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.