Inaugural innovation programme launches in Waikato

7 May 2018

Executive Innovation Bootcamp

The University of Waikato’s Management School has officially launched its inaugural Executive Innovation Bootcamp programme, alongside strategic partner Waikato Innovation Park.

This month heralds the first of its kind innovation programme in the Waikato region.

“We’re excited to launch our innovation bootcamp. This programme is a vital tool for the business community and contributes to the innovation ecosystems in Waikato,” says Dean of Waikato Management School Professor Tim Coltman.

“We know that growth through innovation is a significant priority for all organisations, however only a few successfully achieve their goals. We've recognised that our business community requires support - that's why we are partnering with the best to bring them an innovation programme that can be truly transformational.”

The seven-part programme delivered over the next three months will be hosted at the vibrant business growth-hub Waikato Innovation Park. Being in the heart of the region’s innovation hub will allow university academics and business practitioners to come together for the unique programme.

Industry leaders and local innovators joining the programme to share their experiences and case studies include:

  • Lain Jager, chair of the newly formed Primary Sector Council
  • Annah Stretton, CEO of Stretton Fashion Group and founder of RAW - Reclaim Another Woman
  • Rob Heebink, research and development executive for Gallagher Group
  • Simon Peterson, CEO of Rowing NZ
  • Dani Simpson, director for Dynamic Media NZ
  • Andrew Nicol, co-founder and CEO of coHired
  • Erin Wansbrough, CEO of Soda Inc
  • Bill Murphy, executive for Enterprise Angels
  • Simon Perry, former CEO of and currently chair for Perrys Group
  • Stuart Gordon, CEO of Waikato Innovation Park

The programme has the support of government agency and business innovation champions, Callaghan Innovation. Programme manager at Callaghan Innovation and industry expert Ross Pearce presented his cutting-edge innovation testing model to 30 local business professionals, owners and entrepreneurs.

“We have to understand the different aspects of organisations that contribute to innovation,” says Ross. “Reflecting on and assessing where your business is at right now will bring out your innovation strengths and weaknesses. Innovation has its benefits but you have to have real focus. It’s really important to have clarity of where you want to go and what you don’t want to do for future innovations. Participants will develop an understanding of key innovation principles, current challenges of innovation, and practical skills to create and capture positive value for their organisations.”

“Core aspects of business will be covered in depth in each session to provide a solid foundation for future innovation and business developments,” says Dr Thomas Simnadis, postdoctoral research fellow in strategic management at Waikato Management School.

During the bootcamp, participants will be put through their paces and create a customised innovation action plan to act as a roadmap for future innovation in their organisation.