Introducing our new General Manager – Neil Hamilton

We’re thrilled to announce that we have been successful in recruiting a General Manager for the Canterbury Tech cluster. We had a number of fantastic applicants whose enthusiasm and passion for the Christchurch tech sector was wonderful to see.

The successful candidate, Neil Hamilton, will already be well known to many of you. His most recent role was ‘Client Manager – Technology’ for ChristchurchNZ, and before this he was General Manager for Trineo Ltd. In previous lives he has been a hardware designer, software engineer, business analyst, project/programme manager, consultant, company founder and advisor in several countries.

Neil shares our belief that the Christchurch tech sector is poised to achieve greatness over the next few years and we look forward to working with him to ensure that vision becomes reality.

Welcome aboard Neil!

The new Christchurch style: Old boys out, entrepreneurs in

CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND – OCTOBER 12: Sisters Savanna and Piper Wills (L-R) play at the Imagination Station during the official opening of the new Christchurch central library, Turanga, on October 12, 2018 in Christchurch, New Zealand. At nearly 10,000 square metres, Turanga is the largest public library in the South Island, and is expected to welcome some 3000 visitors per day. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

The earthquakes have changed the culture in genteel Christchurch. Now it’s more about how you can contribute than who you went to school with, writes Steven Moe.

I grew up in Christchurch, but not the one that exists today. I lived in the non-Ōtautahi version – the pre-earthquakes mini-England you wouldn’t recognise if you came to visit now. Today it is proudly Ōtautahi Christchurch, and the vibe has shifted. That’s a good thing and is one of several reasons I moved back to Canterbury at the start of 2016 after 14 years away.

Something deeper happened when the earth moved and tossed buildings to the ground. The way of thinking itself was shaken up and impacted as well. We need to move beyond the image of construction and recovery or the initial impressions of ruin you might still see if you only go on a short drive through or just listen to others who visited. What is it that has changed?

Firstly, you cannot go through an experience where human life has been lost and remain unaffected. Just about everyone in Christchurch knows someone who had a family member or friend who was injured or killed. While the collective impact of this will fade, the experience caused many to reprioritise what they value in life. That has led to an attitude of being willing to try new things and less fear of failure: Life is short.

Christchurch now has a thriving startup ecosystem. Co-working spaces are packed with entrepreneurs, as is the weekly “Coffee & Jam” session run each Tuesday by Ministry of Awesome where two people (often entrepreneurs) present what they are doing. Canterbury has the second largest tech sector in New Zealand with 15,000 employed. The annual Canterbury Tech summit attracts a crowd of 700 and is regularly oversubscribed.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that people from outside Christchurch refer to “the earthquake” whereas people from Christchurch refer to the plural “earthquakes”. That use of language is significant because it underscores the length of the experience people have endured. This was not a one-off event, it went on for months and years, and those who were not here at the time struggle to understand this. I am one of those people who slips sometimes and says “earthquake” because I was living in Japan (experiencing another big earthquake there) back in 2010/2011. The hardship goes on for those who have outstanding EQC claims, and we see constant reminders as new buildings spring up on cleared lots.

People are also very accessible and willing to help others in Christchurch, and this is boosted by the networks being in closer proximity than in a larger city such as Auckland. Provided you look to add value to conversations and are willing to give to others you are welcomed in. This is in contrast to Sydney, Tokyo and London where I have also lived, and is counter to the outdated perception that Christchurch relies on ‘old boys networks’. Yes, they exist, but they are less important than before.

Another change is that there are now whole new communities rising up around Christchurch that didn’t exist in that way prior to the earthquakes. Many people choose to live just outside of the city in growing satellite communities, often commuting in. I live in Rolleston to the south and it is a good case study. Pre-earthquakes it was a sleepy settlement of around 1000 people; now the population is almost 18,000. It feels as if the pace of growth is ramping up even further, with a motorway opening to cut commuting time and new subdivisions announced constantly. When pretty much everyone has moved into a community like this there is a more open culture and willingness to engage with others.

