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Startup Folk #3

Lessons in Scaling from Amazon and Apple

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23 October 2019
Startup Folk #3

Anyone is welcome to attend this event, if you are an entrepreneur, a business owner, have an idea or are just curious to hear about Amazon and Apple then please register here.

Startup Folk is a free event which gives ticket holders access to leaders in the startup industry both from NZ and around the globe.  Our goal is to enable innovation, inspire, and support because that is what we love doing. 

Wednesday 13th November 5:00pm - 6:30pm followed by refreshments

The Basestation

148 Durham Street


Our two speakers will talk about the Products, the Teams, and the Growth of these two companies and others they have worked with.  They will give insight into strategy, leadership, organisational design, technology and culture of a business, what works and what may not to drive the change required for the success and continued success of your business.

About the speakers...

John Olsen

John's 20 plus year career in human resources has spanned a variety of industries, countries and business contexts.  Prior to moving to the Bay of Plenty in 2018 with his NZ born wife and 3 children, John was the Vice President of Human Resources for the Worldwide Operations Organization at Amazon.  With hundreds of employees and thousands of HR professionals around the globe WW Operations is responsible for the package delivery and customer service for all of Amazon's customers.  From 2012 to 2016, John led HR during the hyper growth of Amazon's devices organisation resulting in products such as Alexa, next generation Kindles and Kindle Fire tablets, and FireTV as well as the creation and rapid post launch closing of Fire Phone.

Prior to Amazon, John held a variety of roles at Microsoft and GE including leading human resources during Microsoft's turnaround response to the IPhone with its Windows Phone product and leading the HR integration of Skype for its rapid inclusion in Windows 8.

Vignesh Kumar

Vignesh is an engineering and technology professional (BE, ME in Bioengineering from University of Auckland, MBA Wharton), with experience in global technology design, manufacturing, and operations strategy.  Before returning home to New Zealand mid 2018, Vignesh spent several years at Apple, based across its North American and East Asian sites, as an Enclosure Engineering Manager in the Portables team. In this role he was directly responsible for the management of both the design transfer process from product design through to mass production, and the resultant enclosure hardware supply chain, for the Portables line of Apple products. Within the scope of this role, Vignesh led the front-end engineering strategy by working closely with design teams to identify new enclosure technologies and startups that aligned with Apple's product vision, and subsequently spearheaded commercial strategies to license, acquire, scale, and integrate these technologies into Apple's development pipelines and products. 

His other core experiences include: business development at BHL Group, in Papua New Guinea; product design at Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, in New Zealand; and more recently, early-stage investment in New Zealand’s burgeoning tech sector.

Register online by clicking on the image below.