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NZTech Update – Showcasing the local tech ecosystem

Hi Readers

For the past four years we have been working on three major projects with various government agencies to help grow tech exports.

When I started this job I looked into how other countries got famous for being good at tech. What did Israel do? What about Ireland?  One of the common features of successful tech countries is that they have a shared story.  Israel has been showcasing the Start-Up Nation story for over a decade.

Then I discovered that we now invest more than $100 million a year into promoting tourism so it’s no wonder we are known as a beautiful place to visit.  Yet, at the same time, we only invest $3.5 million a year into a shared New Zealand Story for exporters.  Until recently, this was mainly focused on traditional exports.  In saying that, the latest marketing video for the New Zealand Story is awesome!

So we started working with NZTE and NZ Story to develop a New Zealand tech and innovation story.  After two years of market testing, the UpStarters campaign was launched in May positioning Kiwi’s as being natural collaborators, innovating from the edge, creating ingenious solutions and being open and trusted.  This work is continually evolving, but for the firms already using it overseas, the feedback is very positive.

Meanwhile, our Techweek collaboration with MBIE is three years old and is gaining international exposure and interest.  This year there were already more than a hundred international visitors, some even invested in firms straight after Techweek. We are increasing the international marketing in line with UpStarters, to encourage more investors to visit during Techweek’19.

Finally, I am excited that the third project is now underway.  In collaboration with Callaghan Innovation who are leading the project, we are helping to populate an online platform to expose the New Zealand tech and innovation ecosystem to the world.  Think of it as a New Zealand version of Start-Up Nation or Cruchbase, to help the world discover our innovative exporters.

It feels to me like we are at the start of something great – the decade where New Zealand is seen as a world leader in tech and creating tech that is #goodfortheworld.

Have a great week.

Ngā mihi
Graeme Muller

New Speakers announced!

What is UpStarters?

Annual Report


Join the AI Forum Connect Events this week in Auckland and Christchurch.  Discussion to include human/robot interaction, machine vision in orchards and AI transparency.  The Wellington FinTechNZ Winter Connect Event has been rescheduled to 29 August.

Join CanterburyTech tomorrow in Christchurch for presentations on innovation and IoT.  Join NZSA on 14 August in Auckland for their annual An Angel at my Table pitch competition. Register for the New Zealand FinTech Summit on 29 November in Auckland.

Join TechMarketers for their Connect Events on 21 August in Wellington, 22 August in Auckland and 23 August in Christchurch and meet Kiwi Landing Pad’s Sian Simpson.  Attend the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Forum New Zealand, 27-29 August in Auckland.  For a 10% discount use promo code: TW10.


Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) invites you to Preparing Cities for a Transport Revolution workshop series this month in Hamilton, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown.

Attend NZTE’s Export Essentials Workshops, held throughout New Zealand from July to November.  Learn how to select a market, find channel partners, create a unique value proposition and plan successful market entry.

Want to chat with an artificial human?  Soul Machines is looking for research participants.

Techweek’19 is looking for an experienced Partnerships Manager to support the delivery and growth of Techweek, a national festival of innovation that’s #goodfortheworld.


Last week, Minister Curran spoke at the NZGDA conference.  She welcomed the game development industry’s record rise, earning $143 million in the last financial year.  Meanwhile, the new Netsafe Kit has been launched to help schools and kura create a safe online environment.

Don’t forget to register your internship listing with Summer of Tech.  Attend the 2018 AmCham DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards on 16 August in Auckland.  Meet the 2018 New Zealand Spatial Awards (NZSEA) finalists on 5 September.  Winners will be announced on 17 October.

Applications for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) fourth cohort close on 2 September.  The Flux Accelerator is also accepting applications.   TEDx Auckland 2018 is on 13 October.  Save the date for the Tech Marketers conference, 28 February, AI-Day, 28 March and Techweek’19, 20-26 May, 2019.

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

NZTech We connect, promote and advance the New Zealand Technology ecosystem to help the tech sector and the economy grow.