Christchurch’s Medi-Map revolutionising the pharmaceutical world

A former pharmacist has prescribed a new way to store and share medical records, saving millions of dollars in time for healthcare providers – and potentially saving lives as well.

When the 75,000th piece of paper flew out of his fax machine, pharmacist Greg Garratt knew there had to be a better way of prescribing medications.

Garratt teamed up with software developer Chris Parmenter and developed Medi-Map, a cloud-based medicine charting application that’s saving healthcare providers millions of dollars in medication wastage and dramatically reducing medication errors.

Based in Christchurch, Medi-Map’s software eliminates the reliance on paper-based charts, allowing medications to be ordered, delivered and administered at the touch of a fingertip. This enables healthcare providers in facility-based care environments to have a singular view of medications.

“The most important piece of machinery in a pharmacy is the fax machine and we would get 75,000 faxes per year,” says Chief Executive Garratt, who used to own pharmacies in Invercargill before making the decision to start up Medi-Map in 2013 and relocate his family and team to Christchurch.

For a pharmacist, deciphering semi-legible handwritten prescriptions and charts from various doctors is somewhat of a headache, resulting in inefficiencies and in worst cases, life-threatening medication errors.

2012 research estimated 150 public hospital patients die each year from medication errors, where a simple error such as a misplaced decimal or illegible scrawl on a medication chart can potentially kill.

And there’s another major issue the app tackles. New Zealand, like many Western countries, spends a huge portion of public health money on medications, yet a percentage of these pharmaceuticals aren’t actually used by the people who need them.

Mr Garratt estimates around 10 percent of our nation’s pharmaceuticals are wasted every year, at a cost of millions of dollars to the New Zealand taxpayer.

Medi-Map’s ward stock control and stock taking software allows for detailed tracking of pharmaceuticals to minimise wastage, with one large DHB reporting 22 percent decrease in wastage over 12 months since implementing the new software – money that can be better spent on other initiatives.

“Medi-Map’s function allows facilities to manage the medicines with integrated reordering to pharmacy. This allows controls to be introduced around the large quantities of excessive medicines held in facility medicine cupboards,” Garratt says.

“Our primary focus is patient centred. We want to deliver better outcomes for patients, and to do this, we need to deliver better outcomes to doctors, nurses and pharmacists,” Garratt says.

His first-hand experience in pharmaceuticals, combined with Chris and his teams’ experience in software development has equipped Garratt with a deep understanding of the issues faced in today’s healthcare environments.

“We’re a tech company, run by health professionals,” Garratt says.

While most of their business is conducted in Australia and across wider New Zealand, Garratt says he made the strategic decision to retain the company’s research and development base in Christchurch.

“We had the option of setting up in Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch and Christchurch was the best decision we could have made, both for the business and for our staff,” he says.

“Auckland would have been too expensive for our staff, transportation was also an issue and the loss of productivity would have been ridiculous,”

“We fly trans-Tasman on a regular basis to connect with our Australian client base and Christchurch has much better connectivity than Wellington.”

Garratt says Christchurch’s world-class, creative and connected tech sector is the best place for Medi-Map to continue exploring opportunities to revolutionise the pharmaceutical world and as the company expands to other markets, the core R&D and management will be retained in Christchurch


For more information, please contact:

Victoria Bruce

Communications Advisor

027373 0896

Christchurch, city of opportunity for a new generation

20 August 2018

Not many university graduates get to launch their career in a city under daily transformation. Today, a new generation of talent is joining the central city workforce at a time when Christchurch is busy exploring its new identity and the opportunities that come with it.

“Coming into the workforce at a time when the city’s starting to come together is quite cool, and I suppose that’s influencing who I am today,” says Christchurch-based location data specialist Will Jones.

“For the last seven years, we haven’t really had the city there, so it’s pretty cool seeing it come together when I’m working in town and being a part of that.”

Jones joined local geospatial powerhouse Orbica at the start of 2018, a fresh graduate from the University of Canterbury’s postgraduate diploma in geographic information systems (GIS).

Orbica’s office in Christchurch’s funky Innovation Precinct is an archetypical tech company: open spaces, adjustable height desks, beans bags and coffee machines.

With neighbouring co-working spaces Greenhouse, Biz Dojo, EPIC and the Ministry of Awesome adding to the local tech ecosystem, Christchurch’s creative and connected tech sector is the place to be.

