The organizers of Startup Queenstown Lakes Trust announce today the appointment of a Board of Trustees to lead the startup ecosystem and community. Joining the Board of Trustees are David Wallace of Wanaka, Luke Taylor of Queenstown, and Wayne Hudson of Wanaka. The organization separately appointed Madison Stumbles of Queenstown as a trustee apprentice.
David is managing director of Armillary Private Capital, a specialist investment banking, funds management, financial training and advisory firm. He has a background in investment banking, equities research and corporate treasury, with more than 20 years experience working in the private capital markets in NZ.
Luke is GM for Go Orange, the most dynamic adventure tourism business in the district with offerings in Kayaking, Cruising, Rafting and Jet Boating. Previously he was Country Manager for local tech firm Magic Memories and Operations Manager for Real Journeys and served in the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Wayne is a legal consultant with more than 35 years experience as a commercial and corporate lawyer, having been a partner in Bell Gully and Hudson Gavin Martin. He has a focus on the technoloy sector, advising on the commercialisation of technology and IP, capital raising, and structuring start-up companies.
The Selection Process
The trustees were selected by an independent panel following a national call for trustees that saw applications from 40 highly qualified applicants across New Zealand.
The panel reviewed applicants for a variety of criteria, including:
- A strong passion for and understanding of startups and early-stage ventures
- A broad base of skills, but in particular have connections to startups, strong business acumen and communication skills
- A general understanding of economic development and the challenges/opportunities that exist in the Queenstown Lakes District
- An understanding of the role of a Board and how a high performing board works in order to fulfil its governance role.
“We have a strong economy around tourism and hospitality, but we must be taking steps now to diversify our economy and create high paying jobs for locals,” said Trent Yeo, a founder organizer of the trust and director of local tourism operator ZipTrek Ecotourism. “David, Luke and Wayne have the skills, experience, and passion to give the initiatives of Startup Queenstown Lakes the leadership it needs to ensure we have a more sustainable community. I couldn’t be more excited to have them take the reins.”
Building on the CUBE
Yeo, along with A.J. Mason and Gemma Zust formed the trust, following work undertaken by a broader committee of entrepreneurs and community stakeholders that began in 2017. That group sought to expand entrepreneur and investor activity already happening in the district, particularly by the CUBE in Wanaka.
Learn more about the organization's history.
“We thank the community leaders in Wanaka who had the foresight to start the CUBE. They have given us the framework and momentum we have today,” credited Wallace, who has been elected chairman of the trust. “We are excited to put this region on the map for startups and leverage the intellectual talent that is here.”
Building skills from the top down
One of the primary goals of Startup Queenstown lakes is in increasing the skills of entrepreneurs and investors alike to increase their chance of success.
In addition to the appointment of the trustees, the organizers also appointed a young entrepreneur as a trustee apprentice to learn governance skills and get experience in a board role.
Madison Stumbles is Content Marketing Manager at Educating Adventures Limited and will serve in her first governence role. She previously was a member of Dunedin-based startup Timely, where she worked on the client experience and onboarding team.
Maddy will be a voice for new entrepreneurs and a sounding board for the ecosystem as she learns about governance and organizational leadership. The apprenticeship is for a one year period.
The new Board of Trustees completed their induction in late November and have immediately stepped into accelerating the programs put in place by the organizing committee and formation trustees. More details about programming and initiatives will be announced soon.
About the Author
James Burnes is a founding member of Startup Queenstown Lakes and leads day-to-day initiatives for the organization. You can reach him at +64 27 392 2475 or firstname.lastname@example.org.