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NZTech Update – Canterbury tech, AV’s, AI and more!

Hi Readers

Last week, I enjoyed a brisk South Island day in Christchurch catching up with the local Canterbury Tech team about Techweek and the upcoming Canterbury Tech Summit. The summit has a stellar line up of local and international speakers delving into strategy and leadership, AI, Bitcoin and tech exports. It’s definitely worth the trip but get in quick for the final few tickets.

What really made last week for me, was spending time with NZTech members, learning about their businesses. It still amazes me how often I come across local tech firms that are knocking the ball out of the park while quietly getting on with business. Check out the wall of logos on our member page. If your firm is not there you should be asking yourself why.

Last week, I was blown away meeting the guys at Xtracta. In 2013, company founder Jonathan Spence wrote his own AI code for data capture and created a SaaS based, AI operated data capture API that is sits inside most major accounting packages for scraping data from invoices. With hundreds of thousands of clients around the world they have a massive, growing database of company, sales and pricing information.

Recently, I also caught up with Stephen Matthews of HMI Technologies, another amazing New Zealand success story. They made headlines with their autonomous vehicles around Christchurch Airport. However, I only recently learnt that this low key kiwi firm is also trialling autonomous vehicle in other cities around the world. Meanwhile, they also produce most of the integrated transport signage systems you see on the side of the road, outside schools and they invented the 75m variable message sign outside the NZX.

It’s not just the big city firms going gangbusters. Next week, Tauranga is hosting Groundswell, an innovation festival with events and activities showcasing some of the best tech firms including Sports Tech, Marine BioTech and even a NASA astronaut.

Literally every week I’m inspired by our members and being part of this vibrant and future focused New Zealand tech community.

Graeme Muller

PS: the Techweek team are looking for extra help. Do you know a student or graduate between jobs who might like three weeks work helping us pull together a list of companies we could be showing off at Techweek’18? If so, please drop us a note.

Advancing cybersecurity

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Come along and listen as the political debate on New Zealand’s Digital Futures continues in Wellington on 30 August. Discussion will focus on the 12 goals in our 2017 Tech Manifesto.

Interested in Artificial Intelligence? Sign up for the AI Forum NZ‘s monthly newsletter. The forum hosts their first Connect Event in Auckland on 16 August following IBM’s Watson Summit.

NZTech’s Deputy Chair Rachel Kelly joins Mum’s Garage founder, Natalie Robinson at the launch of MYOB’s State of Aotearoa’s Start-ups report on 11 August in Auckland.


Thanks to Idealog magazine for sending NZTech members a complimentary copy of The Technology Issue. Idealog are offering NZTech members a 12 month subscription for just $15.

Congratulations to James Brown, FinTechNZ’s newly appointed General Manager. For more FinTechNZ news, click here and save the dates for the next Connect Event series.

Join the Techweek’18 team. Applications for Operations Manager, Project Administrator and Festival Manager close on 13, 15 and 22 August respectively.


Register now for our NZTech Advance Security Summit on 25 October in Wellington. This year’s theme is advancing cyber security through leadership, innovation and strategic partnerships. View the agenda and read last year’s summit briefing paper.

Last week, Hon Simon Bridges launched the 2017 ICT Sector Report. The report profiles New Zealand’s tech sector which plays a key role in the digitisation and diversification of our economy. The report paints a positive picture of a strong and growing sector.

Following the launch of Decoding Diversity, NZTech’s Andrea Hancox says we are not alone in attracting and retaining women in tech. On TVNZ’s Breakfast show she said breaking stereotypes is essential to inspire girls into tech.

Want to know more?  Sign up for the NZTech weekly update, it’s free and will take less than a minute!

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