From my earliest days of helping on the family farm to founding a technology business focused on enabling financial and environmental sustainability for farmers, I am passionate about making a difference in the agricultural sector. Since the successful exit of Regen to CropX in 2020 I have continued to be involved with Regen and CropX, taking up a role of chief Sustainability Officer for CropX. The broad experience I have gained over my career enables me to bring together knowledge and expertise from business, technology, science and social science to develop solutions today for tomorrow's challenges.
Sunil believes a thoughtful business plan underpins a platform of common understanding between all interested parties in a venture. This enables the establishment of shared goals and improved teamwork between technologists, the staff, and business partners. In particular, he works towards converting complex science and business concepts into simple and understandable language.
Sunil has over 30 years’ experience in transforming innovation into business success. His first commercial project in 1987 saved his employer $3 million per annum and helped introduce an enhanced product range. After emigrating to New Zealand in 1993, he managed the intellectual property portfolio of 120 patents for Industrial Research Limited (now Callaghan Innovation). He sold and licensed the intellectual property in New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the USA.
In 2000 he was appointed General Manager of Science at Industrial Research Limited with 250 direct reports and a budget of $30 million. In 2005 he was appointed CEO of the Building Research Association and in 2008 he began his own entrepreneurial activity. In recent years he has assisted over 20 innovative concepts to progress to start-up companies or commercialization.
Sunil has held numerous governance positions including at MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction (CIB) and Damping Systems Limited (joint venture with Oiles Corporation, Japan). He currently holds positions in Edpotential Ltd, Westmedic Ltd, Ablex Ltd and is an advisor to Toku Eyes Ltd and Cetogenix Ltd.
Sunil holds a doctorate degree from the University of Oxford (UK, on scholarship), MBA from University of Witwatersrand (South Africa, on scholarship) and has received executive training from the Darden Business School (USA).
Blair Pritchard was previously a Partner at Pacific Channel but is still involved in an advisory capacity. He is now based in Sydney, where he is a director of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). At the CEFC, he is responsible for increasing the innovative and early stage investing activities. This includes pioneering new investment programs designed to promote clean energy innovation, investing directly in early stage companies, and advising such companies on growth strategies.
Blair was the Chief Investment Officer of My Angel Investment, an equity crowdfunding platform as well as the CFO of Phoenix Water, a Melbourne based water technology company
Blair has also worked at Macquarie, where he ran a team making principal investments in early stage clean-tech and environmental companies as part of the Macquarie Group. This role included setting up/acquiring early stage companies and remaining actively involved in their ongoing management including Board representation. The business reached profitability after two years.
Prior to that he acted as Chief Investment Officer of a $7bn funds management unit within Macquarie. Earlier in his career, Blair worked as an investment analyst for Mercer Investment Consulting, performing asset-liability modelling for Australian pension funds.
Blair’s areas of interest include financial structuring and product development cycles in early stage companies. He has law and economics degrees from Victoria University of Wellington and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
David is an internationally award-winning scientist and recognized global expert in immunoassay development, electrochemistry and chemical sensors. He was formerly Head of Chemistry at University College London and Chief Scientist at Alere (when known as Inverness Medical Innovations) at the time when it developed Clearblue Digital, the first digital home pregnancy test. David co-founded Capteur Sensors Ltd and Aeroqual Ltd. He is currently based at The University of Auckland and is an Emeritus Investigator of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and Associate Investigator of the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Biodiscovery and of the Centre for Medical Device Technology. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland.
Sam has spent the last decade in governance roles supporting young and ambitious growth companies. Examples include Xero in accounting software, Magritek in scientific instruments, PartnersLife in insurance and Synlait in the food/dairy industry.
During the prior decade, Sam was the founding CEO of Kiwibank, leading it from idea to success. This role followed an extensive career in financial services with senior executive roles in Australia and New Zealand.
Sam has a BSc in Physics from Waikato University and an MSc (Hons) in Resource Management from Canterbury University.
Selwyn Yorke is a biotech consultant, a Director who holds two Chair and three Board positions on deep tech start-up organisations. He has several Advisory roles and enjoys being a business mentor (BMNZ). To support environmental recovery, Selwyn Chairs a community-based native tree planting and environmental management group. He is an Impact Advisor to groups at two Research Institutions.
Selwyn is an Investment Committee member of the Manawatu Investment Group Fund 3 in which he assesses many types of start-up companies, including foodtech, biotech, agritech and SaaS businesses for investment opportunities. Furthermore, he is a member of the Return on Science Manawatu Momentum committee and recently became a Chiasma Manawatu mentor.
Selwyn has a career of project management related activities including drug development, medical devices, natural products and related technology, including early-stage manufacturing.
Selwyn was Business Development Manager at New Zealand Pharmaceuticals Ltd (NZP), a GMP certified manufacturer of drug substances, pharmaceutical intermediates and natural products. He contributed to global sales of a range of NZP products and retired from NZP in June, 2016.
Selwyn is a graduate of the University of Canterbury (PhD chemistry) and in the post-grad period, he worked in academia for several years, in a tech start-up and at the Chemistry Division, DSIR.
Hans is a founding member Chairman of Global Bridges, a Berlin based German NGO that aims to foster better understanding between opinion leaders in politics, business, science and the media in Germany and a number of other countries such as China, Russia, Iran, Israel and Palestine and several other countries in Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
In his commercial life, Hans Albrecht is a Managing Partner and founder of Nordwind Capital, a Munich based private equity investor.