“There’s definitely quite a vibe going on in the Innovation Precinct,” Jones says. “There are lots of events every week – lots more going on than I can attend, if that gives you an idea.”

Other highlights of Christchurch’s packed events calendar include Techweek’18, which included the grand finale of the NZ Space Challenge while the non-profit Ministry of Awesome hold regular Coffee & Jam sessions, bringing together the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The Canterbury Tech Cluster also run monthly events which bring together the best and brightest of the city’s tech community.

Christchurch is also gearing up to host the 2018 Canterbury Tech Summit on September 12, the largest tech event of its kind in New Zealand bringing together entrepreneurs, industry leaders, innovators and investors to explore trends, opportunities and major shifts on the horizon.

Jones says working in Christchurch also offers the opportunity to connect and collaborate with the best and brightest of the city’s tech, business and geospatial community.

Earlier this year he was part of a team of tech heavyweights who were named finalists in the inaugural NZ Space Challenge, presenting their augmented reality system as a solution to navigating the extreme environments of Antarctica and Outer Space to a packed audience as part of Techweek’18.

“I’m getting to know people in the industry, because last year I didn’t really know anyone and now I know quite a few people from different companies and universities,” Jones says.

The strong connections between Christchurch’s tertiary sector and its business community provided Jones with the opportunity to intern at Orbica during the final semester of his postgraduate diploma – an opportunity that led to an offer of fulltime employment.

For Jones and other graduates like him, the Christchurch’s ongoing growth has given him an opportunity to explore his future while staying in the city he loves.

Growing up in the south and east of Christchurch, Jones says his earliest memories are of exploring the city and region’s various playgrounds, including the Port Hills, Southern Alps and Pacific Ocean.

“I really like living here because outside of work I can go skiing and biking, play football or go surfing – all those good things. That’s the benefit Christchurch has for me.”


For more information, please contact:
Victoria Bruce
Communications Advisor
027373 0896

Smudge Apps: The Chch tech firm making a difference with NZ Police

The New Zealand Police has banished thousands of hours of paperwork thanks to a Christchurch tech company, Smudge Apps.

The company worked alongside the police to develop a mobile app designed to help frontline police combat family violence. The app, OnDuty Family Harm, provides officers comprehensive information at the touch of a fingertip.

“Previously, police officers attending a family violence incident had to complete a 13-page paper form,” says Smudge Apps managing director, Reuben Bijl.

“With over 121,000 episodes of family harm occurring in New Zealand every year, the app has effectively banished more than 1.5 million pages of paperwork overnight.”

With detailed features for addressing family harm as part of New Zealand Police’s safer whānau work programme, the app includes risk assessment tools and a safety plan for police attending a family harm incident.

Family harm accounts for 40% of frontline police time and uses more than a million pieces of paper every year. Bijl says it was a great opportunity to include technology in tackling this issue.

He believes that the apps Smudge has built so far has helped the police save more than 500,000 every year – valuable time that frontline cops could be spending on more important things.

Founders Reuben Bijl and Toby Vincent taught themselves how to build mobile apps as a summer holiday project – something that has definitely paid off.

“One of my earliest memories was blowing up a computer as a five-year-old by playing with the voltage selector switch,” comments Bijl.

Ten years later, Smudge is on a winning streak – the company has partnered with companies including Vodafone, and its apps have been downloaded more than 8 million times.

Smudge’s partnership with Vodafone opened the doors to its work with the New Zealand Police. Vodafone was contracted to supply police with iPhones in 2014. The OnDuty app also gave frontline police the ability to query people, vehicles, and locations.

Bijl says Smudge is proud of its work with the police. The company’s app scooped the NZRise Excellence in Software Award at the NZ Excellence in IT Awards.

Today Christchurch’s world class tech sector is the second largest in New Zealand, contributing around $2.4 billion of GDP and exporting $1.1 billion annually.

Diverse and creative with a rich tech talent pool, Christchurch’s tech sector also encourages strong business and student relationships, to ensure the right skills in the city’s future workforce pipeline.

Bijl says clients are diverse, yet with one thing in common – they all want to help make their employees’ lives easier by giving them access to tools or processes to enable productivity.

“Ultimately, that’s what technology should do for people,” Bijl concludes.

