Hi Tech Awards

Entries are now open for the 2018 NZ Hi-Tech Awards

View all the categories on the Hi Tech website.

Entering the Hi-Tech Awards gives you:

  • Recognition
  • Publicity
  • Networking
  • Opportunity to refine your value proposition
  • Exposure to investors

Entries are securely reviewed by our panels of local and international judges; it’s a great opportunity to get your business in front of some of the biggest names in the business.

You can also nominate a company or individual who you think is worthy here. We will follow up with the nominee and give them a gentle nudge to complete the entry process online. We really want to make a strong push this year to celebrate and encourage diversity in our industry. We would love it if you could help us by nominating companies and individuals who you think are leading the way.

Want to know more?

Check out website to learn more about the different categories. Not sure of which category to enter? Get in touch with us to discuss which categories you’re best suited to. We’d also recommend joining our LinkedIn group and following us on Twitter to keep up to date with the 2018 Awards programme.

Make sure you also visit our website to learn more about:

  • Why you should enter
  • Nominating a company or individual
  • Critical entry and event dates
  • Entry categories & criteria
  • Tips on making the most out of being an entrant, finalist and winner.

Whatever type of hi-tech company you’ve got, you will find a suitable category to enter. We have updated some of the categories for 2018, so be sure to check the criteria.

Entering also gives you the opportunity to take part in three outstanding events:

  • The Entrants Cocktail Events (to announce finalists) held simultaneously in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch on Wednesday 28 March 2018.
  • The Gala Awards Dinner in Auckland at the Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on Friday 25 May 2018.
  • The exclusive NZ Hi-Tech Awards Alumni Event for entrants from 2017 and 2018 only. You have to enter to be invited to this complimentary event on Thursday 24 May, 2018.

Important dates:

  • Nominations of a third party close 5pm, Monday 19 Feb – this allows us enough time for us to follow up with nominees to ensure they have time to complete their entry
  • Entries close 5pm, Monday, 5 March 2018

If you have any further questions, get in touch via email or give Bob Pinchin or Liz Fox a call on 09 984 4140.

All the best,
Jennifer Rutherford
Chair
NZ Hi-Tech Trust

2017 Market Measures report now available

As a member of Canterbury Tech, you are being offered the 2017 Market Measures report for only $70* (worth $375)


Click here to download the 2017 Market Measures report for just $70 by clicking BUY NOW and entering the code growtech2 at the checkout.

In this report we uncover how New Zealand tech companies can sell more efficiently. To achieve this, we have looked at how Kiwi tech firms are selling their innovations, and how they compare to similar USA technology businesses.

What’s in the report?
• How to increase New Zealand technology company sales efficiency, with 2017 data,
discussion, and recommendations around three key areas:
o The art and science of selling
o Smarter sales and marketing spending
o Lead generation efficiency
• Sales and marketing benchmarks from 302 New Zealand technology companies (survey
completed in October 2017), and comparison data from their USA counterparts.

SUMMARY OF 2017 SURVEY RESULTS (PRESS RELEASE)

Productivity the barrier to tech being the top exporter

Kiwi tech companies urged to ‘eat more of their own dog food’ when it comes to selling

Kiwi technology needs to sell itself smarter to realise it’s potential to become the country’s largest export industry, according to the latest Market Measures report. “We don’t face the same environmental constraints of the other two major export sectors, agriculture and tourism, so the potential for tech is virtually limitless,” says Owen Scott, Managing Director of Concentrate Limited, who organise the study along with fellow tech marketing company Swaytech.

“Improving our ability sell efficiently is one way of unlocking more of this potential, and ultimately becoming New Zealand’s primary export industry.” In its ninth year, Market Measures gathers information about sales and marketing from over 300 New Zealand companies, and compares the results to similar data from the USA. “In this study we found Kiwi companies over reliant on company founders and high-value sales people to sell their product,” said Mr Scott. “46% of companies said a founder was still closely involved in sales, and the average sales person in an export market was paid a base salary almost 50% higher than a typical US sales person.”

“It’s not a scalable approach to generating export sales, and is reinforced by the fact 40% of companies said productivity was their main problem when it came to managing sales teams.”

Bob Pinchin, Managing Director of Swaytech, said the fact US companies used on average three times the number of digital sales tools (e.g. email automation, contact intelligence) than their New Zealand counterparts was evidence they were more focussed on efficiency. “In the tech industry we  Private and confidential © 2017 Concentrate Limited 7 call this ‘eating your own dog food’, but our firms are turning their nose up at these tools at the moment.”

“We have talented tech sales people who convert leads at an incredibly high rate, but it’s the volume of sales that is the issue – this productivity challenge is one we have to solve to overtake the other two big export industries,” he said.

“Our tech sales people are really ‘artists’, talented and creative and able to craft sales, but what we need more of is scientists – people operating within a rigorous system able to produce repeatable, predictable sales results at a lower cost,” said Mr Scott.

He said that more than ever before, our tech companies are willing to invest in sales and marketing, which has been a feature of Market Measures since it began in 2008. “That ranges from a stable 25% of annual revenue spent on sales and marketing (including salaries and costs) for established companies, through to an aggressive 127% for start-up tech businesses.”

