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Movers and shakers: Alistair Vickers, Gregg Toyama and Dave Dodds

Movers and shakers: Alistair Vickers, Gregg Toyama and Dave Dodds

LazyAz founder Aryaman Taore ditches Harvard acceptance, launches crowdfunding campaign instead

Photo by Brooke Woollett

Photo by Brooke Woollett

Alistair Vickers is now the chief technology officer at New Zealand Parliament following roles as CIO at Wellington Water and MetService.

Harcourts Victoria wins the Innovation Award at the 2016 REIV Awards for Excellence. Harcourts head of eBusiness Gregg Toyama says the win is a huge honour, especially as it highlights the effort his team puts into providing the best digital solutions for Harcourts sales consultants and their clients.

Harcourts is the only real estate group globally to have ever been singled out and showcased by Apple.

“Apple first contacted us in 2015 about showcasing what we have created to a global audience. They produced a video and business case study about our mobile suite of apps. Understandably we were thrilled at their recognition,” says Toyama. Harcourts developed three apps based on Apple technology: eOne, eOpen and eCampaign.

Dave Dodds has been appointed CEO of Figured, which provides financial management software for farmers. Current CEO, Paul Reid, will transition to Chairman of Figured board of directors. Prior to Figured, Dodds was managing the digital solutions for business markets at NZ Post. His previous roles include country director of BMC Software and head of sales at Datam.

New Zealand company, LazyAz is looking to revolutionise retail with its application based on-demand delivery service that connects with brick and mortar shops.

Its founder Aryaman Taore was just 17 years old when he developed the first version of the LazyAz mobile app. Aryaman, now 18, came up with the idea when he was craving a fast-food burger but neither he nor the restaurant had transport. This craving launched a sequence of events that resulted in him developing his first mobile app with $1000 in savings and a $750 contribution from his parents.

Aryaman recently turned down entry into Harvard University in favour of launching his startup while studying engineering full time at the University of Auckland.

The startup is seeking to raise between $75,000 and $200,000 from the sale of shares. The offer is being made through AlphaCrowd's equity crowd funding platform.


MUV Talks will host seven women entrepreneurs with very different stories who will share their experiences and insights with the public.

The event, to be held on November 9, 5:30 pm, Studio One Toi Tū (at 1 Ponsonby Road, Auckland) will feature the following women entrepreneurs: Lauren Peate (Co-Founder of Analytics 4 Us), Jennifer Clam (National Director Techweek at NZTech, and Founder of Garden Genie), Kristen Wonch (Founder of OHUDDLE), Adriana Christie (Founder of The Pallet Kingdom and Local Board member), Rez Gardi (Law Clerk at Chapman Tripp), Zlata K (CEO and Founder of Interlike) and Brittany Jordt (Founder of Waywiser). The speakers will be presented by Colart Miles (Co-Founder of Velox Innovation).

Research at the University of Auckland Business School that could help make online voting more reliable, and a project to improve the accuracy of economic forecasting in the property market have received a total of $1.41 million in this year’s Marsden Fund round.

Drs Steffen Lippert and Simona Fabrizi, two senior lecturers in the Department of Economics, will lead a $705,000 Marsden project to investigate the way we make decisions as a group – for example in a jury, or in political elections – when the reliability of information is ambiguous.

The project’s title is Beyond the Jury Paradox: Collective Decision-Making without Common Priors.

“We will develop robust theoretical models of collective decision-making with ambiguous information, and test these models in large-scale laboratory experiments,” says Dr Lippert, who is also the Acting Head of the Department of Economics.

Dr Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy, a senior lecturer in the Economics Department, will lead a project that aims to inform better housing policy. His co-collaborator is Distinguished Professor Peter PCB Phillips at the Business School and Sterling Professor of Economics and Professor of Statistics at Yale University.

The title of their project is New Methods of Panel Data Forecasting Applied to New Zealand’s Property Market.

Panel data is data collected over time and different units (such as firms, households or regions) – the kind of complex information needed to make sense of the property market. Currently, there are few tools to guide policymakers and others in analysing this vast array of property data.

“We’ll develop techniques that can be used to forecast and analyse property prices, potential contagion across regions, and the effects of proposed policy responses to the housing crisis in Auckland and its spillover effects on other regions of New Zealand,” says Greenaway-McGrevy.

The researchers will then use those techniques to analyse suggested policy fixes to Auckland’s housing crisis.
Dr Steffen Lippert
Dr Steffen Lippert
Dr Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy
Dr Ryan Greenaway-McGrevy
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