Business Panel Q&A

1pm Wednesday
Sir Woolf Fisher Arena

Due to unforeseen circumstances Sarah Colcord is no longer able to come to SME&E. However, we're pleased to announce that CEO & Founder of Rocketspark, Grant Johnson, will be joining us instead. Thanks Grant!  

Your Host

Bridget Snelling

Country Manager, Xero NZ

Bridget is Xero New Zealand Country Manager, responsible for overseeing the execution of New Zealand’s go-to-market strategy, revenue, market share, and advancing Xero’s brand as a leading small business platform. She has over ten years of experience across global financial services, technology, and media. Prior to Xero, Bridget held various strategic marketing and leadership positions at TVNZ, Orion Health and ANZ. Bridget holds a conjoint Bachelor of Arts and Law, with Honours in Media Law, from the University of Auckland

The Panellists

Justine Troy
Justine Troy

Co-founder of 42 Below Vodka and owner of New Zealand’s first carbon positive certified farm

Justine co-founded the iconic vodka brand 42 Below with her husband, Geoff Ross. The brand changed the way New Zealand and in particular the investment community viewed growth brands (42 Below listed on the NZX in 2003). It also brought a new style of marketing to the world. 42 Below won the hearts of bars and bartenders all over the world, from the Ritz in London to the coveted Bungalow Eight in NYC.

Justine is also one of our incredible headline speakers. Catch her on the main stage at 8:45am Wednesday!

Ben Panther -
Ben Panther

Strategic Partnerships, AUNZ, for TikTok for Business

Ben manages Partnerships for TikTok throughout Australia & New Zealand within the SMB Team. Ben focuses on enabling SMBs through tools and educational programs to help brands unleash their creative side, connect with our audience, and drive revenue and growth.

Bob Drummond
Bob Drummond

Executive Chairman, Chief Revenue Office and Co-founder of Kami

The world’s #1 digital classroom application, Kami is used by over 35 million users across 180 countries and 90% of U.S. K-12 schools. The company was listed in TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential Companies for 2022 — the only NZ-based company to join the ranks of Spotify, Apple, Balenciaga and Patagonia — to represent the best of Kiwi entrepreneurship on the global stage.

Starting his career as a software engineer, Bob spent over 30 years across New Zealand, Germany and North America building successful digital products, founding start-ups, executing business strategies and growing market share. Prior to Kami, he was Chief Operating Officer for Plexure, where he led the now multi-million dollar market leader’s revenue growth, customer management, and engineering & data science team.

With his wealth of experience, Bob has also served as Executive in Residence at The ICEHOUSE, advising and mentoring start-ups through market validation, incubation, international partnerships and capital raising.

Sarah Colcord
Sarah Colcord

Founder & CEO of Chooice

Sarah is the founder of Chooice, NZ’s largest Facebook Group and biggest small business marketplace. During the 2020 New Zealand COVID-19 Lockdown, Sarah launched Chooice Facebook Group for small Kiwi businesses to promote their products and services. 

Today Chooice boasts over 560,000 members, over 2000 stores and since inception, has sold over 150,000 products, generating more than $4.5 million dollars in sales for small Kiwi businesses.

Sarah is a 2021 Impact Awards finalist, a 2021 semi-finalist for Young New Zealander of the Year and Innovator of the Year, the 2021 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award winner for Business & Entrepreneurship and a 2022 GEN NZ Social Entrepreneur of the Year.

Chooice is a 2022 Coralus (formerly SheEO) semi-finalist.


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