“NZTE works with an increasing number of internationally successful tech companies but as the Market Measures study suggests, some of them – big and small – are forgetting to cover some of the basics that lead to export growth,” says Charles Haddrell, Customer Director at NZTE, the principal sponsors of Market Measures. “Getting your sales and marketing strategies right isn’t just a nice to have – it’s a must have. We’ve worked with hundreds of companies and know from experience that implementing robust sales processes, developing sales and execution skills, hiring well, and being aware of the technologies to support the sales and marketing functions are vital to being successful overseas.”

For further information, contact:
Owen Scott, Concentrate
021 221 2254 / 03 365 8774
owen@concentrate.co.nz

Meet the 2018 Committee Nominees

At the end of this year we will be saying a sad farewell to the following committee members:

Geoff Brash Secretary
Andy Poulsen Deputy Chair
Mandeep Kaur Member
Simon Rees Associate Member
Kevin Alcock Associate Member
Paul Burke Ex-Officio Member

We are lucky to have the following committee members committed for 2018:

David Carter Stratos
Vaughan Luckman Vaughan Luckman Consulting
Ian Wells Venduco
Heidi Griffiths Crescent Consulting
Chris Clarke Stratigence
Sarah Kinley Modlar
Brent O’Meagher GPC Electronics
Helen Shorthouse CanterburyNZ
Ray Singer Student Representative

We will be utilising online voting to find our three new committee members. The main account contact for our individual and company members will be emailed on Thursday 30th November asking you to place your vote. One vote is allowed per individual member or company member. Voting will close at 7pm at the end of the AGM on the 5th December.

Nominees will still be accepted until voting opens but if you are keen to put yourself forward we urge you to submit your application by the 24th November in order to have your profile loaded.

Here are the 2018 nominees so far:

Greg Smith Business Technology Consultant Peritia Ltd
John Wang Software Development Tutor Computer Power Plus
Fiona Ambler SaaS Marketer | Information Systems Treshna Enterprises
Patrick Keo Marketing Consultant Concentrate Ltd
Tasneem Gould Product Manager & Digital Delivery Orion Health
Donald Harman SharePoint Administrator / DBA Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu
Tony Berggren Lead Hardware Architect & System Engineer Tait Communications Ltd
Jeremy Slade Development Manager Orion Health
Kevin Alcock Director/Principle Consultant Katipo Information Security
Chris Percy General Manager Assurity Consulting Ltd
Jamie Wilson Engineering Manager Cavotec MoorMaster Ltd
Nicolette Le Cren Senior Consultant Perception PR & Marketing
Luke Johnstone Principle Consultant Double-O Consultants (Gorilla Consulting)
Charlie Tomlinson Chief Executive Officer EDPotential
Marian Johnson Chief Awesome Officer Ministry of Awesome
Ed Wegner  Retired Ex Tait

Full Details:

Greg Smith
Company name: Peritia Ltd
Short bio or Link to your bio: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gregsmithnz/
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: Wide industry and international experience in technology delivery and business consulting.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

1. Supporting the development of start-up businesses (not picking winners, but supporting participants)

2. Improving the business perspectives of the tech sector participants (standing in the shoes of the customer)

3. Providing a compelling forum to network and strengthen Christchurch as the tech-hub city of choice

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

Introduce a meeting segment featuring well known (tech) business leaders sharing their perspectives on the future of New Zealand in the international marketplace and how Christchurch tech can support that. (15 minutes)

Learn something. Meet someone. Share something.

 

John Wang
Company name: Computer Power Plus
Short bio or Link to your bio: Software Development Tutor who is passionate about learning and sharing.
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: Connecting IT students to the industry
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

1. Stronger connections between IT students and educators to the tech sector so we have more industry-ready students in Canterbury.

2. Promote and encourage more people to be interested in joining the tech sector from high school student to career changers

3. Canterbury tech to promote members to non-IT sectors

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Meetup group for all current and prospective IT students

 

Fiona Ambler
Company name: Treshna Enterprises
Short bio or Link to your bio: Originally introduced to the tech scene in Christchurch as the office manager of Treshna Enterprises – one of the original tenants at EPIC – I have found myself jumping at opportunities to engulf myself into the local tech community. After a year abroad in Canada, I returned in 2016 to complete my degree (in Information Systems & Marketing) whilst managing the marketing efforts for GymMaster (a membership management system owned by Treshna). I took up casual work at Vodafone Xone helping with the program and startup’s marketing, which led to some independent marketing work with Linewize. Though UC I got heavily involved with the UCE, competed in MYOB’s IT challenge (to get 2nd Nationally) & the Entré 85K Startup challenge (winning the Sustainability Award). I also took up a 100 hour internship for course credit at Jade Logistics; as well as jumping on board with UC’s INFOSoc as the Vice President. I was excited to see over 20 of our members give their contact details to Ray after we collaborated on a student event (featuring Ray, Ian, Andy and Mandeep as speakers) to drum up interest in the Summit. Please also see https://www.linkedin.com/in/fiona-a/
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:: Specifically, my expertise is in digital marketing, however I also have good ties with UC’s business school, centre for entrepreneurship, and student societies. In addition to a healthy dose of enthusiasm, I also have a seriously sunny outlook.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury::

#1 Encouraging more talented graduates to stay in Christchurch to contribute to the local economy

#2 New technologies = new platforms with huge potential for business

#3 Partnerships and collaboration between companies here and abroad to continue building NZ’s reputation as a producer of world class technologies

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:: I’d like to get involved in helping Christchurch retain student talent by way of linking students with internships and graduate positions. Having talked to Ray about possible future initiatives, he has indicated to me that my position as a recent graduate myself would place me in good stead to strengthen the relationship between graduates and their careers in the Christchurch tech community.

