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Conor O'Kane


Conor is Director of the Otago Business School's Master of Entrepreneurship.

Conor teaches strategic management and innovation at an introductory and undergraduate level as well as at an advanced level to postgraduate and executive students.

Preferred teaching methods focus on case discussions, simulated games, debates and live case projects. Conor's research interests broadly focus on academic entrepreneurship, University-Industry engagement and the strategies underpinning the commercialisation of university research.

In New Zealand, Conor is a member of the “Building New Zealand's Innovation Capacity” research team funded with the National Science Challenge: Science for Technological Innovation.

Jonny Mirkin

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Jonny began his career as a commercial lawyer, before moving into the world of business full-time.

In 2011 he founded his own fin-tech SAAS company and grew it over 8 years as CEO into a multi-million-dollar business with clients around the world. Jonny holds his MBA and has completed post-graduate studies in entrepreneurship, technology and strategy at Stanford, Duke, and Otago Universities.

He currently teaches the New Ventures course at Otago University's Masters of Entrepreneurship Program.

Drawing on his experience, Jonny now works with a variety of businesses and not for profits as a Director, consultant and advisor.

Leanne Ross

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Leanne Ross hails from Ireland with a background in growth marketing for start-ups and established brands across international markets including the US and UAE.

She leads a large, multiple award nominated team as Director of Marketing, Sales and Communications at Otago Polytechnic.

Leanne holds the position of Non-Executive Director on the Start-up Dunedin board and is Secretary of the Insert Coin To Play Trust (technology for youth charity).

Leanne leads the MENT 414 paper "Marketing in a Digital World" on the University of Otago's Master of Entrepreneurship programme. She enjoys bringing industry theory and real-world examples to the technological application of modern marketing strategy, enabling students to build a full marketing plan that will launch and grow their business.

Dr Helen Roberts

Dr Helen Roberts

Helen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Accountancy and Finance.

Helen teaches the Finance for Entrepreneurs paper and enjoys helping students to understand the financial implications of decisions made by start-ups. Her teaching is interactive, and students learn how to use Excel dynamically in problem solving real-time business problems during lectures.

She has an active interest in research related to CEO compensation, firm performance and corporate governance. Helen is also Deputy-Director of the Climate and Energy Finance Group in the department and does work on topics related to firm value, environmental, social and governance concerns.

She also coaches the CFA Research Challenge business team and enjoys using finance to demonstrate the importance of good decision-making.

Ella Buchanan

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Ella is originally from Queenstown and completed her undergraduate studies in the Human Anatomy department of the University of Otago before completing the Masters of Entrepreneurship programme in 2021. Ella is the business development manager for the masters of entrepreneurship programme working to grow the programme and share the benefits of entrepreneurial skillset with the world.

Ella has a passion for entrepreneurship and believes the University or Otago's MEntr programme provides invaluable knowledge to seize opportunities and expand career horizons.

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