The New Zealand Tech Alliance is a group of independent technology associations from across New Zealand that work together to ensure a strong voice for technology.Visit Tech Alliance
Amid the Coronavirus frenzied toilet paper hoarding, there is simple information being shared. Unfortunately, with so much noise, the sensible advice isn’t able to effectively grab people’s attention as easily. For example, many companies could enable their staff to work from home and stay productive, even if they can’t come into the office. Technology is also playing a role in identifying the virus. New Zealand scientists are using a Kiwi developed, state of the art DNA sequencer the size of a Mars Bar to identify samples from many countries. However, the best advice, doesn’t involve technology. Jacinda Ardern, her Chief Science Advisor Dr Juliet Gerrard and Nanogirl, Dr Michelle Dickinson got together for a video chat about the virus and the importance of washing your hands.
Meanwhile, back in the tech world, the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) officially cut the ribbon on the new $300 million Elevate fund as promised by the Government in the 2019 Budget. NZVIF will follow its long-standing model of coinvesting with private equity outfits, who will be in the driving seat. Next, is finding those companies ready for venture capital funding. Hopefully Callaghan Innovations ongoing Scale-Up project will make this easier for local and international investors. Scale-Up now has over 1000 company profiles of Kiwi firms and has made over 200 introductions to investors or support organisations.
This week, the Tech Leaders association are presenting their 2020 Election Manifesto to the political parties. I am looking forward to joining them on Wednesday in Wellington, for meetings with NZ First, the Greens and the Labour caucus. It will be interesting to see how the different parties engage around various tech issues including technology in the education system and skills shortages.
I am eagerly anticipating the first ever Medicinal Cannabis Summit in New Zealand, hosted by BioTechNZ next week. MedCan2020 explores the convergence of bio-technology, science and medicine to create a whole new industry in New Zealand. The event is also providing education for hundreds of doctors to understand this new medicine.
Join FinTechNZ at Opportunities for New Zealand and the United Kingdom on 23 March in Auckland. Attend the Golden Ticket launch event on 1 April in Wellington.