Christchurch has a host of advantages over other cities and it makes me wonder when people in Auckland and Wellington are going to realise. It is uniquely positioned for those who love the outdoors, with skiing at Mt Hutt an hour away, beaches on the outskirts and great trails and mountain bike riding in the Port Hills. House prices are literally half that of Auckland. Throw in world-class facilities such as the new library Tūranga, and there are compelling reasons to look twice.

Large global technology companies seem to have caught on, with some having bought ventures here but not relocated them offshore, such as Verizon, which bought fleet tracking software firm Telogis, and Insight Venture Partners which purchased software-as-a-service company Diligent.

If you haven’t been to Ōtautahi Christchurch in a while you may not be aware of the new undercurrent. When visiting other parts of New Zealand and overseas people often ask me, ‘how are things going?’, with the slight head tilt and tone of voice they might use if asking about a sick relative. I usually nod and smile then give some of the examples in this article of what I’m seeing on the ground.

There is a chance now to proactively build up a new culture alongside the many new buildings opening across the city. If that continues we’ll see transformation at a level deeper than just infrastructure, and Ōtautahi Christchurch will rise to become even better than it was in the past.

Steven Moe is a Christchurch lawyer and hosts the weekly podcast seeds.

Seequent named Supreme Winner of 2018 New Zealand International Business Awards

 Seequent, a global leader in the development of visual data science software and collaborative technologies, has won the Supreme Award at the 2018 New Zealand International Business Awards, after earlier winning the ANZ Best Medium Business Award.

Graham Grant, COO of Seequent says, “Seequent is thrilled to be named as a winner in the 2018 New Zealand International Business Awards alongside a stunning group of New Zealand companies.  We’re immensely proud of our dedicated and passionate team around the globe who help our customers ultimately make better decisions about their earth, environment and energy challenges, with seriously smart technology.”

Seequent develops data visualisation and geological modelling solutions that enable those in mining and minerals, civil engineering, environmental, and geothermal energy industries to extract valuable insights from complex raw data.

Seequent’s 3D modelling tools and technology are widely applied across industries and projects, including road and rail tunnel construction, groundwater detection and management, geothermal exploration, resource evaluation and estimation, and subterranean storage of spent nuclear fuel.

The judges were impressed with how well Seequent portrayed the emerging story of New Zealand on the global stage – advanced technology, focussed on making the world better, operating in a high-value niche and executed with precision, tenacity and ambition.

Earlier in the week, Seequent announced it had opened its 14th global office, in Colorado, USA.  The increased commitment to the US market, which included the appointment of key staff, follows the rapid growth of the company’s Civil & Environmental division since its release of Leapfrog® Works 3D geological modelling software in February.

“The United States has one of the largest infrastructure industries in the world,” says Daniel Wallace, General Manager of Civil & Environmental at Seequent. “There are real infrastructure challenges in the US, with a significant amount of infrastructure to be built, rebuilt and maintained. Ageing infrastructure is something the civil engineering industry has been tasked with, and our solutions can help through digital innovation by connecting underlying geology to engineering design.”

Seequent’s Leapfrog products support client projects in over 90 countries.  Recent examples include a tunnelling project in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest transport infrastructure project; a groundwater project in Bentiu, South Sudan; and a gold mining exploration project in Nevada, USA.

Seequent’s global headquarters are in Christchurch, New Zealand and its global network of offices supports its five key territories Asia/Pacific, Africa, South America, North America and Europe.  Seequent also has strong academic partnerships, working alongside 150 universities with its academic software programme, and employs many postgraduate students.

The New Zealand International Business Awards are run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and supported by Strategic Partner, ANZ New Zealand Limited. They celebrate the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage and recognise excellence and innovative practice.

 

Ministry of Awesome FREE Innovation Breakfast

2nd November, 7am – 9am, Christchurch

What’s the secret to high-growth startup success?
Come along to Canterbury’s 2nd annual FREE Innovation Breakfast and get the ultimate download from some of our hottest young companies making impact all across the world from Christchurch, New Zealand.

Register

The Agile Facilitator 2 Day Workshop

27th & 28th November, 9am to 5pm, Christchurch

Following very positive feedback received after Kay Johnson’s workshop at the Canterbury Tech summit we’d like to highlight this upcoming Agile workshop.

