Menu
Menu
Movers and shakers: Charlotte Walshe, Craig McGrory and Kylee de-Blecourt

Movers and shakers: Charlotte Walshe, Craig McGrory and Kylee de-Blecourt

Chorus funds technology education programme in Dunedin, agritech startups invited to join Sprout accelerator programme

Charlotte Walshe will join Jade Software as chief executive officer in December.

Walshe has extensive executive leadership and corporate governance experience, primarily in the technology sector.

For the past 10 years, she has served as CEO for Dynamic Controls, a manufacturer of innovative electronic operating solutions for medical equipment such as wheelchairs.

“As well as coming from a technology background with a strong customer focus, she brings extensive experience in strategic leadership, building high performing teams, and innovating for growth,” says Jade board chairperson Sue Suckling.

 She also acknowledged Jason Court for his tenure as interim CEO.

Craig McGrory and Kylee de-Blecourt are heading Potentia’s Wellington operations, as general manager of Wellington and a company director, and business manager, respectively. 

Kylee de-Blecourt and Craig McGrory
Kylee de-Blecourt and Craig McGrory

McGrory is a career resourcing specialist with extensive experience in the staffing and recruitment industry, both locally and overseas. De-Blecourt has worked with  technology professionals and employers in the Wellington market.

Sprout Agritech Accelerator alumni Mark Currie of FTEK
Sprout Agritech Accelerator alumni Mark Currie of FTEK


Farm to fork startups ready to accelerate to the next level are being sought to become part of the third cohort of the Sprout Agritech Accelerator.

Up to eight Kiwi agritech startups will be accepted into the five-month accelerator, giving them access to a pool of more than $500,000 in grants and investments, as well as extensive mentoring from a team of experts and access to four fully-funded block courses at locations around the country designed to upskill them as business people.

“Sprout is looking for farm to fork businesses that are creating products and services in areas including robotics and automation, animal and crop health, biotechnology and innovative food and eCommerce," says Sprout business strategy advisor Stu Bradbury.

“If you’re in the early growth stages of business and you’ve already made sales and want to expand your operations quickly, or you have a prototype and need help refining your idea or finding your market, the Sprout team wants to help. We’re focused on helping these burgeoning agritech superstars to reach their potential.”

Companies that have participated in Sprout Agritech Accelerator have gone on to triple their sales, raise more than $2 million in funding, engage world-class advisors and set themselves on a global growth trajectory, says Bradbury. 

Registrations close on Friday, October 20 and this year’s intake will have an opportunity to join the innovation den at the 2018 National Agricultural Fieldays. 


A $90,000 GigCity Community Fund grant has been awarded by Chorus to a network of technology educators in Dunedin who plan to create a new generation of tech-savvy youth.

Under the governance of Connected Education Trust, The Hive will bring together education providers including Hatch Education, Tinkerschool, Fab Lab Dunedin, and Fun Science, alongside partners The Malcam Trust and Otago Polytechnic, to deliver youth-education programmes that work to inspire digital citizenship, creativity and tech skills.

The funding – part of the $500,000 awarded to the city for gig community projects as part of winning the Chorus Gigatown competition – was announced at a GigCity celebration event held at Precinct Food on Vogel Street in Dunedin.

The Connected Education group will run HIVE events and showcase their latest innovations, while also developing a mobile education outreach service. In this way, the group can support local schools in their own teaching efforts with tech programmes developed around specific tech-related areas such as robotics, virtual reality, Minecraft, 3D design and printing, plus more.

Chorus NZ Dunedin liaison manager Kim Stewart says the Connected Education grant creates an inspiring opportunity for Dunedin’s youth that becomes a legacy of the Gigatown competition win.

“As New Zealand’s first GigCity and winner of our Gigatown competition, Chorus has tried to create a foundation for Dunedin’s tech community to thrive. Enabling the youth of the city to access fantastic tech-related education programmes is a vital part of ensuring the benefits of the Gigatown win continue well into Dunedin’s future.”

Other grants awarded in this round include $22,000 for Anglican Family Care for its Primary Community Data Project – a partnership between Anglican Family Care Centre’s Family Start programme and WellSouth. The project aims to develop an electronic data exchange warehouse that allows client data sharing to improve health outcomes for Dunedin’s vulnerable children.

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

Follow CIO New Zealand on Twitter:@cio_nz

Join us on Facebook.


Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CIO100innovationmillennialsSTEMceo and cioChorusdunedinJade Softwaretechnology educationGigCity

More about Chorus NZEnablingFacebookHatchJade SoftwarePotentiaTwitter

Show Comments

Market Place