Emily Sullivan

Emily Sullivan

Funding Engagement Specialist

Funding Engagement

Passionately supporting innovators to drive a better future

I'm a Funding Engagement Specialist working with customers seeking financial support for their business. At heart, I am an unapologetic science geek, driven by a profound passion for supporting innovators. I aim to empower them to embrace their potential, have confidence in their ideas, rapidly test them, iterate and ultimately contribute to changing our world. I believe that innovation holds the key to shaping a better future for New Zealand, and it's a journey I'm thrilled to be a part of.

Over the course of my career I've had the privilege of operating at the exciting intersection of research, innovation, and business. My diverse experience includes delving into biotech patents for 5 years, managing operations for research teams for over 10 years and successfully running a pre-accelerator programme tailored to entrepreneurial University students for 6 years.

I had the privilege of working with Sir Paul Callaghan when I was at the MacDiarmid Institute. He was so interesting and a super nice guy. One of the things he said that I often repeat is that he didn't believe in elevator pitches - if you can explain your technology or innovation in such a short space of time, then it might be too simple, and therefore too easy for others to enter the market behind you. Harder, more technical and niche innovations come with higher barriers to entry.  

When I was the Programme Manager for the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp I had the privilege of providing support to over 120 entrepreneurial students. Witnessing their incredible journeys was truly rewarding. The ultimate testament to the success of the programme was when participants shared how it transformed their self-perception and ignited a newfound belief in their capabilities.

Working with innovators, visionaries, and individuals who seek to make a positive impact fills me with excitement and purpose in support of Callaghan Innovation’s goals. 

Areas of expertise
  • Research Operations Management
  • Startups and entrepreneurship
  • Startup ecosystem
  • Accelerator Programmes
  • Biotechnology
  • Research Commercialisation
  • Funding and grants
  • BSC (Genetics and Molecular Biology), BCA (Management), Victoria University of Wellington, 1999.
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