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Auckland technology company Soul Machines has raised US$70 million (NZ$105m) as demand for digital humans, from “celebrity twins” to artificial customer service reps, continues to grow. The company will use the new funding to expand its research into mimicking human intelligence, and its sales teams. Soul Machines currently employs more than 200 staff and co-founder Greg Cross said that was set to grow by about 50 per cent as it looked to recruit about another 100 to 150 workers.
Fonterra’s R&D teams are working to develop dairy products that deliver health benefits around improved cognition, sight and even mood. We hear from Judith Swales, CEO of Fonterra Asia Pacific, to learn more.
Tāmaki Regeneration Company, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and In The Flow State founder Tyrone Tangara-Makiri opened an innovation hub last week in Ukutoia-Glen Innes with big plans. The hub will assist local rangatahi Māori and Pasifika entrepreneurs as they start their businesses. The hub, named "Reserve", took three years to develop and was borne out of a need to connect with other local prospective entrepreneurs.
Five finalists have been announced for this year's round of Innovate Whanganui. The Dragon's Den-style competition puts local entrepreneurs in front of a panel of judges to compete for a $5000 cash prize. it is a collaboration between economic development agency Whanganui & Partners and Palmerston North business collective The Factory. Strategic lead for business at Whanganui and Partners, Tim Easton, said there were more than 30 entries this year.
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