A festive Christmas celebration to cap off the end of a great year.
Don Christie from Wellington-based Catalyst IT discussed open source opportunities, life in the IT services sector, and UK market expansion. For Catalyst IT it was important not to simply setup a UK sales office that would farm the work back to New Zealand. They wanted to have competencies in-market, close to the customer. Another key learning: don’t rely on a single person to run your remote office. You need one focused on business development and one focused on delivery. Having funding support from NZTE played a big role: “People are impressed if they know your government is behind you, especially financially.”
SmallWorlds Co-Founder Mitch Olson shared his thoughts on New Zealand’s startup ecosystem and raising the export profile of digital technology startups. “New Zealand has a great education system, smart and creative thinkers and lower costs.” Plus staffers are Generalists here – and that means we see the bigger picture than people more specialised or highly focused in larger markets. Mitch encouraged the audience to exercise their “self-authorship muscles”. Read more in Mitch’s blog.
Ex-Oracle MD Peter Idoine provided his take on the software/technology industry, how small Kiwi companies can engage with multi-nationals, and some entertaining war stories of what not to do.
“Angel at My Table” was our theme and it was one of the most popular NZSA events of the year. Our early stage startups delivered impressive pitches to our audience, vying for our investment votes. Watch out for more great stuff to come from the participants in the months ahead: Leaderkit, HerePin, Number8Games, Sportfunder.com, Pozly, Collective Consciousness, Recrukit
Jane Hill of CropLogic, winner of the ANZ IBM SmartCamp event, shared the company’s journey around VC funding and driving business in the US market.
Mega CEO Vikram Kumar talked about the business and technical challenges faced by Mega; how they were overcome; and lessons learnt.
Our May event featured Mark Thomas, President and co-founder of Right Hemisphere, (now part of SAP) plus a guest appearance from the NZ Winners of the Microsoft Imagine Cup.