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Google VP to speak in Auckland

27 January 2005

Google VP to speak at high-powered Auckland commercialisation seminar

27 January 2005, Auckland - How can kiwi entrepreneurs improve their success rate at transforming smart ideas into world beating business ventures?

The audience that gathers to hear Google’s Vice President of Corporate Development, David Drummond, will be hoping for some keen insights into this complex process when he delivers a keynote address in Auckland in early March.

Mr Drummond worked closely with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to incorporate the company and secure its initial rounds of financing. Google is now valued at $53 billion.

Mr Drummond is just one of a heavyweight panel of international experts from a range of sectors who will present at a special one-day symposium to explore issues in commercial research and new technology development.

The symposium is being organised by Auckland UniServices Limited, the organisation which develops and organises the commercial research undertaken by The University of Auckland.

Conference convenor and recently retired chief executive for UniServices, Dr John Kernohan, says the symposium has attracted 10 speakers from overseas, who between them have helped turn smart ideas into millions of dollars of earnings and collectively now manage billions of investment decisions in IT, biotech and other new knowledge sectors.

“The symposium will be a prime opportunity to hear case studies illustrating the opportunities and pitfalls that exist in the sector, and to gain coal-face insights on how to create more wealth from those opportunities.

“Very rarely is there a chance for New Zealanders to access the type of informed comment on significant sector issues that this group will be able to provide,” he says.

Dr Kernohan says Google has grown from being a bright idea formed between two post graduate student researchers at Stanford University into a multi-billion dollar company and a global business phenomenon.

“This will be a unique opportunity to learn how the Google founders translated their good ideas and innovative technology into a high growth business.”

Other presenters at the symposium represent leaders from top biotech, new technology and investor organisations and include CEOs from outstanding US, UK and Australian companies, specialising in cancer therapeutics, bio medical technologies, manufacturing and IT.

The symposium aims to offer approaches and strategies that work best in New Zealand for research commercialisation and knowledge transfer – and the topics covered are fundamental to many of the key enabling sectors identified by Government as being vital for New Zealand’s economic prosperity.

“These leaders will be able to provide cutting edge thinking and information on research commercialisation and insights into exactly how it can be made to work more effectively for the benefit of all research organisations, industry and the wider community,” Dr Kernohan says.

About UniServices

Auckland UniServices Limited is a wholly owned company of The University of Auckland. Established in 1988, UniServices manages all the University's commercial research and consultancy partnerships, forms new business ventures based on University research and owns and develops the University's intellectual property estate.

Our mission is to apply the research and expertise of the University to client needs and business opportunities, enabling organisations based on new knowledge to grow, expand the University's research capability and benefit the broader community.


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