Serial tech entrepreneur Claudia Batten named NZTE's director for North America

Ms Batten will take up the fulltime role in Los Angeles at the end of March.

Serial tech entrepreneur Claudia Batten has just been announced as the new New Zealand Trade and Enterprise regional director for North America.

Ms Batten, who has spent over 15 years in the technology sector, with the past 13 of those based in the US, will take up the fulltime role in Los Angeles at the end of March.

In 2003, the Victoria University law and commerce graduate left her job at Russell McVeagh to join two Australian expats in cofounding Massive, a company that pioneered the concept of delivering ads to online video games. In 2009 Microsoft bought Massive in a deal reportedly worth up to $US400 million.

Ms Batten also co-founded Colorado-based crowdsourcing advertising agency Victor & Spoils, of which French company Havas bought a majority interest in 2012.

She is a director of Auckland business incubator and angel investment outfit The Icehouse, a regular speaker on digital innovation, and in November last year co-founded contact sorting app Broadli.

Guy Horrocks, chief executive and founder of app platform company Carnival Mobile, which employs 20 across New Zealand and the US, tells NBR ONLINE Ms Batten is a great pick. He says it is good to have someone from an entrepreneurial background who knows about taking risks, and with a proven track record of success. 

NZTE international general manager Tim Green says through a statement Ms Batten’s appointment will boost support in North America for New Zealand companies. “She is an entrepreneur who’s had major success on the world stage, and will bring great experience and a fresh perspective. She will also challenge us in a positive way as we seek to create more impact for our customers.”

Ms Batten says she has been working from the US with start-ups by mentoring, advising and sitting on boards.

“The North American market has been my home for 13 years and I have built two great businesses here. To help other businesses find their way in this dynamic and fast-paced market is my passion. I see many opportunities for game changing and I cannot wait to get started."

This year Ms Batten became the youngest ever recipient of the Kea 'World Class New Zealand Supreme Award' for her work inspiring local entrepreneurs.

The Claudia Batten files

2003: The Victoria University law and commerce grad leaves her job at Russell McVeagh to join two Aussie ex-pats in cofounding Massive, a company that pioneers the concept of delivering ads to online video games. It’s capable of frills like swapping out the creative in static and billboard ads that appear in a racing game, for example.

2006: Microsoft buys Massive in a deal reportedly worth up to $US400 million

2009: Relocated to Boulder, Colorado, Batten is one of the trio who found Victor & Spoils, an advertising agency that is the first in its field to work on a crowdsourcing model. An army of 6000 contractors are vying for V&S project work by the time of the company’s sale.

2012: Batten exits as French company Havas takes majority control of V&S in a deal estimated at upwards of $US10 million. Becomes director of Auckland business incubator and angel investment outfit The Icehouse.

November 2013: Cofounds Broadli (read NBR's report at The LinkedIn Code).