 

Patrick Keo
Company name: Concentrate Ltd
Short bio or Link to your bio:

I have been involved in the tech sector in New Zealand for the last seven years. Five of those years have been with Concentrate where I have helped grow kiwi tech companies increase their market share or reach within New Zealand and overseas.

A lot of the clients I work with are based in the Canterbury region, some have also gone on to become finalists and winners at the Champion Canterbury awards.

I am passionate about the sector and want to help it grow even more.

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: I can bring 10 years of marketing experience to the committee in a wide range of different marketing disciplines. Being involved with Canterbury tech companies everyday also gives me first hand knowledge and accounts of issues and challenges they are facing which could mean that solutions which work for them could also be applied to the wider sector in the region.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

Telling people about it.

The sector in Canterbury is a bit of a reflection of the sector as a whole really. Tech is the quiet achiever in this country, contributing billions of dollars to the economy yet the average person on the street would have no idea. The perception is that we are a country of agriculture and tourism, which is fair enough as they are our top two contributors to GDP but we need to talk ourselves up a bit more to get some more exposure.

Involving younger generations.

It’s a long term strategy but there’s a great opportunity to get more involvement from schools in the region. Children are already immersed in technology that it wouldn’t take much to leverage that and also the strong inter-school rivalry in the city and region. Promote or setup drone racing or robotics competitions or coding challenges. Help students take that extra step from just using technology to understanding how it works and creating something new.

Greater community/public involvement.

This is kind of related to the first two points but there’s an opportunity to show off what the Canterbury tech sector is doing to the general public. It doesn’t have to be an event, it could be a website, social media page or some other collaboration forum to involve the general public to work together with the tech sector to create something for the city or region and at the same time showcase what we’re doing or can do.

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Setup a working group to see how we can incorporate more involvement from the public.

 

Tasneem Gould
Company name: Orion Health
Short bio or Link to your bio:

Specialties:

Product Management, Business Strategy, Product Ownership, Project Delivery, Agile,Design Thinking

I enjoy uncovering new ideas and strategies, designing solutions and delivering awesome outcomes. I have over 10 years of experience in Product Management, Business Analysis, Software Delivery and Client and Project Management across a variety of roles and industries.

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: Insight into development, marketing and leadership in technology. I can help support growing and managing the user base, and help to run events.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

– Evangalising technology careers more widely

– Growth through attracting top talent for family and lifestyle factors

– promoting our startup success and encouraging others to take the leap

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

Work out what problems we want to solve and how we can leverage the success of the Tech Summit to achieve this.

Work with Tech meetups in other cities to promote Canterbury elsewhere

 

Donald Harman
Company name: Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu
Short bio or link to your profile: http://linkedin.com/in/dharman
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: I am interested in Governance, security, and the people side of the this industry. My role as a SharePoint admin has exposed me to many areas of business. I like being involved in the process and understanding of not just technical but practical things. I am very creative thinker and am not confined by much.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

Governance

Security

Collaboration

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Learning confidence and care of data amongst the older generation the non millenials

 

Tony Berggren
Company name: Tait Communications Ltd
Short bio or link to your profile:

Lead hardware architect and system engineer at Tait Communications. Also member of the University of Canterbury Industry Advisory Board for E&CE Engineering

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tony-berggren-20965b/

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:

I have been in the industry for 30+ years as an R&D engineer working for Tait. Throughout that time I have developed many relationships within the electronics industry.

I have also been passionate about promoting and supporting technology education, especially locally. Thus I have many contacts in the tertiary sector.

I love to make things happen and have succeeded and failed many times. I want to use these experiences and learnings to help the Tech Cluster achieve it’s vision of promoting tech in Christchurch.

What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

I would like to promote better linkages between the University of Canterbury and the Tech Cluster

Find ways to promote the Tech Cluster and what it represents for Christchurch. Using contacts in the various tech supply chains to support competitions with cool (hardware based) prizes.

Linking people who have ideas with others who can help make them happen. And promote the successes

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

Not sure which of the 2 would get traction so would like to promote both.

– Suggest a meeting in the New Year with the E&CE Industry Advisory board at Uni. And suggest that links into other parts of the Uni also be formed.

– Get a local component and tech supplier in to give a talk about how they see the industry in Christchurch and NZ. And what they can do to support the Tech Cluster.

 

  Jeremy Slade
Company name: Orion Health
Short bio or link to your profile:

I am a Software Development Manager for Orion Health in Christchurch, having previously held various Business Analysis and leadership roles in Christchurch based Software companies.

