Founding Team

David McDonald - Chief Executive Officer

David is a passionate technology leader with a career starting in geospatial and IOT then progressing into Blockchain.

David has led numerous ventures in the technology space across New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. His notable successes including the world's first national primary industries blockchain consortium, spanning the entire value chain from government to consumer.

When David is not building cool stuff in the digital space, he likes to spend his spare time building cool stuff in the physical space, from dog houses to soil-free planters to drones.


Phil Williams - Chief Design Officer

Phil is a veteran creative director and technology strategist with deep knowledge and experience across a range of industries.

Phil has led product teams at publicly listed technology companies (Orion Health), global digital agencies (Saatchi & Saatchi, Sapient Nitro) and founded his own startups. He's held senior roles in Digital Art Direction, Product Direction, Technology Investment Analysis, Human Centered Design & Product Development, and Innovation Programme Leadership.

In his spare time, Phil runs the Auckland chapter of PechaKucha, a global series of short-talks events for the creative industries. He is also a dab hand at backing a trailer.


Hal Smith-Stevens - Chief Technology Officer

Hal is a lifelong software engineer, providing technology leadership and vision through a strong background of bootstrapping start ups and nurturing innovation.

Some of Hal's many projects include a platform that leverages AI to improve the UX for patients in the US healthcare market; and another that pioneers the next generation of air traffic control across Australasia, opening the door to drone deliveries in low level airspace and supersonic business jets in the stratosphere.

Hal’s “roll up his sleeves” leadership style equips him with hands on knowledge of leading-edge software tooling and architecture. This, coupled with his fascination with the mirror between technological and organisational scalability, positions him well for building and scaling engineering teams through the critical early phases of startup growth.

When Hal’s not building cool stuff he likes to spend as much time in the air as possible on the Auckland MTB circuit.



Aaron McDonald - Centrality

Aaron is a cofounder, board member, and director of Centrality, one of NZ’s fastest growing technology companies. In 2019, Aaron was named Ernst & Young EY Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.

Prior to Centrality, his career includes 20 years in technology as an engineer, product developer, and business leader with portfolios worth over $1b. He is notable for his time at Vodafone, implementing critical technology programs for the NZ arm of the global telecoms giant.

Aaron has deep experience in startup technology. He is a board member or founder of more than a dozen high growth tech companies. This diverse portfolio offers him a unique perspective on the opportunities and challenges in global tech.

When he's not being awesome at startups, Aaron can be found trawling online marketplaces for classic 80's and 90's sports cars, which he collects and restores.

LinkedIN: Twitter: aaronmcdnz

Aly Madhavji - Blockchain Founders Fund

Aly Madhavji 穆亚霖 is the Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund which invests in and venture builds top-tier startups. He is a Limited Partner on Loyal VC and Draper Goren Holm.

He is an internationally acclaimed author, publishing three books and a monthly columnist for the leading blockchain magazine.

Aly consults organizations on emerging technologies such as INSEAD and the UN on solutions to help alleviate poverty. He is a Senior Blockchain Fellow at INSEAD and was recognized as a “Blockchain 100” Global Leader by Lattice80.

He is a mentor with Chinaccelerator, an elite accelerator program operated by the venture fund SOSV with $855M+ AUM and the Mobile Only Accelerator (MOX).

Aly holds a Master of Global Affairs as a Schwarzman Scholar from Tsinghua University (清华大学), a Master of Business Administration from INSEAD (Singapore and France), and a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of Toronto.

Aly serves as a board member of CryptoStar Corp. (TSXV: CSTR), Mechanical Technology Incorporated (NASDAQ: MKTY) and has served on various advisory boards including the University of Toronto’s Governing Council, which manages a $2.5B budget.

LinkedIN: Twitter: @BlockchainFF Twitter: @aly_madhavji

Masanobu Yoshida - Dreamforest, SoftBank, Sony

Masanobu Yoshida is a highly respected Product Development Executive with deep and longstanding connections in the Japan entertainment technology sector. His leadership has enabled his organizations to consistently deliver cool products, strengthen competitiveness and ensure optimal results.

Masa-san's record of success in Japan and globally includes:

President, Sony Handheld Computer - Leading the development of numerous devices in the Sony universe including mobiles, PDAs and early smartphones. SHC developed the handheld gaming platform that would go on to become the PSP (Playstation Portable).

Senior VP, SoftBank Mobile - Leading the transition of SoftBank Mobile's phone lineup from feature phones, to a game-changing smartphone offering.


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