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Kia ora Readers,
Over the weekend, I was reading about New Zealand’s stealthily growing innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem courtesy of a great new report by Callaghan Innovation, Growing the pie. It is well worth a read.
I remember when the Hi-Growth Trust was established in 2005. It’s aim was to grow one hundred $100 million tech firms based on the inspirational words of Sir Paul Callaghan, “One hundred inspired New Zealand entrepreneurs can turn this country around. That is a challenge for all of us.”
While the Trust didn’t last long, the momentum continued and Growing the pie highlights the firms now worth more than $100 million. The report also does a great job of addressing the value of the ‘exit’. Interviews with our most successful entrepreneurs and an analysis of the flow on effects of some of the most famous exits are included.
Ecosystem building is not a fast thing, but if done well it is cumulative and New Zealand is certainly doing it well! As entrepreneurs exit their businesses they (and their experienced leadership teams) tend to cycle their knowledge and funds back into new ideas in New Zealand. Consequently, our local startup scene and the investor market are maturing too.
NZTech and the Tech Alliance, now play a key role in the growth of the local tech and innovation ecosystem. As reported in the Australian media last week, “New Zealand is a model in many things, and the ability of its tech industry groups to co-ordinate may be another.” The report highlighted the fragmentation of their tech sector and pointed to the Tech Alliance, as yet another great New Zealand success story.
Another significant Callaghan Innovation initiative to strengthen ecosystem maturity is tomorrow’s launch of Scale-Up. This is a free online platform connecting innovative New Zealand businesses, investors, incubators and others, with each other and the world. Each association within the Tech Alliance is encouraging its members to place their profile on Scale-Up, so we can make it easier to attract funding for them. To learn more about Scale-Up and how it works, check the Callaghan Innovation information page.
Today, I am in Tauranga, meeting with Priority One, the local economic development organisation, to see how NZTech can support the growth of their local tech ecosystem. The cool thing about tech, is that you can grow businesses anywhere, so it is also a wonderful regional growth strategy too.
Have a great Easter.
Sign up as a mentor and encourage girls into tech with our ShadowTech programme. Explore the Techweek19 School Series to inspire the next generation. Computational thinking, tech and digital citizenship are essential skills for all students says NZTech’s Graeme Muller.
Watch the new Techweek19 video. Attend the official launch event on 20 May in Auckland or join the live webcast. During Techweek19, explore the Maori Tech Showcase in Hamilton. Join Agritech New Zealand at the Primary Industries New Zealand Summit and Awards, 1–2 July in Wellington.
Curious about AI? Videos from the recent AI-DAY are now online. During Techweek19, join AI Debates on Automation, Education and Employment in Wellington. Join AI Forum’s Ben Reid on 22 May for Techweek TV’s webcast, How do we protect privacy and personal data?
New research shows most InsurTechs want to improve customer experience. The rapid emergence of chat bots and digital human assistants are leading to more personable channels. Read the report by InsurTechNZ and EY New Zealand here.
Entries for the Fieldays Innovation Awards close 1 May. Entries for the 2019 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards close 31 May. Considering exports? Attend an Export Essentials workshop, throughout New Zealand.
Attend the T-Tech19 conference, 6–7 May in Christchurch. Attend Automation for Business on 23 May in Auckland. The New Zealand Esri User Conference is 12–14 August in Auckland. The Canterbury Tech Summit is 12 September. The 2019 NZ Cyber Security Summit is 15 October in Wellington.
Be part of Scale-Up New Zealand, a free online platform for our innovation ecosystem.