Prior to founding Nordwind Dr. Albrecht was managing director and co-founder of Carlyle Europe Partners, the European arm of the Washington based Carlyle Group and before that he was managing director and partner of IMM Industries Management, one of the leading German private equity companies at that time.
He started his career as a consultant with The Boston Consulting Group in Munich.
Hans holds a Ph.D. in medicine, the equivalent of an LL.B. from the University of Würzburg, an L.L.M. from the Harvard Law School and an M.B.A. from INSEAD. He is a Fulbright scholar and is registered as an attorney with the New York Bar.
Hans is a member of the Foundation Council of the Munich Security Conference and as a private investor he is amongst other activities a member of CargoBeamer AG’s supervisory board and the spokesman of the CargoBeamer investor group.
Dr Allan Goldberg is a biotechnology entrepreneur, and has been a CEO, Board member, and advisor for both private and public companies with marketed and R&D stage products. He has been involved primarily in therapeutics companies focused either on oncology or infectious disease. Currently, he is on the board of New Zealand-based Orbis Diagnostics, a company developing a rapid, quantitative, low-cost, portable point-of-care diagnostic platform technology that will be used initially to detect neutralizing antibodies after SARS-CoV-2infection, but that also has broad applicability for detection of other infectious agents. Dr Goldberg is currently the CEO of DetectOn Diagnostics,Inc., a US-based company focused on early detection of cancer.
Prior to entering the biotech industry, he was a professor of virology at The Rockefeller University, where his lab focused on viral oncology. Allan holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Biology from Princeton University.
Roger’s domestic and international business advisory experience spans 40 years. He has a deep understanding of the issues and challenges facing businesses wanting to grow both in New Zealand and offshore. He has advised many businesses through various stages of growth offering insights and knowledge acquired through many years of working closely with entrepreneurs and their businesses. As a 10+year partner at EY, Roger initially was a partner in EY consulting and after the sale of their consulting practice to Cap Gemini headed the Australasian public sector consulting practice for four years. Subsequently Roger was partner in charge of the Entrepreneurial Services and Transaction Advisory service lines at EY and was a member of the executive management group of the Firm.
Roger is a founding Director of VCFO Group Ltd after forming the original VCFO Firm in 2007 and is responsible for the accounting and business advisory areas of the Firm. He has experience across a number of business areas including commercial property management, property development and a range of young entrepreneurial start-up companies and provides advice on guidance on growth; access to capital; strategy commercialisation; valuations; and acquisitions and divestments.
Roger is a Chartered Accountant and has postgraduate management qualifications from Massey University.
A career of 45 years as an Intellectual Property Lawyer and Patent Attorney, specialising particularly in all areas of trademark law from brand creation through to litigating the enforcement of IP rights.
Partner at both AJ Park and Baldwins IP over a period of 35 years.
Chairman at AJ Park for 7 years between 2013 and 2019.
Acted for many overseas corporates, including Disney, Warner Bros, Lacoste, Citibank, Ferrari, L’Oréal and BIC.
New Zealand companies included Mainfreight, Farmers, Healtheries, Navman and Manuka Health, as well as a large number of New Zealand wine companies and start-ups in association with The Icehouse.
In 2016 won the Who’s Who Legal award for International Trademark Lawyer of the Year.
A Notary Public and served on the Council of the New Zealand Society of Notaries for 6 years.
Currently, a Brand Ambassador for New Zealand legal software developer, Sortify.tm Limited, a locally based legal tech start-up.
Cather Is one of New Zealand’s most highly regarded scientists having founded New Zealand’s premier laboratory for photonics research – the Photon Factory. As a Ministry of Primary Industries Champion, and member of thePrimary Industries Science Strategy group, she is also one of New Zealand’s most successful translators of high-tech laboratory to AgTech impact. She is Founding Scientist and CSO of Engender Technologies, a spin out from the University of Auckland that was sold to CRV in 2018.
Lachlan Nixon is an integral part of the Pacific Channel team and assists Pacific Channel and its portfolio companies with a wide variety of activities. He has a genuine passion for helping early stage and high growth New Zealand companies to achieve success and has added great value to our work to create value and impact for our stakeholders and New Zealand.
Lachlan is a key member of the investment team and has made investments in several successful companies during his time at Pacific Channel including Quantifi Photonics, OPUM Technologies, Terax and A1.
He is particularly adept at the technology transfer process of forming new private companies around ground-breaking technologies developed at research institutions and setting them up for initial investment and long-term success. Subsequent to investment, Lachlan works with portfolio companies to secure further resources (other investors, people, synergistic technologies and commercial partners) . He is experienced in conceptualizing and structuring transactions to secure these resources to the benefit of all stakeholders. He also works with his portfolio companies to support their business development, recruitment, commercial strategy, M&A and further capital raising.
Lachlan also leads Pacific Channel’s fund-raising strategy, having been a key person in strategizing, structuring, raising and operationalising both Pacific Channel Fund I and Fund II.
Lachlan is well connected within the early-stage investment industry in Australasia and works to syndicate our investments with other investors within his network.
Lachlan holds degrees in law and music from the University of Otago and is an admitted Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.
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