Prior to moving to New Zealand 12 years ago from the UK, I worked in IT in the Share Registration business of Lloyds TSB Registrars having graduated from the University of Brighton on the sunny south coast, with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science.

Outside of work, I still (barely) play football for Halswell, ride motorbikes, have an active family life and try to stay involved in the local and national Technology scene.

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:

relate to people at all levels and take a pragmatic, pro-active approach to getting stuff done.

I am passionate about Organisational improvement and building an awareness for different ways of working to achieve positive outcomes.

I am well organised, and enjoy the opportunities that can be realised through approaching challenges in a positive way.

What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

I see the three top priorities in Canterbury to be:

Building stronger relationships with the education sector to ignite the passion for technology in future generations.

Promoting Christchurch as a technology hub in New Zealand and a home of choice for innovative, forward thinking employers to attract and retain the smartest employees and

Fostering a sense of collaboration between organisations so that we can learn from each other and grow Canterbury as a centre for Technology excellence.

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

would like to increase the number of organisations that host cluster events and bring in new speakers. Schools and Universities for example, are using technology now that is helping to define the way we learn, work, socialise and interact and being able to offer the opportunity for the next generation would be amazing.

 

 

  Chris Percy
Company name: Assurity Consulting ltd
Short bio or link to your profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-percy-27388114/
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: International business expertise across multiple industries. I have a proven record in leading people, transforming businesses and maximising performances to create world class organisations. Strong business acumen, ability to forge relationships at the C-Suite and able to create collaborative environments.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:
  • Promoting that IT is not just about IT and it’s actually about the overall business success
  • Promoting new ways that the Tech sector in Canterbury can drive the successful implementation of new innovative products & services at speed
  • Improving how the tech sector is perceived in Canterbury and continuing engagements with Universities, Government and businesses
What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

Understanding the needs of the technical sector in Canterbury, what are they, where are the gaps and what as a committee will we do about addressing those.

 

 

  Jamie Wilson
Company name: Cavotec MoorMaster Ltd
Short bio or link to your profile: A dedicated Canterbury professional able to compliment technical and business expertise with an empowering and authentic leadership style. Extensive experience in building high performing teams through advocating collaboration and clarification of strategic objectives. Has held Senior Management roles in the NZ High Tech sector spanning a career of 22 yrs to date and 60+ product developements. https://nz.linkedin.com/in/jamie-wilson-70104b85
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:

*People Leadership

*Strategic planning

*Project Management

*Voice of the Customer (VoC)

*Lean thinking process improvement

What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

*Automation

*Humanisation

*Connectivity

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

Carry out a program of membership idea and feedback review. Validate and prioritise these against the Strategic Vision of Canterbury Tech. Generate an action plan for implementation of the top 10 ideas or initiatives for 2018.

 

 

  Kevin Alcock
Company name: Katipo Information Service Ltd
Short bio or link to your profile: Kevin is a Christchurch native that bleeds red and black plus ones and zeros. He started his career back in 1986 and has worked for and with many great Canterbury Tech companies. Having spent 30 years in software development and delivery, he has now turned his attention to the world of Cyber Security. Kevin is the co-organiser of the local Information Security Interest Group (ISIG) and Christchurch’s own Cyber Security Conference (CHCon). Also over the over the past year he has been an Associate Committee member of Canterbury Tech helping out with monthly meetings and the Tech Summit.
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: As someone that has been in and around the Canterbury Tech scene since the 80’s Kevin knows how far we have come as an industry, however its not about the past its about the future. Kevin sees the need to start to mentor those new to the industry to show them the potential we have together. He also has a great track record in running events and can continue to make Canterbury Tech events kick ass.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:
  1. Greater collaboration among locals to enhance the global presence of everyone.
  2. Utilising the rebuild to show case or tech to the world
  3. Augmenting Canterburys tradition sectors such as Agriculture, Manufacturing and Tourism to deliver world class products and services.
What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected:

There are lots of tech meet ups and users groups around Canterbury I like to spread the word to them to let know that they aren’t alone.

 

 

  Nicolette Le Cren
Company name: Perception PR & Marketing
Short bio or link to your profile:

I have spent my career working in Christchurch technology organisations. From helping integrate technology into a child’s everyday learning at eTime, to helping revolutionise the way clinicians and researchers assess a patient’s wound healing progression at ARANZ Medical during its first five years, to helping rejuvenate the brand, Formthotics, whose name in its industry is synonymous with its product category, and is still proudly manufactured and produced here in Christchurch and exported around the globe.

Throughout my career I’ve worked as a leader primarily in marketing, communications and sales but also account management, technical product training and event management. I’ve worked on developing brands and taking them internationally in over 50 countries.

www.linkedin.com/in/nicolettelecren

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:

I help organisations tell their stories in a strategic way. Today’s multi-media environment requires all sorts of expertise to help make this happen successfully – positioning, branding, communications, marketing, social media, public relations and technical know-how.

My tech export background means I can talk and relate to every level of staff. I enjoy talking and learning from the tech experts, engineers and factory floor staff as much as the business team.

