Canterbury startup Vxt attracts industry-leading advisors
30 April 2020
The Christchurch company, Vxt, founded by University of Canterbury students Luke Campbell and Lucy Turner, in November 2018, is continuing its success, attracting a high-powered advisory board.
Vxt was designed to save time for business owners, managers, and busy professionals by providing a mobile app that uses artificial intelligence to help manage and automate voice messages. Boasting over 8000 downloads since their launch in October 2019, the company is off to a roaring start. The Christchurch company, Vxt, was founded by University of Canterbury students Luke Campbell 23 and Lucy Turner 22, in November 2018.
Luke Campbell, CEO & co-founder of Vxt, says “after our recent success launching into the Australian market in February, we decided it was the right time to pull forward plans on establishing an advisory board to help”. The company hadn’t planned on establishing an advisory board this year, however, after launching their services in Australia in February decided to seek out a group who had a history of innovative leadership and success.
“We are excited to have such a talented & experienced group join our business. It’s testament to the great work the Vxt team are doing and our potential for growth” says Campbell.
The young team attracted top talent for their advisory board including senior staff from Xero. The smartphone app creators are joined by tech & telco leaders, Nicole Buisson, Guy Alexander and Garry Johnston.
Nicole has over twenty years experience driving growth in larger public, scale up and start up environments around the world, including time in New Zealand at Vodafone and Xero. Nicole has a passion for technology startups and small business and recently sat as an advisory member of the government’s Small Business Council.
Garry has held leadership positions within the telecommunications industry for two decades, including at Spark, Vodafone NZ and Australia’s Optus. More recently, as the Digital Experience Engineering Tribe Lead at Vodafone, he led the engineering for Vodafone New Zealand's digital platforms. “The challenge to bring a product to life, let alone get paying customers is impressive, particularly so in the highly competitive industry of telecommunications” says Garry. “What really attracted me to support Luke, Lucy and their company’s development, was their desire to listen, learn and adapt. To an advisor, having founders that are open to adapt and take input from others is key. It is an honour to be able to contribute to their future success”.
Guy has a solid track record in B2B sales, product marketing and international partnerships. He currently is GM, Enterprise Accounts at Xero and prior to that spent the first half of his career in the telecommunications sector, including owning a niche telco provider. “The passion I saw in Luke & Lucy was contagious, and reminded me a lot how lonely it can be as an entrepreneur. When I was asked to support them it was a no brainer” says Guy.
Having kicked off international expansion earlier this year with a soft launch in Australia the young founders pulled together a group of top advisors who have been there, and done that to support the company and team.
“We’re really excited to have Garry, Nicole & Guy’s support for our company and team moving forward.” says Campbell.
The team of advisors collectively have 46 years of experience leading telecommunications and software companies in Australia & New Zealand. The group brings valuable skills to the table from their wide-ranging backgrounds in growth strategy, product development and international sales, leading businesses like Spark, Xero, Vodafone NZ and Australia’s Optus.
Co-founder and CTO, Lucy Turner says “We’re thrilled to have the backing of such a great group, especially as we look forward to growing our presence in Australia and other key international markets.”.
“Voicemail is far from dead - over 1 million Kiwis check their voicemail every week. That's everyone from the salesperson on the road, the small business owner all the way through to the CEO running a large company,” says Luke. More people are using Vxt because it’s not just about the number of messages you get but the frustration with dealing with traditional systems built decades ago. Luke continues, “Since we started working on Vxt I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t hate checking their messages.”. Vxt will continue to evolve to support the growing segment of people using apps to help manage their messages.
Lucy (Bachelor of Science with Honours majoring in Computer Science) and Luke (Bachelor of Science majoring in Physics and Economics) have taken part in a number of business incubation programmes run by the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) to develop Vxt. UCE provides a dedicated, student-focused space where innovation can flourish, stimulating the development of entrepreneurs through a combination of research, teaching and community engagement.
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