Privahini Bradoo

BlueOak

Spark’s inaugural Chief Executive Privahini Bradoo is a biotechnologist and entrepreneur whose company aims to extract reusable metals from toxic electronic waste.

BlueOak targets the 40 million tons of discarded computers and mobile phones every year in disaster zones like Guiyu, China, and the venture has caught the attention of former US Vice President Al
Gore.

Priv has an impressively long list of accomplishments and qualifications that started stacking up early when she moved to New Zealand from Oman at the age of 16. She completed a four-year Bachelor of Technology with first class honours in just over three years, and finished her PhD in neuroscience by the age of 24. During her doctoral research at the Liggins Institute, she discovered a new gene for brain repair.

Priv admits she found business incredibly challenging, but she excelled in the Spark programme and also co-founded Chiasma with Swati Sharma to encourage enterprise and networking with industry among the University’s biotech students.

She was the first of Spark’s alumni to be awarded the Fulbright-Platinum Triangle scholarship in 2006, and went on to complete her MBA at Harvard University.

Following her MBA, Priv led the commercialisation and business development at several clean-tech start-ups, including New Zealand-based LanzaTech and Microvi in San Francisco.

In the US, Priv was part of a Singularity University summer programme that encourages participants to develop technology that can positively impact the lives of a billion people in ten years. Here, sheco-founded Blue Oak alongside Bryce Goodman and became the CEO. In 2011, she won the Harvard Alumni New Venture Competition with this venture. Also presenting the venture and its solution at
Solve for X.

Together they have built a team who share their vision of recycling the metals from e-waste and using them for alternative energy technologies such as wind turbines, hybrid vehicles and fuel cells. The company has closed two funding rounds in the US which include venture capital firm KPCB.
As well as her business achievements, Priv has been recognised by the World Economic Forum as one of the world’s most influential people under 40 years old. She was named a Young Global Leader in 2012 – a title given to just half a dozen New Zealanders before her. In 2011 Priv was named as one of Unlimited magazines top 10 influencers in New Zealand and in 2012, one of Google’s top 15 supergeniuses as well as the Young Alumnus of the Year Award at The University of Auckland.