30 May 2014

Introducing a new face to the Regen team - Pam Ward

With winter making its presence felt over the country in the past week it probably seems a bit strange to be mentioning the need for irrigation but here at Regen we are beginning work on a new service for water irrigation. The new service will be based on similar concepts to our existing effluent management service. In these early stages of development having a designer involved to be able to visualise concepts we have scribbled on sticky notes and on the whiteboard is really important. With Kim busy with her studies we are delighted to welcome Pam Ward to the team.

We had a chat with Pam to find out a little bit about her and what she is looking forward while working at Regen.

Tell us a little bit about your background
Pam on the digger at the family farm in Hawea Flat
I grew up on a farm in Hawea Flat in Central Otago. The farm came from my Mum’s side of the family and my Dad’s family were involved in bee keeping, so our family business combined both farming and bee keeping. The farm was originally sheep but when I was about 15 years old we put a centre pivot in the desert country, started growing kale and began wintering dairy cows. Our family honey business, Alpine Honey, produces a wide variety of honey, with hives scattered throughout Central Otago, Southland and South Westland. Being a 6th generation, Central Otago kiwi, I have a strong connection to the area. When I was growing up I was always out helping on the farm and I have fond memories of feeding out with Dad — he had me in the drivers seat of the truck from around age 3!

So what got you interested in design?
My Nana is quite creative and I was interested in arty things from a very young age. I took all the creative subjects at school and then applied to Massey University to study Visual Communications Design.

What kind of opportunities did you find while studying at Massey?
The degree at Massey had a broad spectrum of subjects ranging from design, marketing, entrepreneurial skills and everything in-between. I became really interested in the creative problem solving side of things and got involved with the Bright Ideas Challenge by Grow Wellington in 2011. I was part of a team from Massey University and we won our category with the business idea of developing technology to enable parents to keep track of the whereabouts of their toddlers in busy places.

How did your business idea KidsGoMobile come about?
Following the Bright ideas Challenge we were selected for the Lightning Lab business accelerator programme where we received pre-seed investment and intensive mentoring over a three month period with input from over 100 business leaders. It was a full on, yet amazing experience and I have learnt so much, especially around business development and how to design products and services with the customer’s attitudes and needs at the centre. During this time our business idea evolved to focus on preventing cyber bullying and creating software to help parents identify online activity that could be harmful to their children. So KidsGoMobile was born.

* To learn more about Pam and Saskia’s startup business KidsGoMobile here is the link to their website, KidsGoMobile and also a link to an interview with them on TVNZ Breakfast.

You have been gaining a lot of experience in start ups and managing small businesses so what are you looking forward most about working at Regen?
I was keen to get some more experience in refining my design skills especially in the area of app development. The opportunity to be able to be involved from the beginning to the end of the development process and applying my skills to the real-world is a real drawcard for me. I love interacting with people and finding out what they require and then designing an app that will meet their needs.

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