Started by New Zealand chartered civil engineer Simon Croft (literally in his own back yard), the company plans to use its technology to create significant biodiversity gains while driving economic benefits. Although the company has substantial expertise in the delivery of wireless trap monitoring, its Celium wireless sensor network has been designed to accommodate a near endless array of field devices and assets, effectively creating a rural Internet of Things. Combined with its proprietary database, software and mobile applications, Encounter Solutions is opening up new, safer, more efficient and cost effective ways of monitoring and working in the landscape.

The company’s solutions are highly adaptable, practical and user friendly to deploy and operate. The company’s key objective is to secure network coverage in New Zealand that is extensive enough to enable trapping programmes to go big and ensure invasive pests stand no chance. Croft says, “Nothing would be more satisfying than showing that New Zealand can lead the way in innovative biodiversity strategies and then translate this to the global community by helping other countries do it also.”

Encounter Solutions people have…
...delivered two of the top ten telematics platforms in the world, winning numerous awards in the process.
Encounter Solutions people have…
...PhDs in electronic engineering and have been responsible for developing a wide range of electronic products ranging from military communication equipment and specialised telephone systems to state-of-the-art, high volume products.
Encounter Solutions people have…
…developed hardware and software systems that dominate the packaging of milk powder products around the world, and that are relied on to ensure the safety and integrity of the national blood supplies for New Zealand and Australia, and other high-value environmentally-sensitive products.
Encounter Solutions people have…
...senior database specialist experience from international corporations in Europe and NZ in the banking, insurance, shipping, government, military, health, IT, utilities and financial sectors.
Encounter Solutions people have…
…specialist skills in programming languages (both theory and implementation), operating systems, distributed systems, multi-platform coding and porting, elements of cryptography, cryptanalysis and security infrastructures, Unix systems and network administration, reverse engineering of protocols and programs.
Encounter Solutions people have…
…been part of the original Linux development team, having worked alongside Linus Torvald, and have developed systems for reconstructing internet traffic and phone call interception and storage.

Team

Simon Croft Director and Founder, Chartered Professional Civil Engineer
A New Zealand chartered professional engineer, Simon has over 17 years’ experience in a range of dam, water resources and geotechnical engineering projects. Simon is a problem-solver with a passion for developing innovative solutions. An engineer at heart, he finds solutions that are efficient and pragmatic. Encounter Solutions came about as a result of a conversation about controlling predators in New Zealand’s North Island Volcanic Plateau. The conversation ended with, “There has to be a better way!”. It went without saying that the solution needed to be flexible, deliver great performance combined with minimal resource requirements, but it also had to be practical to deploy. Drawing on his engineering background and encouraged by the goal of delivering long-term biodiversity outcomes, Celium was developed. As the founding director, Simon is building a strong governance and leadership team around him to ensure that Encounter Solutions delivers on its vision.

Marty Parisien Non-executive Director
For the past 27 years Marty has been an entrepreneur, either developing new businesses or turning around failing businesses. He has worked with farmers and small businesses in the USA, Japan, Guam, Samoa, Northern Marianas, and Micronesia that wish to expand beyond their current level. During the past 14 years Marty has been primarily involved in marketing value-added agricultural products in the USA and abroad. He has experience in launching products internationally and setting up international distribution. Marty currently co-owns Singing Dog Vanilla®, which is a 10-year-old company that markets its branded vanilla products in the USA, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, and UAE. Marty has taught Marketing Management Consulting at the Japan American Institute of Management Science and Small Business Development at the University of Hawaii as well as served as a guest lecturer at numerous American universities. Encounter Solutions is already benefiting from Marty’s international experience with primary producers, launching products and distribution as well his background in marketing and business principles.

Not Nick

Nick Monaghan – Firmware Development

Nick is an Electrical and Electronics Engineer with extensive experience in embedded firmware development, and a particular expertise in communication protocols and their implementation. Nick began developing firmware for ESL in early 2015. He has over three decades of experience in writing software for communication systems and embedded Linux, and was one of the founders of Sarian Systems. Nick is responsible for the firmware and protocols driving ESL’s Celium platform.

catalyst

Catalyst

ESL has partnered with Catalyst as an open source digital partner. With this partnership, ESL has tapped into a 20 year NZ IT institution, providing ESL with full stack competency to augment our engineering and field experience. Catalyst, another NZ success story, specialise in open standard high complexity integration projects. They are the largest company specialising in open source software development and delivery in Australasia, with over 250 employees across New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

Michael Bignell  PwC Financial Advisor 
Michael and PwC provide Encounter Solutions with ‘on-tap’ advice on a range of financial and commercial matters that enable Encounter Solutions to meet its growth objectives. Michael’s specialties lie in structuring a company’s commercial and tax presence onshore and offshore including strategic business advice, international tax considerations and transfer pricing obligations. Michael became a PWC Partner in 2003 and his knowledge and expertise in tax are internationally recognised. He was the first New Zealand practitioner to be included in the Experts Guides’ list of World’s leading Transfer Pricing Advisers. Encounter Solutions is very pleased to be working with Michael and other PWC experts.

