Your AI Experts

About Us

Who we are

Passion, dedication,
and a lot of fun

Founded in 2013, Spark 64 is an AI agency that specialize in helping organisations leverage cutting edge Artificial Intelligence to increase productivity, save costs and create new competitive advantages. Our team of AI experts are highly trained on the latest AI technologies to deliver world leading solutions, R&D and consulting services. 

Lead by Proven Experience

Our Founders

Daniel Xu, PhD

CEO
Dan has a PhD in bioengineering and was Chief Evangelist for StretchSense (acquired) where he developed cutting edge IoT technologies. He holds multiple licensed patents, featured on the BBC and is a graduate of the Stanford Business School. Dan is a KiwiNet Emerging Innovator and judge of the KiwiNet Research Commercialisation awards. He recently served on MBIE’s investment panel for the COVID-19 Innovation Acceleration Fund ($25M). Dan also chairs the University of Auckland’s Return on Science Investment Committee, and is a board advisor to the $106M Science for Technological Innovation (SfTI), National Science Challenge.

Ming Cheuk, PhD

CTO
Ming has a background in all things technology, from his studies in Mechatronics Engineering, research in Biomedical Imaging and personal interest in cutting edge technology. He is a Google certified Cloud Architect and has experience building frontend, mobile, cloud, embedded, and AI applications. He has judged and mentor for the Microsoft Imagine Cup and Student Accelerator programme. Ming flies drones and builds 3D printers in his spare time. One of his side projects was featured on WIRED and numerous TV shows. Over the years he has helped some of the largest New Zealand organisations tackle the most challenging technical problems; his drive and energy comes from his personal philosophy of "no problem is impossible".

Richard McLean

Exec Chairman
Richard is an experienced Chair and he values good Governance. He is a specialist and occasional investor in the development of Global businesses that are based on strong IP. He has built businesses from scratch and has a passion for NZ companies that can grow fast and create value for shareholders, investors and the wider community. Richard’s experience lies mainly in the tech sector and his Governance work exposes him to other sectors, all of which are being impacted by technology and shifting patterns in business models.

Pure Talent, great people

Our Team

NAtalie Lim

MARKETING coordinator

Niclas Von Ahsen

Data Engineering | IoT

Aorangi Smith-Iri

NLP | Chatbots

George Qiao

Full Stack Developer

Kevin Liu

Deep Learning Engineer

Aidan Messenger

Project Coordinator

Jérémie Bannwarth

Data Fusion Specialist

Ella McLean

Chief Happiness Officer

Backed by the best

Our Advisors

Geoff Whitcher (ONZM)

Strategy

Geoff worked in the major corporate environment for 35 years, initially for Unilever in NZ and London and then for Fletcher Challenge in operations where he established the Placemakers chain and subsequently moved into international financial markets which included 3 years in New York. On retirement he was invited to join the University of Auckland and has spent nearly 20 years contributing to the transformation of the NZ economy by helping pioneer and develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem including start-up companies in both the University and the Auckland region.

Nick Paul

Sales

Nick is an accomplished senior leader professional with many years of achievement and demonstrated success driving sales growth in highly competitive technology related markets. With a background in Electronics, IT and Telco sectors he has held several executive or director level roles running complex sales operations over his career. Nick recently established Nudge Partners, an Auckland based on-demand executive talent practice, which has gone on to help numerous businesses deliver outstanding growth. Nick has a passion for helping Kiwi businesses prosper and and brings this desire to help this vital part of the Kiwi economy into Spark 64.

John O’toole (FCIM)

Marketing

John has a long history overseeing many of New Zealand’s most popular brands and branded businesses. With a background in “Fast Moving Consumer Package Goods” John has held several CEO roles along with, multiple board roles and “Chief Marketing Officer Roles. John has traded under Brandbiz to meet the need for high level brand oversight and virtual brand and digital marketing teams in businesses of all sizes. John frequently says that “compelling brand promises and the organisational capabilities to meet them, precede all sustained business growth”. Joining Nudge Partners fits with John’s Passion for helping New Zealand Businesses succeed on the global stage and world class offline and online marketing is an essential part of that.

Ben Liu, PhD

Legal

Ben is an expert in financial markets law and the law of artificial intelligence. His research papers have appeared in both local and international peer-reviewed journals. Previously he worked at international law firms and a leading European bank, specialising in financial derivatives and structured products. He is admitted to practise in New Zealand, England and Wales.

Matt Veal

Finance

Matt is an experienced Finance Executive having held positions including CFO, Head of Risk and Finance and Financial Controller for organisations of varying sizes and nature, covering a number of industries, most notably insurance (Southern Cross and Fidelity Life). Matt is a Chartered Accountant, and initially worked in Audit for PWC. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Glendowie College.

Andrew Chen, PhD

AI Advisory

Andrew is a technical expert across the computing spectrum, from reconfigurable hardware to artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. He finished a PhD in Computer Systems Engineering at the University of Auckland in 2019, focusing on computer vision for person tracking applications, as well as using technology to help protect privacy. Andrew is now a Venture Associate with the Matū Fund, and a Research Fellow with the Center for Science in Policy, Diplomacy, and Society. He also sits on the Auckland Momentum and Digital Technologies investment committees for Return On Science, which help identify and commercialise innovation, entrepreneurial ideas.
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