Are you able to address the dysfunctional behaviours you see preventing your team from achieving maximum success? How easy is it for you to achieve consensus among your team to make faster decisions? This two-day workshop will empower you with very in-demand Agile facilitation skills and techniques you need to enhance productivity among your teams. Get your own customised facilitator self-development plan by NZ’s Agile leaders.

Register now

We’re looking for a part time Event Coordinator

Canterbury Tech are looking for a part time event coordinator to support the management committee in the end-to-end delivery of the annual Canterbury Tech Summit.

The Summit is the South Island’s largest technology conference with over 700 attendees and a key event on the sector’s calendar nationally. Having run annually for 16 years, the event has a long history and strong reputation as a high quality, must-attend event. The Summit’s main aim is to promote, celebrate and showcase Canterbury’s tech sector.

  • 10 – 30 hours per week – 1 year contract
  • South Islands Largest Annual Tech Conference
  • Flexible work hours – exciting role, self-managing

Key Responsibilities:

  • Plan event from start to finish
  • Come up with suggestions to enhance the event’s success
  • Prepare budgets and ensure adherence
  • Source and negotiate with vendors and suppliers
  • Manage sponsorship activation / ensure delivery of sponsor value
  • Coordinate all operations
  • Lead all marketing promotional activities for the event
  • Coordinate event branding & design
  • Supervise all staff
  • Approve all aspects before the day of the event
  • Ensure event is completed and step up to resolve any problems that might occur
  • Analyze the event’s success and prepare reports

What you will need to be successful in this role:

  • Proven experience as an Event Manager
  • Skilled in project management
  • Knowledge of KPIs and marketing techniques for event management
  • Computer savvy; proficient in MS Office
  • Outstanding communication and negotiation ability
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • A knack for problem-solving
  • Customer-service orientation
  • A team player with leadership skills

Not essential but good to have:

  • Website maintenance experience
  • Direct email marketing experience
  • Design skills
  • An understanding of the technology landscape
  • Event management software
  • Speaker curation

What’s in it for you:

You will be directly involved in shaping and growing the Canterbury Tech Sector community profile. You will enjoy autonomy and the freedom to create, innovate and deliver solutions that will benefit the region. You will be able to take Canterbury Tech to yet another level! You will have the support of an awesome committee and a loyal member community. The remuneration package reflects importance of this key positions and you will be pleased with what is on offer.  This position is part time with flexibility around days / hours worked but there is a requirement to be involved full time for several days around the Summit event in mid-September 2019.

Who is hiring:

The Canterbury Tech Cluster is a non-profit membership organisation helping Canterbury’s Tech sector succeed at home and worldwide.  The Cluster helps individuals and companies to connect, be inspired and grow.

The Cluster’s activities are led by a voluntary committee supported by a part-time General Manager and Operations Manager.  Activities include monthly speaker events and the annual Canterbury Tech Summit, the South Island’s largest Tech Conference that brings together leaders in innovation, technology and business to share ideas, grow their network and be inspired.

Apply here

For initial confidential inquiries about this outstanding opportunity and to register your interest please contact Heidi Griffiths on heidi@crescent.co.nz or apply online here with your CV and covering letter stating reference 1133.

We’re looking for a part time General Manager

Join the team!

We have taken the decision to hire a part time GM for the Tech Cluster. While we are very proud of what we achieve as a volunteer committee we also realise that time is of the essence in executing on our strategic goals. Christchurch is now the second largest tech sector in New Zealand and growing rapidly, we need to keep up the momentum and our positioning of Christchurch as a city of tech innovation and opportunity. We would also like to ensure the longevity of the Tech Cluster that comes with the continuity of having paid staff.

The advert for the position is included below, if you know anyone who would be a great fit please encourage them to apply. If you have any concerns about the strategy of hiring a GM please don’t hesitate to make contact with the committee.

Regards,
David

View the full job advertisement

The Role

The General Manager will lead and support the growth strategy of the Canterbury Tech Cluster through the provision of exceptional leadership that drives profitable returns, growing memberships and improving profile and relationships locally, nationally and internationally.
They will lead activities such as fund and sponsorship generation, growing and diversifying member base and membership revenue. They will also help delivering back into the member community knowledge bases and network opportunities.
The General Manager will report to the Committee and is ultimately accountable to the Canterbury Tech Cluster members.