I’ve got experience working in active committees and know what commitment it takes. I was a founding member and on the executive committee of Canterbury Young Professionals (CYP) for a number of years where I managed marketing, was a general committee member and helped drive the creation of a nationwide network.

What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:
  • Continuing to become a respected, significant and essential sector in Canterbury.
  • Continued work on brand clarity around – what ‘Tech’ means as the brand continues to move from its software focused brand. Including profile raising of the Canterbury Tech sector in New Zealand.
  • Keep doing what is working well.
What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Listen and talk to the other committee members. There is already some really good work happening. If I’m to suggest anything it needs to fit into the whole committee’s goals and direction.

 

  Luke Johnstone
Company name: Gorilla Consulting Limited trading as Double-O Consultants
Short bio or link to your profile:

At work I’m an outcome focused, commercially astute leader with significant experience in leading teams and projects, business development, and organisation wide change management.

Outside work, I spend my time being a dad to my 8 year old daughter, a volunteer lifeguard and desperately trying to fight the aging process by keeping fit.

www.linkedin.com/in/lukejohnstone

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:

I believe my abilities to build working relationships with a wide range of people, think critically and strategically, be innovative and make people laugh can be well utilised by the management committee.

I pride myself on being able to get things done and take a pragmatic, efficient approach to most things.

I have previously served on committee’s and been a director of Canterbury Rugby League.

What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:
  1. 1 – Promoting and celebrating the breadth and depth of the tech sector in Canterbury. There are many great tech companies in Canterbury that we can showcase, however it is the number and collective capability that is equally impressive. This is important to promote as it positions the region as a tech hub, which will in turn attract more talent and buyer interest from outside the region and offshore.2 – More cross business partnerships to work together to create export opportunities.3 Creation of a centralised, ‘how to’ guide for the community that covers everything from securing funding to business admin to tech excellence
What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Being passionate about helping people achieve their potential, I’d encourage the Canterbury Tech to utilise its wide reach into the tech sector to establish a mentoring program that matches experienced tech practitioners and leaders with those wanting to change career, get a start or develop further.

 

  Charlie Tomlinson
Company name: EDPotential
Short bio or link to your profile:

I’m passionate about technology, aspire to constantly learn, and am committed to Christchurch. The tech industry in Canterbury is a crucial reason why I’m still in Christchurch after six years, having moved here for one 🙂

I currently run an education technology startup, EdPotential, that increases educational achievement of students by empowering teachers with the right information at the right time. Over the last six years in NZ I’ve been actively involved in the early stage startup and investment space, through operational roles with tech startup companies, working for a professional investment firm and managing a digital business accelerator programme.

Previously in the UK I’ve done IT related roles from technician through sales, studied Geography and Technology at Birmingham University and completed a PhD in the geospatial sector bridging academia, local authorities and industry.

I’m not prolific on social media, but my LinkedIn profile is here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charliet1/

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: I’ve got a broad base of experience (“jack of all trades, master of none?”) but my time in the early stage tech and investment space in NZ has built my skills and experience across many fields, including leadership and governance alongside legal and financial. My academic PhD background taught me to constantly question and how to process things scientifically, and my work in early stage startups has helped with pragmatic implementation – testing ideas against hypothesis, iterating, being critical but making progress – all with the end user in mind. These are skills I would bring to the committee, but as a naturally curious person I hope to learn from others on the committee as well as contributing.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

In no particular order, and all inter-related:

– Building upon and making sure people know about the genuinely world class tech companies we have in Canterbury, but many of which operate below the radar. Not just knowing they exist – knowing what they do, why that is important or clever, and the exciting news stories. We’ve got local companies listed, we’ve had local companies sold, we’ve got smaller lifestyle businesses selling to massive global corporates – but we don’t tell people about it!

– Ensuring smart people (from students through to senior and experienced people) stay and move to the area by focusing on our many awesome points of difference. Not many places you can work for a tech company as well as ski and surf and mountain bike in the same weekend (or day) – and this is appealing to many.

– Collaborate not compete.

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Working out how to ensure that “everyone” knows that Canterbury Tech exists, and that that the renaming from software to tech was indicative of a widening of the membership base to include the broader tech industry – and that it isn’t just for software companies and developers. Great work has been done in this area but there are still firms and people that should be members and aren’t!

 

  Ed Wegner
Company name: Retired
Short bio or link to your profile:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ed-wegner/I am recently retired from a career in software engineering as part of product devlopment. In this profession I have worked for just two companies.

I started at Bell Laboratories in the US way back when it was still part of AT&T. I was a software developer who became adept at C and C++ programming, requirements analysis, and design for highly fault-tolerant embedded software. I worked there for nearly 8 years on the Class 5 5ESS telephone switch and moved into a software architectural and leadership role prior to leaving.

In 1992 my family and I moved to Christchurch, where I was fortunate enough to fill a technology leadership role at Tait Electronics (now Tait Communications). I worked there for nearly 25 years prior to retiring earlier this year.

As Software Technology Leader at Tait, I was responsible for developing or selecting and managing the tools, techniques, practices and processes for software development. I performed technical reviews with commentary and guidance to the senior executives on the software aspects of all development projects. Other responsibilities included: external liaison on technical matters, recrutiment, retention, appraisal and succession planning for technical staff, ISO-9000 certification.

