Turning one and a new Master's intake: this week at Tech Futures Lab
Tech Futures Lab celebrated its first birthday this week, and we also happened to welcome in the June cohort of our Master's programme. Over the next 12 weeks our new batch of candidates will be immersed in all areas of business disruption and innovation, from the transformative business models of the likes of Airbnb and Alibaba to how blockchain and robotics are re-shaping our future. We'll offer you glimpses into our Master's programme on the blog every week as well as our social media, and if you haven't already, sign up to our email newsletter for regular updates.
What do we mean when we say business disruption and innovation?
This week was all about introductions - between the candidates, to what the group can expect throughout the programme, and to the juicy topics we'll be covering. Following a welcome breakfast and orientation, Tech Futures Lab founder and tech-ed expert Frances Valintine took the reins. Providing examples of New Zealand companies paving the way to a more forward thinking way of doing business, Frances talked about the likes of Pushpay, Vend and PowerbyProxi, what makes these businesses unique, and why so many of us haven't heard of them. Sharing insight into the conversations she has every day and the wide research she does on a regular basis, Frances spoke on how technology is creating a fundamental shift in how we live and work.
The collaborative economy and the business of the future
Also leading sessions this week was Priti Ambani, our resident expert on the collaborative economy. Focusing on platform business models, in her session Priti highlighted how the internet is giving rise to a whole new way of doing business and giving huge opportunity to scale at rapid speed. The session looked how how leveraging existing assets and drawing on the power of connectivity results in businesses that may only be a handful of years old usurping decades old corporations that rely on legacy models and traditional approaches. Priti also welcomed in Samar Singla, who is the co-founder and CEO of Jugnoo, a service business where users can book a ride or get food or groceries delivered, and was able to give insight as to what platform businesses are like from the inside.
Andrew Patterson capped off the week with an engaging session on the various things he's learnt from his time working in business media and beyond. With upwards of a decade of experience as a journalist including running the Sunday Business show on NBR, and with his Master’s degree in Business Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, Andrew was able to distill key ideas and understandings around technology, start-ups and disruptive innovation into bite-sized chunks. For one, according to Andrew a key component that is often overlooked is simple: the power of networks.
The truth about business: our fireside chats
Bookending Tuesdays and Thursdays from next week onwards will be our tech news conversations and fireside chats. This week on Thursday we were lucky enough to have Mitchell Pham, director of Augen Software Group and chairman at NZTech and FinTechNZ associations. Discussing everything from banking to education, Mitchell says, "If I could put this into one statement, it's that technology has democratised everything we have ever known."