Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Graham Smith appointed new CEO of SODA Inc.


Media release
03 April 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Graham Smith appointed new CEO of SODA Inc.

Graham Smith has been appointed chief executive of Waikato-based business incubator, SODA Inc.

Mr Smith is an experienced senior executive, director and advisor with a background in technology and economic development. He most recently held the position of chief executive at the Institute of Environmental Science and Research of (ESR).

Mr Smith says he is excited to be leading SODA, an organisation that is “instrumental” in growing and strengthening businesses throughout the Waikato.

“Waikato is one of the economic engines of New Zealand. Its businesses are doing many things well, not only at a regional level, but nationally and internationally.”

“I have worked in various parts of New Zealand and Australia over the past five and half years. The SODA role gives me a wonderful chance to re-engage with the Waikato region again,” he said.

Mr Smith said he is passionate about seeing businesses start-up and grow.

“I have extensive background in this area, having run both small and large organisations in the technology space over many years. I’m also eager to see SODA work alongside more organisations to further its great work.”

Mr Smith replaces Cheryl Reynolds, SODA’s founder and CEO, who resigned from the position late last year to take up the role of chief executive of the Momentum Foundation. Petr Adamek has been acting CEO at SODA for the past three months.

SODA chair John Cook said Mr Smith’s appointment is part of an exciting phase for SODA.

“The ground work has been laid and the organisation is poised to be taken to the next level. Graham’s connections, experience and drive will help achieve this,” he said.

Already SODA is in contact each year with 1500 entrepreneurs and 100 start-up businesses who receive its services, which range from business growth programmes to global network connections.

“Graham, and the dedicated team at SODA, will be leading greater collaboration with other Waikato innovation and start-up initiatives, and looking to secure new funding opportunities for SODA and its clients,” Mr Cook said.

Mr Smith will begin his role with SODA later this month.

ENDS


NOTES TO THE EDITOR

Employment history of Graham Smith:

• ESR, Chief Executive, (2011-2014)

• ITEK Pty Ltd, Australia, Chief Executive and Group Managing Director (2008-2011)

• The Katolyst Group, Group Chief Executive (2004-2008)

• AgResearch, Senior Management Team and General Manager, Marketing (2001-2004)

SODA is Waikato’s Entrepreneurship Hub. Each year we receive more than 120 enquiries from startups, and ultimately support 60 of these. On average, we enter up to eight high-growth ventures into SODA’s incubation programme. In addition, more than 1,500 fledgling and established entrepreneurs participate annually in SODA events, we are leading the growth of early stage investment opportunities, and we’ve established a unique 'born global' partnership programme.

SODA was established in 2008 with Wintec and the Hamilton City Council as our founding shareholders and is now an accredited incubator with funding from Callaghan Innovation. We also have six major corporate partners: ASB, Bold Horizon, Cisco, Deloitte, Norris Ward McKinnon, and Ultrafast Fibre. We also have more than 20 collaborative strategic partners and project sponsors.

We take a lead in developing new and innovative business growth-oriented projects, in collaboration with other partners in our region, including the National Agricultural Fieldays, Waikato Innovation Park, NetValue, Gallagher Group, 2degrees, Wintec, and Waikato-Tainui. Examples of projects that have earned SODA respect in the regional community include the Innes48 Hour Business Startup Competition, the Fieldays Innovation Den, the Digital Industry Forum, the Internship Meet & Match, SODA Labs, and the popular SODA Pop Social Club.

Incubation is able to lift startups and early stage businesses to the next level faster and ensure that they arrive there in better shape to grow even bigger. International research shows much better survival rates for businesses that are incubated. In the UK, 75% of businesses are still in business after 5 years compared to a non-incubation survival rate of just 33%. In the USA, 87% of businesses are still in business after 5 years compared to a non-incubation survival rate of just 40%. Importantly for Hamilton, research also shows that most businesses stay in the local area once they leave an incubation centre.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Air NZ Wine Awards: Victory For Villa Maria As Pinot Noir Thrills

It was a night to remember as Villa Maria Estate picked up one of the highest accolades of the evening, the O-I New Zealand Reserve Wine of the Show Trophy, at the 28th Air New Zealand Wine Awards. The Villa Maria Single Vineyard Southern Clays Marlborough ... More>>

ALSO:

Future Brighter Money: RBNZ Releases New Bank Note Designs

New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year. More>>

ALSO:

Commerce: Supermarket Inquiry Finds No Breaches By Countdown

The Commerce Commission inquiry into anti-competitive behaviour by Countdown supermarkets, alleged by former Labour Party MP Shane Jones, has found nothing to warrant prosecution, although it warns supermarkets to take care in the way they communicate... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: English Flags ‘Challenge’ To Budget Surplus

Finance Minister Bill English is warning next month’s half yearly fiscal and economic update from the Treasury may not forecast a budget surplus, saying that returning the government’s accounts to surplus in 2015 will be “a challenge”, given the decline in commodity prices and weak global inflation. More>>

ALSO:

March 2015: Netflix To Launch In Australia And New Zealand

World’s Leading Internet Television Network to Offer Original Series, Movies, Documentaries, Stand-Up Comedy Specials and TV Shows for Low Monthly Price More>>

ALSO:

Price Of Cheese (Is Up): Dairy Product Prices Fall To Five-Year Low

Dairy product prices fell in the latest GlobalDairyTrade auction to the lowest level in more than five years, led by declines in rennet casein and skim milk powder. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Australians Scoring Trade Points Against Us With The Chinese

It hasn’t been a great year for Trade Minister Tim Groser... To top it off, Australia has just signed a FTA with China that has far better provisions on dairy exports than what New Zealand currently enjoys in our own FTA with China. More>>

ALSO:

Iwi & Local Consultation: Oil And Gas Block Offer 2015 Begins

Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges today announced the start of the Block Offer 2015 process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news