Damon Kelly: From Student to CEO

Alumni and friends are invited to hear University of Waikato alumnus Damon Kelly tell all about his journey from potential employee to an employer of over 60 staff across Hamilton and Auckland.  

Damon Kelly graduated from the University of Waikato with a double major in Psychology and Cognitive Science. His time at university gave him the space to explore and find his passions, he discovered he had an equal love of people, business and technology. Immediately after his graduation in 1998, Damon founded Enlighten Designs. Where in Silicon Valley start-ups are created in garages, the New Zealand equivalent of this was Enlighten beginning in a caravan in Damon’s backyard.

Damon wanted to create a company that valued creativity, learning and connecting with its customers all while having fun doing it. Enlighten attracted a technically brilliant and client focused team that would not only deliver great technology solutions but would also lead and challenge their clients to create the amazing outcomes.

Enlighten works across a spectrum of clients from start-ups to billion dollar companies with household names like Air New Zealand, Sky, Downer and LIC creating customer and workplace experiences through websites, intranets and mobile apps, business intelligence and custom software.

Enlighten has seen extremely rapid growth being ranked in the Deloitte Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500 multiple times, winning the Waikato Business Excellence Awards Innovation Award in 2007 and being recognised in the IT industry. Within the past nine years Enlighten have been winners or finalists at Microsoft Partner Awards with a total of 9 wins and 14 finalists positions.

Enlighten has locations in both Hamilton and Auckland and employing over 60 talented people. Still with the start-up vibe, they aim to prove each day what is possible when technology and imagination get serious about each other.

Date: Thursday 13 October
Time: 5:30 - 7:00pm
Venue: The Roaming Giant, 789 Heaphy Terrace, Hamilton
To Register, email