I was an early signatory to the Agile Manifesto in 2001 after having met with one of the originators that year. I recommended to our technical executives that we accept the Manifesto and the underlying principles and Tait – over time – eventually adoping not only Agile practices in software development, but also Lead Product Development practices for all of our project work.

In my final few years at Tait, I moved to the Project Managment Office, where I was a key player in providing data on past, present and planned projects to our executive Proiduct Council (and the rest of the company) to order to inform robust decision-making regarding project.

What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee:

As I am no longer working full-time, I can bring time to the committee. I’m happy to do some of the leg work regarding monthly meetings and other admin duties.

As part of a governing committee, I bring clear thinking and clear communication, detail-oriented analysis skills, and an aptitude for strategic thinking. I’m comfortable with public speaking where I have an informal, relaxed style.

 

What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

Enabling more collaboration among Canterbury Tech corporate members.

Broadening the exposure of the tech sector to the general public

Exposing tech careers to young (i.e. school age) kiwi men and women

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Proposing facilitation of C-suite groups among the membership companies – e.g. a meeting of all the interested company CEO’s (or CFO’s or CMO’s) on a topic of common interest.

 

  Marian Johnson
Company name: Ministry of Awesome
Short bio or link to your profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marianejohnson/
What specific expertise can you bring to the management committee: I have 20 years of experience in marketing, business development, branding, advertising, promotion, and sponsorship mostly gained overseas working for global media companies. In Christchurch, my experience working at tech start-ups has given me a deep understanding of the challenges faced by our local tech community from recruitment through to sales through to scaling to larger markets and overseas. And – as a result of that experience – I’m also able to apply potential solutions to those problems as well.
What do you see are the top three opportunities to advancing the tech sector in Canterbury:

The rebirth of our city is a major opportunity that can draw in tech talent, investment, and itself create a new story of a city in massive transition representing an opportunity for innovators, risk takers, and change makers.

The relatively low cost of living (compared to our larger cities of Australasia) represents an opportunity for tech innovators to establish hq’s here and hire our local tech talent at a substantial cost savings to their operations in Auckland, Wellington, or Australia.

The uncertainty, fear, and sheer competition in other major tech cities (e.g. SF) make Christchurch look like the ultimate haven for innovators seeking lifestyle over cash and this is a trend that is continuing upwards the more millenials hit the workforce.

What would be your first point of action/ suggestion on the committee if you were to be elected: Work closely with Christchurch NZ and all the other major players in the ecosystem to define the Canterbury Tech USP as the center of innovation for all risk takers, change makers, and rule breakers. Define the value propositions, the communication strategies, the key influencers, the channels, and activate. Drive that profile of the Canterbury tech scene until it becomes true. We do some insanely good work here but it’s a well kept secret for the general public. That shouldn’t be the case. It should be a point of pride and a major talking point every time people think of Canterbury and Christchurch.

 

ARANZ GEO CHANGING ITS NAME TO SEEQUENT

Thursday 2 November 2017

ARANZ Geo announced today that the company is changing its name to Seequent. The name change and rebrand reflects the company’s expansion into a broader range of global industries and markets.

Seequent leads the world in visualisation of complex scientific data. It first introduced its Leapfrog® 3D geological modelling software to the mining and minerals industry over 10 years ago. The company has since developed solutions for a wide range of industries including geothermal and renewable energy, civil engineering, and environmental management.

Seequent chief executive Shaun Maloney says the new brand reflects the company’s evolving purpose and vision for the future.

“To help our customers succeed we enable better decisions about earth, environment and energy. This is the singular vision for Seequent and it stands above any product, solution or sector. As the world becomes more complex, there is an even greater need for clarity amongst the noise, to see and manage the challenges of today and tomorrow,” he says.

The announcement was made at the company’s Lyceum innovation event in London, the first in a global roadshow series also visiting Vancouver, Johannesburg, Toronto, Santiago and Perth.

Maloney says, “We’re building a brand that people can trust, that goes beyond geology and the tech industry. The business and industry issues we collectively face are broad and increasingly complex. Challenges include how we steward scarce resources, economic stability, securing a long term social license to operate, and the economic viability of individual businesses.

“The best way we can support our customers, irrespective of industry, is to continue to invest heavily in R&D, developing innovative solutions. These enable better decisions through confidence, integration and engagement.”

Seequent’s solutions turn complexity to clarity by transforming complex data into clear geological understanding. Stakeholders, including geologists and executives, use this understanding to confidently make critical time-sensitive investment and environmental decisions. These decisions bring meaning, extract value, and reduce risk, cost and time.

Maloney says, “Our solutions enable people to see stories within data. These stories help build up a whole picture for projects – for example to allow people to see sustainable ways of extracting value, or see greater opportunities for clean energy.”

Seequent is contributing to the modelling, understanding and management of geological risk for some of the biggest earth, environment and energy projects on the planet.

