If you ask the average local person in Asia what they know about New Zealand, it’s very likely that the answer will include tourism, education, dairy, beef and lamb, high quality food products and other primary exports. It is highly unlikely that technology innovation or digital products would be mentioned, even though we have thousands of world class tech companies in this country.
As a technology entrepreneur who has travelled extensively throughout Asia, this is a constant frustration for me. There’s no place in the region where I can use the NZ Inc brand to help position a tech business as being from a high tech export nation. This is why NZTech is actively working to develop the NZ Tech Story in collaboration with Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE), New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) and New Zealand Story to add being a high tech nation as an integral part of the story we tell the world about ourselves. You can add to the development of the story via the NZ Tech Story Forum on Linkedin.
At the same time, I have also been learning that the tech sector is not an island. As most of our tech companies are still relatively new to business development in Asia, it would be smart and important for us to be there alongside other New Zealand industry sectors which have been doing so for much longer and are therefore bigger, stronger, better known, more visible, more active and more connected in the region. Technology businesses are more relevant when promoted as part of the sectors that we serve.
Critical mass is important for branding in Asia. So while we haven’t got many large tech brands from New Zealand, we do have a large number of tech firms. It would be great for us to come out in number and support the NZ Tech Story, particularly in Asia.
On another note, NZTech is currently recruiting a number of roles including a Festival Manager to join the Techweek team and a new Government Relations role in Wellington (yet to be advertised). Pass on the message if you know someone who’d be great for the NZTech team.