Maxine Simmons CNZM joints Co.ofWomen’s Hall of Fame

We’re proud to share that Global Women Member, Maxine Simmons CNZM has been inducted to Co.ofWomen’s Hall of Fame! 

To celebrate the occasion, we talked to Maxine about what this means to her, and of course, what’s next on her trailblazing radar. 

As one of three Inductees for 2022, Maxine stood alongside Rhonda Kite, a panellist in previous Global Women’s kōreros, to receive this momentous accolade. 

Maxine’s mahi as a biotech pioneer was celebrated during the awards, and was followed with an inspiring acceptance speech where Maxine explored the depths of her career. As an entrepreneur, investor, and champion of the early-stage biotech world, all aspects of Maxine’s vast trailblazing career was explored. 

“I am an entrepreneur by nature, nurture and my experiences” — Maxine Simmons

For Maxine, this was a remarkable moment of reflection. Joining in korero with global Women, she shares: 

“It made me reflect on the business environment back in 1983 when two women scientists, Rosemary Sharpin and I started a biotech company here in NZ. I don’t believe that I had really considered just how unusual and pioneering we had been. Also, that my involvement in many new businesses since, is because I am an entrepreneur by nature, nurture and my experiences.”

“That they believe they can make things happen and have the empowerment they need to pursue their dreams” — Maxine Simmons

As for Maxine’s hopes for the women of Āotearoa New Zealand?That they believe they can make things happen and have the empowerment they need to pursue their dreams.”

“The event was a fun and positive experience. It was great to learn more about and meet other inductees,” Maxine shares.

When asked what inspires her the most about her work, Maxine replied that it’s “making a difference in people’s lives.” This sentiment is channelled right through to her newest venture: CaraMed partners. Along with her partners, Maxine is in the process of raising a healthtech venture fund, CaraMed Capital

CaraMed Capital is New Zealand’s first specialised deep healthtech venture capital fund, designed to Investing in the growth and acceleration of innovative and globally competitive companies and ensuring positive returns, societal benefits and global health impacts.

Maxine co-founded one of New Zealand’s first biotechnology companies and was awarded a Distinguished New Zealand Biotechnologist Award in recognition for growing this biotechnology export business. She also set up BioCatalyst, a biotechnology consulting company. Mazine was a founding director of Industry New Zealand (now New Zealand Trade and Enterprise), a director of NZ’s Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, Industrial Research Ltd, and Chair of the NZ biotechnology Industry organisation, NZBIO.