‘Be comfortable being uncomfortable’: Claudia Batten’s entrepreneurial advice

When Claudia Batten speaks about business, it pays to listen. Her career began in corporate law with Russell McVeagh in Wellington, where she specialised in contract, IP and technology law. But as the tech boom boomed, she moved to New York and set up gaming ad network Massive, which was sold to Microsoft in 2006 for a princely sum, with some reports at the time claiming it fetched US$400 million. This year, she left her second start-up Victors & Spoils, the Boulder-based, crowdsourced creative agency she co-founded in 2009 with ex Crispin, Porter & Bogusky directors Evan Fry and Jon Windsor, after French holding company Havas bought a majority stake in the business and positioned it for international expansion. And, as is often the way with serial entrepreneurs, she’s already started work on her next, still rather mysterious project. But she took time out to have a chat with NZTE as part of its advice from entrepreneurs series. 


When she departed Victor & Spoils, she told Ad Age: “V&S has been a phenomenal experience. I have learnt so much about this industry, and my passion for breaking new ground in the digital media environment has only intensified. We are on the cusp of so much change and I’m excited to move on and begin the next chapter of my journey.”

In 2007, she was the youngest person appointed to the New Zealand Government’s Trade and Exchange ‘U.S. Beachheads Board’ and, as the video above attests, she continues her active involvement with NTZE, as well as with the Kiwi Expat Association (KEA), regularly speaking for both organisations of the importance of digital and social media (she also Tumbles about good shoes, good fashion, her possible connection to Jean Batten and anything else that tickles her fancy here).

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