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NZTech Update: The evolution of everything and dairy-free milk!

Hi Everyone

I have just returned from a relaxing week with no email and the chance to leisurely read a good book in the sun. My holiday reading was the thought provoking Evolution of Everything by Matt Ridley on ideas emerging bottom-up and how they effectively keep evolving. He argues that top down government policy seldom changes this evolutionary process. In fact, it usually just gets in the way. Matt touches on learning, how it can happen without teaching, the evolution of technology, the internet, the economy, money, morality, culture and more. Quite a heavy read, but I highly recommend it.

Matt Ridley’s theory got me thinking about how well the tech sector in New Zealand is expanding with very little top down policy. Most of our success stories haven’t relied on grants or incubators, they’ve just gotten on with business. So, rather than looking to government to help make us more successful, it reinforces the need to work together to help each other.

During my holiday, I also came across Silicon Valley start-up Perfect Day Foods who have cracked the dairy formula, creating milk proteins in a similar way to craft brewing. Launched in 2014 with considerable backing this start-up is scheduled to be commercially selling animal-free dairy products in 2017. Yes, you read right, animal-free milk with the tag line, “All the dairy you love with none of the dairy cows. Sustainable. Kind. Delicious.” Exponential tech at its best, but not necessarily good news for New Zealand! There are about 48,000 people employed in the dairy sector in New Zealand, either dairy cattle farming or in dairy production. Dairy also produces about $12 billion in exports and is a critical pillar of our economy. This year, we have felt the impact of consecutive declines in dairy price auctions. Imagine the pending impact and further decline in price as demand shifts to animal free milk? Alternatively, let’s picture this, New Zealand’s main milk producers also master the art of craft-brewed-dairy to produce the low cost milk solids needed for everything from ice cream to pizza. At the same time, we position ourselves as sustainable, cruelty free, organically feed, natural milk as the Icebreaker of dairy.

We are living in very exciting times, as technologies are disrupting everything from the finance sector, healthcare, food production, transport and even government. If you can make it to the Singularity University NZ Summit in Christchurch in November, I would recommend it as a great tool to help understand, adapt to and thrive in this changing world.

You can tell by the length of my ramblings that the break obviously did me good and I’m all fired up for the remaining months of 2016.

Have a great week
All the best





SingularityU is offering 10 free tickets to their summit for those willing to create exponential impact in their communities as SUNZ Impact Fellows. Applications close 7 October.

Join the Canterbury Tech Cluster on 4 October in Christchurch with discussions on The Evolution of the Cloud and Contracting for Agile Software Development.

Want to know more about Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas? Or Capturing Game Changing Opportunities? See visiting Professor, Robert Verganti in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.


LESANZ brings together three CEO’s, experts in IP on 29 September in Auckland. Join them to learn more about Driving Innovation Concept to Commercialisation.

The Christchurch Hacker Conference is scheduled for 12-13 November. This is followed by Kiwicon in Wellington, 17-18 November.

Join #HINZ2016 31 October – 3 November for their annual conference in Auckland. Over 220 speakers from 14 countries, a must for those in Health IT, check out the full programme.


Just three weeks until the NZTech Advance Security Summit, 17 October in Wellington. Check out the agenda. Read the briefing paper from last year’s summit.

Don’t forget to get your nominations in for the CIO100 – in search of our most innovative CIO’s. Meanwhile, entries close today for the 2016 iSANZ Awards, showcasing excellence in New Zealand information security.

MasterCard is searching for later stage kiwi start-ups who are looking to scale their businesses. Applications for their Start Path Global programme close on 11 October, with a pitch day in Miami, followed by an immersion week in Dublin.

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