Seequent named finalist in NZ’s Westpac Champion Business Awards

Cluster Member and Canterbury Tech Summit sponsor Seequent have been named a finalist in the prestigious Westpac Champion Business Awards 2018, in the category of ‘Lyttleton Port Company Champion Medium/ Large Exporter’.

Shaun Maloney, CEO, says the nomination is a fantastic acknowledgement for the team who have delivered some stunning achievements for the company over the past “really big” year.

“We’ve continued to grow strongly – launching major new products for the civil engineering and environmental industries, as well as continuing to deliver new innovation for the mining and minerals and geothermal energy industries. We’ve also completed a major rebranding exercise to better reflect our capability in a wider range of industries, which has been driven by multi-million dollar R&D efforts each year for the past 6 years.”

Seequent is known worldwide for its Leapfrog® 3D geological modelling software, initially developed for the mining and minerals industry, to provide insight and confidence for important investment and environmental decisions.  Today, civil engineering, environmental and geothermal energy industries also rely on Seequent’s software to better understand subsurface geology and manage geological risk on a diverse range of projects.

Maloney says the company’s technology is involved in some of the world’s most important and challenging projects, including the first final repository for nuclear waste in Finland, multi-country vehicle and rail tunnel projects in Europe, and water quality projects globally.

“We were also recently amazed to hear our Leapfrog Works software had been used by a local team to create a 3D model of the Tham Luang cave system, where 12 boys and their coach were recently trapped, to help communicate the high-level geological complexity of the caves area to rescue teams.”

Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner to be held at Horncastle Arena in Christchurch on 19 September, 2018.



If you are not participating in the digital part of a buyer’s journey you are increasingly invisible. This is especially true for firms selling hi-tech products and services.

This workshop will help you be more visible online, and employ digital tactics to attract, nurture and convert sales leads. You can achieve a more efficient sales process, freeing up your sales team to focus more on closing and less on lead generation.

The workshop is designed for sales and marketing leaders from New Zealand Hi-Tech companies, with responsibility for generating sales leads.

You will learn how to:

Describe inbound marketing principles and demonstrate how to apply them to sales and marketing.
Differentiate core technology options for implementing inbound marketing.
Create an inbound marketing plan focussed on generating sales leads.
List content ideas that are relevant to your buyer persona.
Measure the ROI of inbound marketing.

The workshop will include:

Best practice resources on aligning digital activities with your sales and marketing strategy, and an introduction to the digital marketing approach.
A discussion on the digital marketing technology stack.
Using an inbound marketing plan template to identify opportunities in your marketing and sales to become more inbound.
Case study discussions on the things you need to get right to achieve lead generation goals.
Content and discussion on how to measure success (key metrics, tools for gathering and reporting).

About Concentrate:

Concentrate is a global digital award-winning marketing agency that works with New Zealand’s best technology companies to generate qualified sales leads. From strategic marketing advice to lead generation services, Concentrate has been working with technology tall poppies since 2003 to help improve the efficiency of their sales process.

Concentrate is a Platinum Partner of HubSpot and New Zealand’s first Certified HubSpot Trainer.

Event details:

$140 incl. GST

1.30pm – 4.30pm

Wednesday 29 August 2018

EPIC Innovation – BNZ Lounge, Christchurch, New Zealand


Global learning initiative Boma launches in New Zealand

Photo credit: Boma

A new global learning initiative with links to New Zealand sets out to walk the walk while talking the talk to help solve future problems on a huge scale.

Boma launched in Christchurch on Thursday. Christchurch-based Kaila Colbin is one of four partners who started the organisation.

Colbin said Boma will deliver a range of learning events discussing technological, geopolitical, economic and social change, as well as climate change.

When these “vectors of change” combine, humanity is faced with “a future that is highly uncertain and ambiguous”, she said.

Boma’s events will range from free community events, to corporate training, to Jeffersonian-style “impact dinners” where groups gather to debate particularly “thorny” topics.

“We need to have more robust ways of dealing with this uncertain and ambiguous future, so we can be more intentional and intelligent about the future we are creating,” Colbin said.

“Boma is specifically focused on these vectors of change affecting our future, and all the work we do on our events is designed towards outcomes rather than ideas.”

Colbin is co-founder of the Ministry of Awesome, director of ChristchurchNZ, curator of SingularityU New Zealand and has held the Christchurch licence for TEDx events since before the earthquakes.

Last year, she ran a TEDx event at Scott Base, Antarctica.