  • 20 hours per week, initial 1 year contract
  • Use your extensive local tech network
  • Drive growth in membership, profile and financial aspects

Key Responsibilities

  • Driving the overall strategy (with input from the committee)
  • Improve internal Cluster operation
  • Being the face of the organisation
  • Engaging with the industry to represent the Cluster both locally and nationally
  • Having their finger on the pulse of the tech sector
  • Managing and leveraging partnering opportunities to deliver value to our members
  • Business development to help grow our sponsor base
  • Driving increased membership and ensuring that all sub groups within the Cluster member base have their needs met
  • Lifting member engagement and bringing the Canterbury Tech sector to the forefront of the broader sector within NZ (and beyond)
  • Increase value delivered to members, measured by increased attendance and NPI scores
  • Improve comms and PR efforts to raise Cluster profile nationally
  • Ensuring Christchurch is recognised as a tech hub nationally, attracting talent to the city is vital.
  • Increasing networking opportunities for our members
  • Increasing the uptake of interns and students by Canterbury employers

What you will need to be successful in this role

  • Proven senior management experience, ideally in tech companies
  • An extensive local or national network within the tech eco-system
  • Strong business development skills, including the ability to close deals
  • Ability to relate to people at all levels of organisations
  • Extensive commercial and financial management skills
  • Proven ability to be a true leader, deal with ambiguity
  • Strategic management experience, preferably within a technology company
  • High energy level with the ability to be responsive, innovative and creative in your approach.

What’s in it for you

You will be directly involved in shaping and growing the Canterbury Tech Sector community profile and this role will become a highlight of your professional portfolio.  You will enjoy autonomy and the freedom to create, innovate and deliver solutions that will benefit the region. You will be able to take Canterbury Tech to yet another level! You will have the support of an awesome committee and a loyal member community. The remuneration package reflects importance of this key positions and you will be pleased with what is on offer.

This position is part time with some flexibility around days / hours worked but there is a requirement to be available after hours at last once a month for meetings.

For initial confidential inquiries about this outstanding opportunity and to register your interest please contact Heidi Griffiths on heidi@crescent.co.nz or apply online here with your CV and covering letter stating reference 1109

Technology that’s good for the world at Canty Tech Summit

18 September 2018

Imagine being born with a condition that prevented you from communicating your thoughts and feelings with the world.

That’s the experience of hundreds of young Cantabrians, but thanks to the positive potential of technology and the big hearts of some local supporters, they’re finding their voices and leading fuller lives.

“There’s a lot of us in the tech community who are trying to find ways to use, design and build technology in ways that help the world,” says Abbie Reid, Studio Manager at Christchurch-based design company, Media Suite.

Reid’s sentiment was echoed by the 700+ attendees at the recent Canterbury Tech Summit, where the theme of technology that’s good for the world was amplified by various exhibitors, sponsors and speakers.

Summit sponsor Media Suite were among the exhibitors, championing a cause that’s close to their hearts with an innovative fundraiser for local children’s charities.

Delegates were given a bright orange LEGO block representing a $10 donation and invited to place them on building board to mark the charity of their choice.

One of these charities was The Champion Centre, a Christchurch-based group dedicated to providing early intervention services to infants and young children with disabilities. The money raised contributed to the centre’s Computer Supported Learning Programme, which enables young people to express themselves with the aid of innovative technologies.

“Some children may never speak and may need to use a computer as primary means of communication,” Reid says. “For other children, the computer is an exciting and highly successful means to enable them to develop the skills needed to access learning opportunities.”

ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Business & Innovation Richard Sandford says Christchurch has a growing reputation as an innovative technology hub, with a strong focus on technologies that make our world a better place to live.

“We’re home to many ordinary Kiwis who are passionate about tech and its ability to make a difference where it’s needed most,” Sandford says.

Simon Wakelin, South Island Regional Sales Manager of summit sponsor, Vocus Communications, says enabling the next generation of young people to access information technologies will go a long way in ensuring they can reach their full potential.

“These community-focused initiatives are powerful investments that are reflective of the genuine desire of our local tech community to make a positive difference in the world,” Wakelin says.