“Our customers use our technology in mining and minerals projects from Australia to South Africa to Canada; geothermal projects in countries as diverse as Chile, the Philippines, New Zealand and Brazil; hydro dam construction in Turkey; transport infrastructure in the UK, Austria and Slovenia; earthquake sequencing in Italy and the US; groundwater projects in Chad, Australia and the US. Our software is even being used in the construction of a final disposal facility for spent nuclear fuel in Finland,” says Maloney.

Seequent’s rapidly growing global footprint includes offices in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Peru, Russia, South Africa and the UK.

The company has just been named Export Innovator of the Year at the New Zealand Innovation Awards 2017, recognising the global impact of its innovation.

CALLING FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE 2018 CANTERBURY TECH COMMITTEE

Canterbury Tech is calling for nominations for the 2018 Canterbury Tech committee. There are three (3) positions to be elected.

Voting will take place at the AGM on 5 December or by proxy if you are unable to attend the AGM.    Each individual member or member company is entitled to one vote each.

We hope to receive a record number of nominations with a view to having a diverse, talented and dedicated pool of candidates.

Being elected on the committee gives you the opportunity to play an important role in advancing Canterbury as a tech hub, connects you with key individuals working in the sector locally and nationally, and is a great way to give back to the community.

Candidates must be current fully-paid members (corporate or individual) of Canterbury Tech.

Regardless of the current relationship with Canterbury Tech, all candidates must complete the Nomination/Application Form and demonstrate passion and a commitment to carrying out the key objectives of Canterbury Tech in helping to grow, connect & inspire our members.

Please submit your application form by Friday 24th November 2017 either online or by email to chair@canterburytech.nz

We recommend potential applicants read the MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE GUIDELINES.

APPLY NOW

 

NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2018 – Launch event

Spotlight on Christchurch

Blog post by Helen Shorthouse, 25th September 2017

This is an exciting couple of weeks for Christchurch, especially for the tech scene.

On Tuesday I was at the launch of HMI’s Ohmio driverless shuttles. I’m pretty lucky, having already ridden in their airport autonomous vehicle last year. This time we went riding on the road outside the Art Gallery – waving to amused (or was it bemused?) drivers passing in their cars! At the moment the shuttles are slow, small, open-sided and meant for short-hops around campus, but it won’t be long until they are ubiquitous on our roads and, as a terrible ‘busy multi-tasker’ I am quite excited!!

Why did they choose Christchurch to launch the shuttle?

The funny thing is, when you live in a city you don’t always see the benefits that others do. New Zealand has a government that is friendly to new technologies and already allows testing of autonomous vehicles. We have a reputation for innovation and Christchurch in particular, is becoming known as a test-bed for new technologies to be trialed, with our own City Council actively enabling businesses to use this city as a test-base. We have a world class engineering school at the University of Canterbury producing talent and a well established manufacturing sector known for creating niche products and solutions.

Jumping on to Thursday and it was all go in Wigram Airbase for the annual Canterbury Tech Summit.

Six-hundred and fifty tickets had gone weeks ago and the vibe felt pretty chilled and positive. Maybe it was the embodiment of the Suncorp’s research released last week which found significant differences between Christchurch and the rest of NZ, with Christchurch businesses more comfortable with risk, more adaptable to changing trends, having a positive outlook and having a bigger focus on work-life balance?

I particularly enjoyed the Branding Masterclass with Andy Cunningham (claim to fame being sacked by Steve Jobs 3 times!). Her challenge to businesses – work out who you are and why do you matter? Sounds so simple….but it is so hard!

Other topics ranged from creating team culture, to the technology used in building Team New Zealand’s America’s Cup boat; from Artificial Intelligence and virtual reality, to exporting and design thinking.

Gone are the days when exhibition booths are solely pushing brochures. The engagement was certainly not all ‘high tech’ either, with golf-putting to a photo competition. I am currently working out where to put my $50 worth of bitcoin, courtesy of Cryptopia. A special shout-out to Media Suite who gave cash to 3 charities (YMCA Christchurch, Action Stations and Code Club) with delegates voting by Lego brick!

Ben Kepes wrapped the day up with a keynote challenging us to be that bit different, to focus on what is unique about our country, rather than trying to emulate Silicon Valley. He challenged the tech sector to focus on adding value to what NZ is already good at, such agriculture, tourism, the outdoor adventure scene, rather than competing for something that is unattainable. It was a perfect way to round off the day, bringing the loop back to Andy Cunningham’s challenge to “work out who you are and why do you matter?” Ben’s challenge was that we needed to be: A better version of us.… and then it was off to the bar for networking and socialising.

Rolling on to next week and it is the Social Enterprise World Forum, bringing 1,500 people from around the world to share knowledge, network and discuss how to create a more sustainable future. Not directly technology related, I am excited to see Christchurch hosting an event of this scale, on this topic and with the diversity of people attending. Tickets for this also sold out well in advance, but I love the work they are doing around the ‘Transitional City‘, with 40+ events and activities showcasing Christchurch’s spirit of innovation and creativity, much of which has been born post-quake. These are open to everyone – so the vibe in the city should be quite buzzing next week too.

Relentless Innovation: Spark Venture’s Story

If you are an established company looking for ideas on how to innovate, if you are a start-up, or if you think you may have something to offer Spark, then this free event is a must attend for you.