Joining her as Boma co-founders are TEDx founder Lara Stein, TEDxBerlin founder Stephan Balzer, and TEDxParis founder Michel Lévy-Provençal.

“It’s pretty cool that this global organisation has started from Germany, France, the United States and Ōtautahi Christchurch,” she said.

“The organisation is self-funded right now by the founders, and the offerings we will have range from free events for the community to paid events that people attend.”

Christchurch’s first Boma event would be a “fishbowl” discussion on August 23. It would be free and open to the public to attend and participate.

Colbin said there would be an impact dinner at about the same time, but the date had yet to be confirmed.

“Our industry summits and conferences, executive education, and customised programmes are designed explicitly to generate tangible impact and outcomes, creating a better, more sustainable, and more human-centred future,” Colbin said.

Boma was launched globally in Paris on July 4. It launched in Auckland and Wellington earlier this week.

More details of Boma events are available on its website.

The original article was published by Jack Fletcher on

Venture Downunder & DealCamp Opportunities

Venture Downunder is an exclusive boutique conference in New Zealand for local and international VCs to get together, learn, and me

et some of Australia and New Zealand’s best startups.

As part of the conference, there will be the DealCamp, featuring 12 of the best growth companies in ANZ who will present to the room of investors, with 1-1 meetings, followed by dinner at a lodge overlooking the stunning Lake Ohau.

We’re looking for brilliant founders building global companies, who are raising a Series A and Series B rounds. It’s a pitch dinner on steroids!

If you think this could be you – you can apply until 28th August. Apply here 

Why are we doing this?

  • Foster greater relationships across the local and international VC community to see more collaboration and deals in ANZ startups.
  • Help more growth companies build relationships with venture partners who can fund them now or in the future.
  • Put the ANZ on the map as a global tech hub with a wealth of untapped deal flow for international VC’s.
  • If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Peter McDonald

Relevant companies

  • The companies should either be raising series A/B around that time or soon after.
  • SaaS/ Enterprise B2B/sector agnostic
  • Consumer tech
  • At this point hardware is OK provided there is a platform play as well.
  • No bio-tech or other non-tech related businesses – e.g no F&B manufactures etc.
  • All verticals OK – health, med, agri, edu, fin, creative etc. companies should be solving problems in a  clever, defensible and scalable way.

Verizon Connect celebrates its Christchurch roots

This article is reposted from Christchurch Tech Stories – celebrating our local tech scene. For more case studies visit:

From homegrown tech talent to multinational enterprise, Verizon Connect (formerly Telogis) still calls Christchurch home.

With offices in 15 countries across the world including London, Sydney and Chicago, the Canterbury success story first started with a dream to optimise the way people, vehicles and other things move through the world.

Verizon Group vice present of mobile research and development Gary Jensen.jpg

Founded in 2000 by Christchurch local Ralph Mason and American Newth Morris, the company, then known as Telogis, developed a fleet tracking software to track the location of vehicles.

Rebranding as Verizon in 2014, the company created the Verizon Connect portfolio of solutions and services, yet group vice president of mobile research and development, Gary Jensen, says Christchurch remains the beating heart of the company’s research and development activities.

Much of the group’s original technology was developed in Christchurch and Jansen says this has been instrumental in transforming the enterprise into a technology leader and pioneer in the telematics industry.

“We have the capability and go-to attitude to think laterally and build the most innovative solutions in ways that other countries and locations might not be able to,” he says.

“The quality of software engineering students and the close relationships we have with Canterbury University and other groups has helped to make Christchurch a thriving place for our technology company,” Jensen says.

Verizon Connect regularly hires university graduates for its Christchurch office and hosts interns, with many staying on as permanent employees after graduation.

“The Christchurch tech sector has come through massive leaps especially in the last 5 to 10 years,” Jensen says. Today Christchurch’s world class tech sector is the second largest in New Zealand, contributing around $2.4 billion of GDP and exporting $1.1 billion annually.

Diverse and creative with a rich tech talent pool, Christchurch’s tech sector also encourages strong business and student relationships, to ensure the right skills in the city’s future workforce pipeline.

“Community groups like CanterburyTech have also helped increase the profile and strength of the Christchurch tech sector significantly, bringing to light some of the strong engineering work the city has always been good at, but no one was aware of.”

Jensen says Christchurch’s closely connected tech community and supportive business environment also makes it an ideal environment for start-ups with big ideas.

