Astrolab’s advisory and board members are chosen for their experience, expertise, and personal commitment in the area of start-up commercialisation and scaling.

Strategic Insight & Direction

The Company Board overseas performance and the strategic direction of Astrolab.  It is supported by the Advisory Group and our Investment Committee.

Astrolab’s Advisory Group provides insight and non-binding recommendations to Astrolab’s CEO, Investment Committee, and Company Board to support the commercialisation and scaling of Astrolab’s ventures.  The Advisory Group’s members are also available to our ventures to provide expert insight or relationships to support venture success. Additionally, alongside Astrolab’s wider team, the Advisory Group’s mission includes fostering activities that strengthen our operations but also the wider understanding of Astrolab’s work, how we support our partners in the innovation ecosystem and, further, the wider community in New Zealand.

 

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Krishnakumar Guda
Board (Chair) / Advisory Group

Finance Director – Astrolab

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.

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Mark Green
Advisory GROUP

Principal – Obsidian Capital and Advisory

Mark is an experienced and well known finance and investment banking executive with more than 20 years of experience in the Australasian capital and financial markets (approximately 20 years with Goldman Sachs as an Executive Director in Investment Banking). Mark’s experience includes senior financial and strategy positions, equity and debt capital markets including M&A with transaction values exceeding NZD $8b, treasury and investor relations. Mark has advised and been intimately involved in many of New Zealand’s pre-eminent transactions including Meridian, Mighty River Power and Vector IPO’s. Mark is known for his robust ethics, analytical mind, inclusive approach to decision making, outstanding intellect and commercial acumen.

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Julia Chambers
Advisory GROUP (Chair)

Principal – ChambersPage Limited

Julia has extensive commercial experience at executive management and director level in both start-up and corporate organizations in the fields of Biopharmaceuticals and medical technology. She brings a strong background in business development, strategy, and capital raising in bioscience, across Asia Pacific, North America and Europe. In addition to her technology consultancy business she currently undertakes a number of strategic and commercial advisory roles with high growth technology companies.

 
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ARRON JUDSON
BOARD

GM Marketing & Partnerships – Scion

Provides governance & leadership expertise for the ventures and Astrolab. With 25+ years’ experience in ICT running advanced research facilities for US & EU start-ups and in senior commercial roles with technology focused multinationals. He is currently the General Manager of Marketing and Partnerships at Scion and on the Kiwinet Advisory Panel.

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David Baird
Advisory GROUP

Partner  – Movac Limited

David joined Movac, New Zealand’s most experienced technology investor in 2006. He has been a General Partner for its funds including Fund 2 (a $15m angel fund), Fund 3 ($45m venture capital fund) and Fund 4 ($110m expansion capital fund). Movac has invested in a number of great New Zealand tech companies including TradeMe (sold to Fairfax),  PowerbyProxi (sold to Apple), GeenButton (sold to Microsoft) and Givealittle (sold to Spark Foundation). Prior to joining Movac, David was an entrepreneur and founded Purchase3.com, a SaaS expense management and eInvoicing solution used throughout UK. In his earlier years David has also been a management consultant for Deloitte, IT program manager and a software developer specialising in finance and insurance, call centre, e-commerce, retail and ERP/logistics/inventory.  Having worked in NZ, UK, Australia, Singapore and Egypt, David has a broad experience of businesses across different regions.

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Mario Vulinovich
Advisory GROUP

Venture Partner – Astrolab

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)

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BRETT OLIVER
BOARD

CEO – Astrolab

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.