New head for SODA Inc.

21:30, Jul 30 2014

Claire McGowan has been appointed chief executive of Waikato-based business incubator, SODA Inc.

McGowan was selected for the role after former chief Graham Smith was selected to head Federated Farmers.

McGowan holds various director positions with science and investment organisations, and has experience in the venture capital and investment banking industries. She also has experience in building and growing companies.

Most recently she has been working with New Zealand Bootcamp, a private sector-led movement connecting New Zealand's most innovative primary sector and Maori agribusiness leaders.

"I grew up in the Waikato and it's great to be back and to be leading SODA, an organisation that is instrumental in growing and strengthening businesses throughout the Waikato," she said.

"My passion is in assisting entrepreneurs and inventors to build successful companies and provide them with opportunities in industry, network development, education and investment."

SODA chair Graham Gaylard said McGowan's appointment was part of an exciting phase for SODA given the recent incubator support funding from Callaghan Innovation.

"The Board is very pleased that we have managed to get such a high calibre chief executive such as Claire," he said.

She will take up the role mid-August.

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Waikato Times