Thursday 28th September, 5.30 – 7pm, CECC – 57 Kilmore Street

Ed Hyde, CEO of Spark Ventures talks about the role they play for Spark in a rapidly evolving digital world.

Over the last 3 years Spark Ventures has started and invested in a number of start-ups including Lightbox, Qrious, Bigpipe Broadband and Putti apps and has created over 500m new digital customer service relationships over the time.

The Ventures team are responsible for bringing great new services into market – that could either be through home grown development, early stage investment or helping collaborate to drive the adoption of our partners’ great digital services.

Ed will talk about the Spark Ventures strategy, how they operate, what has gone well and importantly what hasn’t. He’ll also talk in more detail about the early stage investment activity they are interested in.

This event will be followed up by a pitch session in approximately six weeks time where interested business will be able to present their business opportunities.

UCE Kathmandu NZ Student Social Enterprise Challenge

The UC Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) team is excited to invite you to attend the final presentations of the UCE Kathmandu NZ Student Social Enterprise Challenge.

UC Centre for Entrepreneurship video

Join us as the teams present their solution to a panel of judges on Tuesday 26 September from 5:00pm at the Engineering Core, University of Canterbury.

This nationwide challenge is a new initiative, which involved four regional competitions held last term across New Zealand, represented by six universities. The winner of each regional competition will compete in a 48-hour challenge (from 24 – 26 September) where they will develop and present a social enterprise solution to a given challenge based around wellbeing.

Head to Eventbrite to register.

 

Q&A WITH SIGNAL’S DIRECTOR, STUART CHARTERS

CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT SIGNAL?
SIGNAL is a collaboration of University of Canterbury, Lincoln University, Ara Institute of Canterbury, University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic. We are all about growing and developing tech professionals for New Zealand. We offer a range of courses to encourage people into the profession and to develop those who are in the profession already.
We got government funding at the end of 2016 and worked over the summer to get the physical premise up and running. We opened our doors in Feb 2017 and have just started with our Christchurch cohort Shift students here in Christchurch, following on from our first cohort in Dunedin.
WHY DID YOU GET INTO THE TECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY?
Part of me has always been a bit of a gadget boy, but I think as I’ve carried on, what I enjoy is the problem-solving side of things. That creative side which exists both in programming and in the physical computing side of things like playing with Raspberry Pi and Arduinol.
DO YOU THINK ATTITUDES TOWARDS TECHNOLOGY HAVE CHANGED OVER THE YEARS?
I think if we go way back, we had mainframes and things and they were these big expensive machines and people were relatively cheap. Now it’s around the other way, the technology is accessible but people are expensive. That’s been a big shift in the industry.
You see that as well with the way people are building software. Moving from plan driven approaches like waterfall with the bigger move to more agile approaches, and having the customer as part of the conversation.
FOR THE CANTERBURY TECH SECTOR, WHAT ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT SEEING?
There’s a huge diversity of things going on, you’ve got big firms like Jade, Tait and Vodafone. You’ve also got the small firms who are doing some niche and innovative stuff. I think there is a good tech community in Christchurch; the Tech Cluster and Summit really show that. You talk to people from Auckland and people don’t travel across the city to go to events because it is just too difficult. Wellington has the big government sector which distorts things. Christchurch is a nice community that is big enough, without being too big.
WHAT SKILL AREAS ARE LACKING IN THE TECH INDUSTRY?
I think there is a range of things happening. One is that there is, in many cases, a shortage of people across a range of different skills. One of the disadvantages of having many small companies is that there isn’t the willingness to take on junior people to develop them. Whilst there will be technical skills that people struggle to recruit in, it’s our responsibility to feed the pipeline. We might not find the person that we need but we need to grow people to be able to fill those roles.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO BREAK INTO THE INDUSTRY?
One of the big things is that the industry needs and values diversity. You may not have a strong set of tech skills but you need to be aware of the skills package that you do bring. Not everybody’s role in tech is programming or development. The same roles exist as in every organisation; sales, marketing, HR. They are also important in growing tech companies.
THE THEME OF THE CANTERBURY TECH SUMMIT IS ‘GROW’, WHAT SORT OF ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR INDIVIDUALS WANTING TO GROW IN THE TECH INDUSTRY?
It’s about where your passion is; what gets you out of bed in the morning. You need to consider how to hold onto that passion and identify what growth looks like for you. It may be developing a set of technical skills or having the ability to share those skills with other people. It may be a move towards people leadership. We need strong and capable people in all those different roles.
WHY DO YOU SUPPORT THE CANTERBURY TECH SUMMIT?
We see the Christchurch tech sector as a fantastic place for technology and the Tech Cluster is a great environment to meet people. The Summit has great speakers coming and while you don’t get everybody in the sector together in the one place, you get as near as you can. It’s great to meet up with old friends and to meet new people as well.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST AT THIS YEAR’S SUMMIT?
Getting a chance to get the word out about what SIGNAL is and what we are doing. We started on this journey three years ago and now that we are up and launched, we are really excited to share that with people.

‘Brought to you by Concentrate’