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Trent Makelow

CEO at Summer of Tech

I am an entrepreneur and seasoned executive with over 18 years' experience in product management, sales, marketing, people management, user research and customer experience.

I am currently the acting CEO of Summer of Tech, New Zealand's premier IT internship programme.

I was Trade Me's inaugural Chief Customer Officer, sitting on the 9-person Exec and reporting to the CEO. For the 2.5 years prior, I was the Chief Product Officer, responsible for our product management practice across 22 product managers and a central team of ~50 people.

In 2013, I was the Chief Product Officer for Vend, a fast-growing SaaS point-of-sale system. I was responsible for managing the engineers, designers and testers, and for the product strategy.

Before that, I was the CEO of Optimal Experience, Australasia's leading user experience consultancy. I co-founded the company and grew it from two people sharing a desk, to 30 staff across Auckland, Wellington and Sydney, before selling it to PwC in 2014.

I am an experienced leader, and my entrepreneurial background adds a bit of mongrel to any team.

I am action-oriented. I enjoy working at the sharp end of things, where all the action is taking place. I love seeing results that are immediate, visible and tangible.

I know how to manage a high performing team. I thrive on change and know how to help other people cope with it.

I graduated with a first-class honours degree in computer science from Waikato University. I have a love affair with South America, and have visited seven times since a student exchange to Argentina in 1994. I have two fun kids.

Earlier Event: July 30
Rebecca Jones + Nathan Donaldson
Later Event: August 13
Jessica Manins