An Otumoetai College grad whom has been moving and shaking the innovation world of Aoetaroa and beyond for the past 5 years.
Alex McCall hails from Tauranga and is a multiple tech startup founder with deep experience across fintech, conservation, education and virtual reality. By getting out there and giving it a go, these projects have taught him a lot about innovation and entrepreneurship. With a background in earth sciences he has now come full circle on his pathway to believe that healthy soil creates healthy food and from this healthy humans. He is currently undertaking a special project with Halter an Agtech startup where he is exploring the connection between Regenerative Agriculture and Technology. Alex believes that New Zealand has the ability to be a global leader for innovation, technology and impactful entrepreneurship.
Q & A with Alex:
Tell us about your current role and your pathway into it.
Working in the NZ tech startup ecosystem for the past 5 years has taught me an exponential amount of invaluable lessons. When starting new ventures you are doing it all and learning it all; pitching, marketing, product development, people, team building, capital raising, you name it! Startup experience across fintech, conservation, education, virtual reality has definitely taught me a lot about innovation and entrepreneurship, the good, the bad and the ugly. After experiencing burnout and shifting cities back to Auckland I have found myself stripping back the fundamentals and really looking deep to understand where I would like to set my next project. With this I have landed at the fundamental belief that if we can achieve healthy soil we can grow healthy food and in effect significantly improve human health. A round about way to get there so far it may seem but the learning and journey never stops, so may it continue.
2) How do you think innovation can help you in your role?
Growing up playing in Poppa’s woodworking shed on the weekends and building little wooden planes or skyscrapers out of offcuts was where my innovation journey began. The capacity to make something, see if it works and try again or make it bigger and better is quintessential to where I am now. The mindset as Eric Ries would say to Build, Measure, Learn is invaluable. One of my innovation muscles I have been flexing over the past few years and have a deep appreciation for is empathy and the power of listening. This never stops for any product you create. If you are selling something you need to deeply understand who it is for, how they think, what language they use and what pain you are really solving for them. Whether it’s growing vegetables and selling them at the market or creating a fintech product, empathy is always present. Empathy is how I see the future of innovation developing.
3) Describe in three words what it’s like to work in your current role.
Connection, Listening, Action.