Olivia Rothwell Market Development 
Olivia’s specialty is in the area of technology in conservation and the implementation of tools and standards for management of conservation areas. Olivia established and led the Zoological Society of London’s Global Conservation Technology programme. She has worked with some of the world’s leading technology companies including Google, Iridium and Cambridge Consultants to develop cutting-edge solutions and tools to optimise field conservation efforts, including the first satellite-enabled camera trap. Olivia was responsible for the development of an international network promoting and implementing technology in protected area management, anti-poaching, outreach and biodiversity monitoring. As Market Advisor, Olivia’s skills and experience as well as her network are perfect for developing Encounter Solutions’ business globally.

Advisory Board

Sir Rob Fenwick (Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) Advisory Board Chair, Businessman, Environmentalist 
Rob Fenwick is a businessman and environmentalist whose contribution to safeguarding natural and human heritage is exceptional. Rob was honoured as a Companion of New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) in 2008 for services to conservation. A former journalist and public relations consultant, he co-founded Living Earth Ltd in 1994 (the country’s first municipal composting business), helped to get the Waste Minimisation Act passed in 2008 and chaired the Government’s Waste Advisory Board. Rob is deeply involved in the government’s National Science Challenges – as chairman of Sustainable Seas, a board member of The Deep South and a stakeholder in the Biological Heritage challenge. He also has Governance roles with Antarctica New Zealand, New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute, NEXT Foundation and the Sir Peter Blake Trust. Other organisations Rob is currently, or has previously had advisory, governance or establishment roles in include Westpac, Air New Zealand, Landcare Research, Predator Free NZ, Kiwis for Kiwi, Whai Rawa Ltd, Mai FM, Order of St John, Fred Hollows Foundation, Department of Conservation and the Motutapu Island Restoration Trust. With his incredible reputation, network, business governance experience and understanding of government sectors, Encounter Solutions is delighted to have Rob as Chair of its advisory board.

Dr John Craig (Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit), Environmental Consultant, Member of Reconnecting Northland steering group, Member of Kiwi Coast Think Tank
Dr Craig is a consultant with valuable, extensive knowledge of ecology and environmental management. He has 44 years experience working in New Zealand environments as a researcher and was Professor of Environmental Management at the University of Auckland. He served on the Auckland Conservation Board and the advisory committee of the Conservation Authority. Dr Craig’s specialist areas of research and teaching have been biodiversity conservation, restoration ecology, landscape ecology, birds and sustainability. He has considerable experience in rodent ecology and has been involved in the assessment of conservation options in relation to pest control. Dr Craig has extensive involvement with private and public biodiversity initiatives, was the co-originator of the Tiritiri Matangi open sanctuary concept and is internationally recognised for his restoration work. Dr Craig’s wealth of experience in matters of ecology and education provides Encounter Solutions with the opportunity to gain deeper insight into the matters at the heart of the projects the company is involved with.

Bruce Wills Consultant, Former Federated Farmers President, Farmer
Bruce Wills has extensive banking and investment experience at senior levels, predominantly with AMP Investments. He joined Federated Farmers in 2006, became Meat & Fibre Chairman in 2008 then National President of Federated Farmers from 2011 to 2014. Bruce’s excellent communication skills are evidenced by his selection as the Landcorp Farming Agricultural Communicator of the Year in 2014. He currently holds governance roles with Ravensdown, QEII National Trust, Motu Economic & Public Policy Research, Todd Foundation, Primary Growth Partnership P2P, Our Land and Water (National Science challenge), Cape to City, NZ Poplar & Willow Research Trust, Resilience to Nature’s challenges (National Science Challenge) and the NZ apiculture industry. With Bruce’s vast governance experience, exceptional communication and change management skills, his in depth knowledge of the primary sector and deep insight into central government, Encounter Solutions is honoured to have Bruce on its advisory board.

Wayne Hudson Legal Consultant at WhipIT
From his Wanaka base, Wayne Hudson provides legal consulting services primarily to companies in the technology sector. Formerly, Wayne was a partner at Bell Gully for more than 20 years and in 2007 he co-founded the intellectual property law firm, Hudson Gavin Martin. Wayne’s expertise in the areas of capital raising, corporate structure, governance, IP ownership strategies, licensing, distribution, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate and commercial advice will prove invaluable to Encounter Solutions.