And the secret to capitalising on those ideas is to; “focus on the big picture beyond the local market, while still keeping roots in the Christchurch and Kiwi way of doing things.”

Effect of online shopping on personal & freight transport in urban areas

You are requested to take part in an online survey related to the study on ‘Effect of online shopping on personal and freight transport in urban areas’.

The study is being conducted by Ashu Kedia, a PhD student in Transportation Engineering, under the guidance of Professor Alan Nicholson (Emeritus Professor in Transportation) and Dr. Diana Kusumastuti (Lecturer in Transportation), at the University of Canterbury.
The aim of the study is to explore the effects of online shopping on urban transport system, wherein changes in travel behaviour of consumers and goods’ transport, as a result of online shopping will be examined. Also, the feasibility of establishing collection and delivery points (CDPs) to facilitate goods’ transport, will be investigated. Christchurch city has been taken as a case study to achieve the objectives of the study.
Please note that participation in this study is voluntary. All data collected will be kept strictly confidential. You will not be identified in any reports or publications. Your completion of the online survey will indicate your consent to participate in the study.
Ashu will be available to discuss any concerns that you may have about participation in this study. Also, you may receive a copy of the results by contacting at the conclusion of the study.
If you agree to participate, you are requested to fill the online survey using the following link. 
Note: the survey link will remain valid, only till 25th of this month. The survey should take no longer than 20 – 25 minutes to complete.

Vodafone xone rallies Class of 2018 for launch

Photo credit: Richard Parsonson.

Vodafone has announced its upcoming Vodafone xone class of 2018, as it gets set to take nine of New Zealand’s best tech-based startups global.

Head of xone and innovation Lauren Merritt says that in xone’s third year of operation, they’re thrilled to work with both established and first-time founders.

“They are working in a diverse range of industries with products spanning wearable health tech and AI-powered chatbots to beer and music,” Merritt adds.

“Many of the companies are using AI and their own natural language processing technologies to drive impressive customer experience solutions and unique ways of enabling people to connect and enjoy life.”

One of this year’s class of 2018 is Melodics, which is described as software that makes practising music fun.

“Melodics is a product that we know people will love. Turns out, 90% of people who try to learn an instrument fail and Melodics want to decrease that percentage by putting a music master on your desktop and keep you engaged through gamification,” Merritt comments.

Another class member is Urigo, a wearable health tech that tracks bladder flow.

“For a health tech company like Urigo, xone can support them to test and build their device alongside our technology and networks teams to give them a competitive advantage in a crowded wearables space,” Merritt adds.

This year’s class of 2018 will be run from Vodafone xone’s Christchurch Innovation Lab for the six-month programme. The businesses will travel from as far as Wanaka and Auckland, and many places in between.

The nine companies will receive a package worth more than $150,000. It includes seed funding and access world class technology and mentoring.

Vodafone consumer director Matt Williams adds that xone is one of the most successful startup programmes in New Zealand.

“For us, this is all about empowering the next generation of technology businesses in New Zealand, and the numbers show we’re achieving that.  Our 2016 and 2017 start-up companies have achieved amazing things, including roughly $17 million in new investment, over 70 FTE jobs created, around $13 million in revenue and six partnerships and trials with Vodafone,” he says.

“There are some fantastic stories of individual success for our xone companies, including IoTStream, who entered xone in 2016 pre-revenue and now have a pipeline of 10’s of millions. Vodafone works closely with IoTStream as we deliver IoT solutions for our customers.”

The full list of Vodafone xone class of 2018 follows:

Ambit: An enterprise grade chatbot creation platform underpinned by AI and natural language processing designed to deliver 24/7 personalised customer service

Aware Group: Little Bot, an AI based smart data service that extracts the context, sentiment and other relevant information to produce a better customer experience

kin2kin: A family app focused on kids 3 to 13, their parents and grandparents that connects generations

Melodics: A game-like app that uses machine learning to help people learn to play musical instruments

Romer: Curated and crowd-sourced local experience delivery platform that matches unique experiences to users

Sandfly Security: Agentless and automated forensic investigation and intrusion platform for Linux

Surveybot: Online platform that enables any business to create Chatbot surveys for any audience

Trickle: Bar tap management tracking system using IoT to understand beer pouring and reduce wastage

Urigo: Wearable health technology tracking bladder flow using a sensor solution that communicates to a smart phone