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Spark Brings World-class AI Programme To New Zealand Businesses

Applications are open for New Zealand’s first AI for Business Mini MBA, an opportunity for Aotearoa businesses to build their competitive advantage with artificial intelligence (AI) over an intensive four-week programme.

Spark is offering 150 sponsored places for Spark business customers and other New Zealand business leaders, who will gain access to international AI experts through a collaboration with Section – a world-leading business education platform founded by NYU Stern Professor Scott Galloway.

This is the first time Section has run a country-specific cohort for one of its Mini MBAs, with the four-week programme run on New Zealand time. The programme will give business leaders a strategic understanding of AI and will see participants develop a tailored business plan to harness AI and its productivity benefits for their business.

Spark CEO Jolie Hodson says the AI for Business Mini MBA is part of a wider Spark programme of activity to help accelerate New Zealand businesses one technology generation forward. Other initiatives include tools to measure digital adoption in New Zealand and a $15 million innovation fund for Spark’s business customers over the next three years.

“Our report with NZIER has identified that advanced digital technologies such as artificial intelligence can enable productivity gains far beyond labour productivity alone, with a 20% uplift delivering up to $26 billion in industry output over the next decade, and GDP as much as 2.08% per year,” says Hodson.

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“44% of New Zealand businesses say they don’t know enough about AI, with generative AI identified as the biggest digital technology gap by business leaders. AI has the potential to boost productivity across every sector by re-imagining day-to-day processes – whether its improved efficiency of existing processes, removing low-value manual tasks, or more advanced applications, such as automated road inspection, hazard detection, or monitoring the health of our environment.”

The New Zealand AI for Business Mini MBA is led by Section CEO Greg Shove, who is also the founder of new AI lab, Machine&Partners, and a previous senior leader at Apple, and will lead the first session of the MBA in person in Auckland in May.

“Every leader should be thinking about their organisation's AI strategy and how to get their employees into 'the AI class’ this year," says Shove.

"We developed the AI for Business Mini-MBA to help leaders accelerate their business' adoption of AI, and we're so excited to be delivering this programme to our first country-specific cohort in May."

Along with the four-week programme, participants will also receive an eight-month Section membership, giving them access to 100+ strategies from global business leaders and video course lessons across AI, business, marketing, and product.

AI for Business Mini MBA 2023 graduates include participants from leading global businesses including Heineken, Salesforce, Google, American Express, Microsoft and IBM. The New Zealand programme begins on 8 May 2024.

Providing access to this internationally renowned programme builds on Spark’s mahi over many years to bring both local and global insights to its business customers through Spark Lab.

For more information and for Spark business customers to apply online, visit

Limited places available, terms and conditions apply.

Spark and NZIER’s full Accelerating Aotearoa businesses one technology generation forward report is available here.

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