New Directors appointed to NZGCP Board

/ Press Announcements / 18 Sep 2023 / Katie Hickmer


Three new directors have been appointed to the New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP) Board - Janice Fredric, Grant Straker, and Steve O’Connor.

“I’m delighted to welcome these new directors to the Board, taking us to a full complement. They bring a diverse set of skills and experience and will add invaluable insights, further strengthening our Board’s capability,” says Annabel Cotton, NZGCP Board Chair.

“NZGCP’s purpose is to support New Zealand early-stage technology businesses and investors to be world-class. Together with our management team we look forward to continuing to deliver to the purpose, bringing strong long-term growth and positive outcomes for all our stakeholders”.

The new members join the current Board of Annabel Cotton (Chair), Marcel van den Assum and Nicole Buisson.


Janice Fredric is a professional director with over 20 years governance experience.  Her current governance appointments include Chair of the Civil Aviation Authority and Aviation Security Service, Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committees of the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Aurora Energy Limited, Mainpower NZ Ltd, Lincoln University Council, and independent member of the Timaru District Council Audit and Risk Committee.

She has held senior executive positions in the professional services sector and the finance and banking sectors both in New Zealand and internationally.  She is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration.

Grant Straker is the co-founder and CEO of Straker with his wife, Merryn, an AI based language company that they built from start-up to IPO on the ASX.  He was New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year winner with his wife in 2018.  He is Ngati Raukawa and a mechanical engineer by trade with more than 25 years' experience in the technology industry, and a prominent advocate for Māori in technology.

He has extensive capital markets experience in New Zealand and Australia, and was a member of the Startup Advisors Council in 2022-2023.

Steve O’Connor is an independent director, advisor and investor with a strong background within the start-up and technology commercialisation community in Aotearoa and overseas.  He was the founder and CEO of Flick Electric which was acquired by Z Energy.  Prior to this he was the CEO of Creative HQ, Wellingtons innovation hub, incubator and accelerator. 

He is a Director of Rocketing Ventures, providing advisory services and an Advisory Board member at the School of Business and Government at Victoria University.  He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Commerce from Victoria University of Wellington and is a Member of the Institute of Directors.

Media contact:  David Lewis – 021 976 119

/ Recent News + Media


Elevate NZ Venture Capital Pulse Check 4

19 Apr 2024

An overview of NZ's venture capital market following a fund managers pulse check session


AI Unboxed Series: Machine Learning 101

19 Mar 2024

AI Unboxed Series: Machine Learning 101
A breakdown of the complex world of artificial intelligence


Board Chair reappointment

14 Mar 2024

Annabel Cotton has had her term as NZGCP Board Chair extended by a further three years.