The 2018 Canterbury Tech Summit attracted over 700 speakers from homegrown tech firms including Rocket Lab, Trineo, Cryptopia, RedShield Security, Skilitics, FaceMe, and more.

Community focus at Canterbury Tech Summit with technology that’s good for the world

Imagine being born with a condition that prevented you from communicating your thoughts and feelings with the world.

That’s the experience of hundreds of young Cantabrians, but thanks to the positive potential of technology and the big hearts of some local supporters, they’re finding their voices and leading fuller lives.

“Whether it’s kids learning to write code, technology helping them access learning opportunities, or inspiring future innovators, we’re excited to support causes using tech to do great things for young people,” says Abbie Reid, Special Projects Coordinator at Christchurch-based software development company, Media Suite.

Reid’s sentiment was echoed by the 700+ attendees at the recent Canterbury Tech Summit, where the theme of technology that’s good for the world was amplified by various exhibitors, sponsors and speakers.

Summit sponsor Media Suite were among the exhibitors, championing worthy causes with an innovative fundraiser for Kiwi children’s charities Ministry of Inspiration, Code Club Aotearoa and The Champion Centre.

Delegates were given a bright orange LEGO block representing a $10 donation and invited to place them on building board to mark the charity of their choice. Check out their blog here to see what happened next!

One of these charities is the Champion Centre, a Christchurch-based group dedicated to providing early intervention services to infants and young children with learning disabilities. The money raised contributed to the centre’s Computer Supported Learning Programme, which enables young people to express themselves with the aid of innovative technologies.

“The Champion Centre is a great cause, and really demonstrates the power technology can have to change lives,” Reid says. “We heard so many stories from conference participants whose family members or friends had benefited from the centre and the amazing work it does.”

ChristchurchNZ General Manager of Business & Innovation Richard Sandford says Christchurch has a growing reputation as an innovative technology hub, with a strong focus on technologies that make our world a better place to live.

“We’re home to many extraordinary Kiwis who are passionate about tech and its ability to make a difference where it’s needed most,” Sandford says.

Simon Wakelin, South Island Regional Sales Manager of summit sponsor, Vocus Communications, says enabling the next generation of young people to access information technologies will go a long way in ensuring they can reach their full potential.

“These community-focused initiatives are powerful investments that are reflective of the genuine desire of our local tech community to make a positive difference in the world,” Wakelin says.

The 2018 Canterbury Tech Summit attracted over 700 attendees from homegrown tech firms including Rocket Lab, Trineo, Cryptopia, RedShield Security, Skilitics, FaceMe, and more.

Westpac Champion Supreme Award recognises Seequent’s global expansion and innovation

 

 

 

 

CHRISTCHURCH, NZ – 20 September, 2018Seequent, a developer of revolutionary visual data science software, has been recognised for its global expansion and continued innovation success as the winner of the Supreme Award for medium-large enterprise at last night’s Westpac Champion Business Awards 2018.  Seequent also won the Lyttelton Port Company Champion Exporter Medium/Large Award.

Seequent’s technology enables people to create rich stories and uncover valuable insights from geological data, and ultimately make better decisions about their earth, environment and energy challenges.

Seequent COO Graham Grant says, “These awards are a fantastic acknowledgement for our global team who have shown great passion, skill and dedication to help us achieve new heights.

“This year we’ve established our capability in the civil engineering and environmental industries, launching major new products to the market and completing a major rebrand to reflect this.  We’ve also continued to deliver new innovation for the mining and minerals and geothermal energy industries.  We’re growing quickly and have customers in over 90 countries.”

Seequent is known worldwide for its Leapfrog® 3D geological modelling tools and technology widely applied across industries and projects, including road and rail tunnel construction, groundwater detection and management, geothermal exploration, resource evaluation and estimation.

“Seequent have been delivering innovative solutions for 15 years, and continually raising the bar in the world of visual data science. Combined with their export success this makes them a fantastic recipient of the Medium/Large Supreme Award,” says Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce CEO Leeann Watson.

The Christchurch headquartered company has close to 250 people in 15 locations in its five territories: Asia/Pacific, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe.