CEO of Corvecto
You keep yourself very busy. What have you been up to since leaving UC?
My first job out of UC was an assistant to the owner of a small Christchurch videogame developer. The owner (Wil McLellan) acted as my mentor, setting me not just administrative tasks but also engaging with all sectors of the business - design, development, art, project management, quality assurance.
The generalized understanding of how all the sectors of the company operated amongst each other then allowed me to step into a business development role, pitching the true capability of our studio to increasingly exciting customers including DreamWorks, Sony, BBC, History Channel and eventually establishing us as one of the primary game developers for the Walt Disney company.
In the midst of this, the Christchurch earthquake cost us and many business partners our premises, which lead to my working again with Wil McLellan and Colin Andersen in creating the EPIC Innovation Hub on Manchester Street. The SME community that was fostered around the Hub helped me to establish a fantastic network of talented, driven and innovative individuals both around Canterbury / NZ, but stretching to all corners of the world.
These experiences eventually secured me additional positions with TVNZ as their go-to Innovation & Tech expert, and with both BOMA Global and Singularity University as a professional speaker on disruption-causing exponential technologies.
You have since started your own company, what inspired you to do that?
The combination of the amazing network I established through EPIC, combined with the depth of my experience working in videogames with CerebralFix and Stickmen Studios empowered me to start my own development studio named Corvecto, taking the skills I’d learned and applying them to Virtual and Augmented Reality solutions for enterprise clients in a wide range of industries such as medical, construction, aerospace and pharmaceuticals.
Being involved in such a wide range of roles, what does a typical day look like for you?
My time is now split between New Zealand and Thailand where I’m working to expand the reach of our commercial opportunities. As a result all of my work is performed on the go as I focus on connecting prospective customers with my (mostly) New Zealand based team. This can mean days entail overseeing everything from admin, finance and documentation through to design, sales and strategy.
Do you have any advice for other budding tech entrepreneurs?
Stay professional, but always try to be generous, both with your time and your energy. Supporting others around you adds value for them, and that value almost always comes back to you in one form or another. Call it karma if you want, but the truth is that as our technologies continue to evolve in leaps and bounds, the variety of opportunities where emerging technology can add value to the lives of others continues to grow just as rapidly. Have a plan, but always be prepared to adapt it to the world around you.
Have you had the opportunity to meet or work alongside someone you never imagined you would?
Throughout my career thus far I’ve been fortunate to engage directly with Hollywood goliaths, tech celebrities, huge investment partners, through to our last three Prime Ministers.
But honestly the greatest experience for me I never imagined was actually meeting and working alongside Wil, as an employer, a mentor and eventually one of my closest friends.
The value of finding someone who’s prepared to invest their time and energy into seeing you grow, sharing with you hard truths (when you need to hear them), and guiding you in the right direction is truly invaluable. I hope that everyone who’s lucky enough to benefit from such an engagement will eventually have the opportunity to act as a mentor themselves to repeat the cycle.