Astrolab works with ideas from across the country. Its head office in Auckland is in close proximity to the city's universities and central medical research facilities as well as the central business community.

Our ventures vary from initial concepts to fully developed ideas and we provide commercialisation expertise, financial backing, crucial go-to-market contacts, strategy and other business assets essential for success.

Astrolab works with innovators in a range of sectors including ICT, life science, clean-tech, IoT, devices, human performance, media, visualisation/VR/AR, agritech, and care/medical. Approved under Callaghan Innovation’s technology incubator funding framework, Astrolab is mandated by the New Zealand Government.

Astrolab partners with a range of organisations to successfully seed and globally commercialise deep-tech intellectual property.






Brett Oliver

10+ years’ experience in commercialisation & innovation activities. Roles included composite materials engineering, venture capital due-diligence, commercial and property finance, technology auditor and advisor at KPMG, commercialisation manager at NZ’s largest research organisation, and North Island Manager of Commercialisation, NZ national health innovation initiative.


Andrew Knox

A NZ qualified Chartered Accountant, Andrew brings a broad range of experience having worked in private practice and global investment banks in the United Kingdom and New Zealand.  Andrew’s experience includes senior positions in Finance, Operations and ICT with particular emphasis on delivery of critical change projects and process optimisation. Andrew is passionate about the tech space particularly helping nurture world-class NZ entrepreneurs achieve on the world stage.


Based between San Francisco and Tokyo, Patrick brings substantial expertise in managing collaboration and investment with globally based innovation partners. Secured 100+ partnerships between IP developers and industry matching complex IP to international demand.  Excellent connections with North American, Asian VCs and global corporates.


Krishnakumar Guda

Krishna has more than 25 years’ senior executive experience in the IT&T industry across diverse global markets. He has been a key contributor to major growth ventures including acquisitions and innovative start-ups. As a finance professional Krishna brings a wealth of commercial acumen to Astrolab where he is responsible for strong governance, financial management and enabling strategic growth.


Mario Vulinovich
Venture Partner

Mario is an experienced business leader and entrepreneur who is active in the New Zealand investment community. Mario was Country Chairman and Regional GM for Shell, he has extensive governance and strategic experience and has served on many boards. Not only has he held significant corporate roles locally and internationally he has also developed many businesses and, in addition to his Advisory Group and coaching roles, he currently continues to be closely involved with his own businesses.

He brings strategic thinking and international business development at the highest levels combined with great local hands on experience. His networks span across many industries and geographies. Mario holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree and an MBA (honours)


Jiao xie
Commercial Analyst

With a background in technology commercialisation, Jiao is experienced in building
technology startups and brings to the team her knowledge and experience in evaluating
market opportunities, finding product market fit, and formulating go-to-market strategy for
early stage ventures. Jiao is also experienced in capital raising, pitching, and business

Having a career footprint spanned across e-Health, Robotic Engineering and Data Analytics,
Jiao’s passion is in bridging the gap between science and business, and taking innovative
technology out of the lab to help improve people’s quality of life.


Kate Wightman
Commercial Analyst

With experience in the angel investment sector, including as Partner of First Cut Ventures, Kate has extensive knowledge in investment due diligence and facilitating investment in start-up ventures across a wide range of sectors.

Having studied and worked in the Biotechnology field, Kate also brings expertise in the areas of Food Science, Microbiology and Agricultural Technology, and a keen interest in the Medical and Digital space.