Zoe is a Civil/Structural Engineer and Manager with experience in the mining and construction sectors in New Zealand and Australia, and the cannabis industry in the US. She was the Director of Engineering and Project Manager at Curaleaf, the largest cannabis company in the US, where she learned how to develop and scale a successful cannabis business from end to end. Zoe played a leading role in the company’s expansion by completing the design, planning, build, upgrade and start-up of more than 80 operational facilities in two years. She then returned to New Zealand to start Ora Pharm, where as CEO, Zoe is responsible for shaping Ora Pharm’s overall strategy and leading its domestic and global operations.
Eva Neshat, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Elysian Group (Elysian Pharmaceuticals and CannaCare Clinic, AU/NZ) is an international advocate and investor within the medicinal cannabis industry.
The Elysian Group established Elysian Pharmaceuticals and CannaCare Clinic with the mission to facilitate growth in patient education and consumer access throughout Australia & New Zealand.
Elysian Pharmaceuticals is poised to become a leading supplier of premium, prescription-grade medicinal cannabis products throughout Australasia, democratising access to better health solutions for all.
The Elysian Group has partnered with international industry leaders in medicinal cannabis patient care with the aim of bringing this knowledge and experience to market under New Zealand’s first internationally affiliated medicinal cannabis clinic network, CannaCare Clinic.
David Downs is a business leader, public servant, consultant, board director, speaker – and genetically modified organism. David is now CEO of The New Zealand Story, an ambitious government-funded organisation marketing New Zealand to the world.
Previously David was a General Manager at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) for 10 years, working with the Technology sector to help fast growing tech companies grow internationally. David has held various roles at NZTE, in the Services, Customer and Corporate Services teams, and led a cross-government project for the MBIE to help grow the Agritech sector.
David spent 13 years at Microsoft, in New Zealand and as regional director for South East Asia, and he has set up and run successful businesses of his own. David is a published author on New Zealand Innovation, with two highly successful books – ‘No.8 Re-wired’, and ‘No.8 Recharged’.
In 2017 /2018 David was facing a terminal diagnosis and given less than a year to live, but managed to beat cancer in a remarkable series of lucky breaks. After a year of chemotherapy, and staring a terminal diagnosis in the face, David got a literal lifeline, with the chance to get on to a clinical trial in the USA. Now a genetically modified cancer-killing machine, David’s reflecting on the lucky series of events that saw him beat cancer, and on his new approach to life.
He’s an ex-comedian, TV and Radio actor, semi-finalist for New Zealander of the Year, and a genetically modified optimist who documented his battle with cancer in the book A Mild Touch of the Cancer – now a documentary film. His charity project Down with Cancer helps raise funds to make the revolutionary CAR T-cell therapy available in New Zealand for those who need it.
A chartered member of the Institute of Directors, David holds a number of board positions, including as the chairman of The Icehouse, the Hi-Tech Trust, and the Well Foundation. He is part of the executive advisory committee to the CEO of DIA.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown, David co-founded sosbusiness.nz – a not-for-profit initiative to help bars, cafes and other small businesses sell vouchers. It quickly became a huge hit and to date has sold over $2 million in vouchers for over 2500 small businesses. All the money goes to the businesses. Based on that experience, he published a book about the innovation that happened during covid-19 in New Zealand, ’Silver Linings’, published by Penguin RandomHouse.
David studied at Massey University, the University of Auckland and Stanford University, and regularly presents and gives talks on his cancer journey and on the power of positive thinking and optimism.
Dr Glazer is the Chief Medical Officer at CannaWay Clinic, Canada. Dr Glazer is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care Medicine and Obesity Medicine, and a specialist in Sleep Disorders.
He is a member of the Ontario Bariatric Network and serves as President of the Canadian Association of Bariatric Physicians and Surgeons. He is responsible for education and research at CannaWay Clinic, is a key advisor to the CannaCare Board in Australasia and will be integral to the launch of CannaCare Clinic, Australia & New Zealand.
Imche is an ardent supporter of all things deep tech start-ups, and has a particular interest and background in biotechnology. Her career started in the laboratory researching neurodegenerative diseases but has since diverged toward venture capital. Imche is now the co-founder and CEO of Outset Ventures, New Zealand’s home of deep technology, and the largest science and engineering venture hub in the country. Curiosity and community sit at the heart of everything she does, and she is passionate about backing inquisitive people with big ideas.
Working as a senior leader for several years both in New Zealand and overseas, Kristen has made a name for herself in New Zealand’s start-up ecosystem. As GM of Hatch, Kristen challenged the status quo by opening up the US share markets to all New Zealanders with a modern investing platform. She’s a firm believer that technology should simplify our financial lives and help us be better with our money. With Hatch, every Kiwi has the same access to the tools, knowledge, and opportunities to take control of their wealth. Their mission remains to transform Kiwis from passive financial participants into active participants; engaged in growing their serious wealth to meet their ambitious lifestyle goals. In 2018 Kristen Lunman was nominated for the Women of Influence Innovator of the Year award. When she’s not busy raising children, surfing and disrupting, you’ll find Kristen volunteering her time to mentor the next generation of entrepreneurs.
In 2018 Graham opened the first medical cannabis service in Aotearoa NZ. Cannabis Care Clinic is in St Lukes, Auckland providing specialist consultations for legal medicinal cannabis prescriptions. Problems addressed include chronic pain, cancer symptoms, anxiety, chronic insomnia and neurological conditions. Most patients have experienced little benefit or adverse effects from conventional treatment or have been told there are no further treatments. Many report that medicinal cannabis offers symptom relief, improved quality of life and most importantly, restores hope. He has prescribed medical cannabis to around 2000 patients with very good outcomes. An audit of his first 400 CBD patients showed benefit for chronic pain and/or emotional distress: British Journal of General Practice Open, 5/2/20: https://bjgpopen.org/content/early/2020/02/03/bjgpopen20X101010
He was appointed to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council for assessment of medicinal cannabis research projects in 2021.
His part time general practice experience dates from 1983. Much of this work involves assessing and managing addictions and/or chronic pain. He is a FRNZCGP.
Graham completed his Fellowship of the Australasian Chapter of Addiction Medicine (FAChAM) in 2008. As an Addiction Specialist he manages problems such as alcohol and drug withdrawal, opioid substitution treatment, medication for chronic pain and he writes addiction assessments.