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.


David Steytler
GM Commercial & Legal

David is passionate about working with innovative businesses with a vision for making a global difference. David has held senior legal roles in private practice and the corporate world in New Zealand and Australia. With more than 15 years legal and commercial leadership experience, David has worked within and alongside businesses across a broad range of industries including ICT, mobile services, hospitality, retail, education, environmental solutions and aviation.


Kate de Ridder
Programme Manager

Kate has 15 years of aerospace and military product design, integration and certification experience. Having led organisational change projects, Kate has a wealth of change management experience leveraging strong communication skills. Kate is unafraid of technical complexity and holds a Masters of Science in Aerospace Vehicle Design as well as having completed Post Graduate studies in Business Development and Strategy, she has broad skillsets to offer.

Kate is used to being under pressure and dealing with multiple stakeholders across geographical and cultural barriers. Kate is passionate about seeing high tech innovative ventures grow out of NZ and succeed globally.


Kate Wightman
Commercialisation 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.

Rolien Gans
Commercialisation Analyst

Having studied psychology and management, Rolien’s skills are her ability to gather and interpret information to identify, analyse, and consult on trends, opportunities, and strategies to market.

Rolien has worked for small to medium-sized New Zealand companies in health, data and analytics, and recruitment. Drawing from her experience, Rolien brings informed decision making, problem solving, and a hint of Dutch honesty to her role as a commercial analyst. She has a passion for making peoples’ lives easier through innovative technologies in digital health and cleantech.