New Soda boss is on the job

02:21, Aug 19 2014
 Claire McGowan
HELPING BUSINESS: New Soda Inc chief executive Claire McGowan originally hails from Tokoroa.

Soda Inc's new chief executive is walking in to a period of growth.

Claire McGowan started in her new role on Friday, just a day after acting chief executive Vanessa Clark signed a partnership deal with Waikato Tainui.

The business incubator also recently signed a partnership agreement with Gallagher Group, and had its funding increased by Crown entity Callaghan Innovation.

McGowan said Soda would use the increased funds to help more businesses grow. "We'll certainly be looking at increasing our capabilities and our reach."

McGowan describes her work history as "a bit eclectic", with a background in science and business leadership.

She spent 10 years at Otago University and did her PhD with Fonterra before going on to work in finance and investment companies.

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She also built and sold her own company, IP Market.

McGowan evolved the business into an education portal for buying and selling intellectual property.

"One of the things I'm really interested in is how we capture wealth as a nation."

She said this encompassed knowledge and relationships, as well as economic wealth.

McGowan sits on several boards, including Crown research institute GNS Science and iwi investment company Te Arawa Management.

Originally from Tokoroa, McGowan has been living in Auckland but relocated to Hamilton last weekend.

She said she was "really fortunate" to take over management of Soda in a growth phase and is grateful to the existing team.

jamie.small@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

Waikato Times