $70m+; $110m exit); is Chairman of Supreme Biotechnologies, and is a director of Rush Digital. He recently served for 3 years as a director of Industrial Research Ltd (now Callaghan Innovation).

Ray has a strong involvement in the angel investment community, having served on the Auckland Ice Angel Advisory Board and having been the recent past Chair of the NZ Angel Association. He was the inaugural William Payne active Ice Angel in 2010. He was awarded the prestigious Arch Angel award in 2014 for services to the angel investment community. He is an accredited Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

In 2015 Ray was appointed Chair of the MacDiarmid Institute and a director of the Dodd-Walls Centre, two of the ten CORE's. Ray has been used as a Judge on a number of panels including the Kiwinet Annual Commercialisation Awards (last 3 years); for the MBIE Smart Ideas Panel (2013, 2014); for the MBIE PSAF Panel (2013); for the Auckland University Business School MCE programme (last 3 years).

Rob Heebink

Rob Heebink

Rob Heebink, Research and Development Executive, Gallagher
Rob stepped into the R&D Executive role at Gallagher in 2008 after holding a variety of senior R&D management positions in New Zealand-based global technology companies. Rob is an experienced executive with extensive international experience in operations and R&D management. With his unique combination of Engineering and International Business Strategy qualifications and experience, Rob specialises in aligning R&D activities with business strategy and developing R&D as a strategic capability for sustainable growth and competitive advantage in international business.