Rachel Kelly owns Sparktank, a Hamilton-based tech start-up and a multi-disciplinary business consultancy for tech companies.
Currently, Kelly is in the middle of a big technology start-up project which will help defragment the tech sector, and encourage greater growth and prosperity within the Waikato region.
She’s recently met with dozens of tech entrepreneurs who were struggling to find their public voice and gain market traction and thinks the key to success is getting their hands dirty – not just guidance and verbal coaching.
“Since action is part of my DNA, to sit back on the side lines watching them flounder forced me to consider what I could offer – which was ultimately a plug-and-play sales and marketing team for hire,” she says.
“Sparktank secured about $250,000 a year contracts within six months and staff numbers grew,” explains Kelly.
She says there are a lot of amazing tech companies out there who don’t know their voice yet, nor do they know how to walk.
Kelly helps them find their voice in the market and walk beside them as they start their tech commercialisation journey.
“The point is, my hands get just as dirty as theirs and I don’t hide behind words,” she says.
“I hope to have more involvement within the security and artificial intelligence sectors – helping to bring innovation from NZ into the North American and Middle Eastern markets. I have already helped Kiwi companies such as Flipit, Aeronavics, 2degrees Mobile and Trustpower.”
Kelly has a passion for tech education in schools and workplaces and says that they are the key to New Zealand’s future.
Recently she spoke at the Future of Work Conference in Wellington about tech in the workplace.
She says technology is moving at an exponential rate and there needs to be greater industry influence in our education programmes to keep up.
Kelly adds that New Zealand is uniquely positioned to question the current government model - Governments are designed for scale, not speed.
“We need to find a way to either change the government model in NZ or introduce an arm or governing body that can function at intelligent speed while effectively integrating into NZ government,” she explains.
“Together with these workshops and my involvement with these programmes, I hope some of my ideas are heard and I can become more involved through the government or private collectives to action pragmatic solutions.”