Past News

Smart Show

Marie-Claire Andrews whips into the office like a minor Wellington tempest, curls bobbing, creamy English skin radiating energy from every pore.

“I get bored easily,” she announces.

“When I started working I had about nine permanent jobs in three years. My parents asked me to stop sending them my new email addresses. They couldn’t keep up.”

Read more  from Enterprise Angels


The mathematics of angels

Last month, two University of Auckland professors, John Boys and Grant Covic, were awarded the Prime Minister’s Science Prize for their development of wireless power transfer technology that can charge your cell phone without the need to plug it in. Some of this wireless charging technology is already on the path to commercialisation via the exciting startup company PowerbyProxi.

Sounds great! We need more companies like this. But realistically, what are the chances that a hot new startup like PowerbyProxi will grow into a major high tech export earner like Tait Electronics, Rakon or Fisher and Paykel? How many of these would we need to start to close the gap in GDP per capita with the rest of the OECD?

Read more  from Unlimited


Ice Angels touts record investment year

Auckland network the Ice Angels announced today that 2013 was its best year to date, with nearly $8 million pumped into 26 New Zealand businesses.

Members of the Ice Angels collectively invested $7,890,819 – nearly double the overall amount invested in 2012 and 2011.

Read more  from Idealog


Venture fund likes crowd-funding rule change

Changes to the rules governing capital markets could allow investment in start-ups through crowd-funding platforms, a government-backed venture fund says.

New Zealand Venture Investment Fund chief executive Franceska Banga said provisions in the Financial Markets Conduct Act permitting crowd-funding could have a positive effect on start-ups when they came into effect on April 1.

Read more  from (Auckland Now)


Wireless charging edges closer

The prospect of being able to recharge devices such as smartphones and cameras wirelessly has edged closer after two international standards bodies merged.

Auckland firm PowerbyProxi, which is a global player in the nascent wireless charging industry with 130 patents, and deals with technology giants Samsung and Texas Instruments, could be one of the beneficiaries.

Wireless charging promises to let consumers get rid of a spaghetti of cables and adapters in their homes, but rival technical standards have threatened to slow progress.

Read more  from (Technology)


Richard Branson on Not Going It Alone

I love bumping into people and finding out who they are and what they’re working on. You never know who you’re going to meet. Such encounters can be valuable: If you think about how your most important relationships began — with business partners, your spouse, with friends and mentors — the stories will almost all involve chance meetings. My curiosity about others and ability to connect with people have helped me to succeed — after all, if people don’t know who you are, they are not going to do business with you.

Read more from Yahoo7Finance (Entrepreneur)

Talking equity crowdfunding and entrepreneurship with Peter Thomson at Seedrs

Now that we’ve all gotten used to the concept of rewards crowdfunding, it’s time to get up to speed with equity crowdfunding.

One Kiwi at the forefront of the equity crowdfunding wave is Peter Thomson, newly appointed chief marketing officer of European equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs (named in the continent’s Fintech Top 50 for the year).

Read more  from Idealog


Board Matters

Shareholders always want a seat on the board. But if you do this right it will be better for your company, shareholders and you, says veteran angel investor Bill Payne.

Many entrepreneurs and company owners are terrified about losing control of their company. They want to grow the company quickly; they need investment, but they hate relinquishing board control, says American early-stage company (angel) investor Bill Payne.

Read more  from NZ Business


Biotechs lured overseas by incentives and specialists

Two of Australia’s largest biotechnology companies are looking at ways of tapping into the greater valuations accorded to the sector overseas, presenting policy makers with challenges in keeping some high technology areas.

One of the largest of the locally grown biotech companies, Mesoblast, is believed to be considering a sharemarket listing in the US, in a bid to lift its sharemarket valuation.

Read more  from Brisbane Times


Auckland’s plan to attract investors ranks highly

A strategy developed by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) to attract foreign direct investment into Auckland has been named fourth best in the Asia-Pacific.

The ‘Asia-Pacific Cities of the Future 2013/14’ rankings were compiled by highly respected fDi Intelligence, a division of the UK’s Financial Times and the world’s largest foreign direct investment (FDI) centre of excellence.

Read more  from Scoop


New year, new board member for SODA

Graham Gaylard, founder of San Francisco-based Real Time Genomics and managing director of software company NetValue, is the latest appointment to the board of Waikato business incubator SODA Inc.

​ “There is a lot of untapped business potential in the Waikato region, and I see this appointment as an opportunity to use my skills and experience to bring together more people from business, technology, education and other sectors to help more startup businesses enjoy success, and ultimately grow our regional economy,” he says.

Read more from Idealog


Gear up for an NZ growth wave, says private business

Kiwi companies need to gear up for a “growth wave”, according to an annual measure of the views of private businesses.

ANZ’s Privately-owned Business Barometer questioned 3000 businesses across the country and found confidence in the New Zealand economy has risen sharply in the last year and most commercial businesses are expecting earnings growth in the next year.

Read more  from NZHerald


Meeting gives backers wings to help with development

Delegates at the Angel Summit would be wiser about investing in new ventures.

What did the Dunedin summit set out to do?

The purpose was to increase the professionalism of angel investing in New Zealand. We tackled the issues of due diligence, valuations and term sheets. We heard from international expert Basil Peters on the importance of and rationale for looking for early exits. The summit was all about making us better angel investors and learning and networking with others with a similar mind to help entrepreneurs and New Zealand economic development.

Read more  from NZHerald


Paper slaps warning on equity crowdfunding

A discussion paper with draft Financial Markets Conduct Act regulations, recently released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, proposes a warning for investors who may use crowdfunding services.

The paper includes a condition for crowdfunding service providers to make a warning statement available as part of the market services license to provide the service, on the home page of their website or on the page on the site immediately before the investor uses the site to apply for or acquire financial products, and prominently displayed on application forms for acquiring financial products using the service.

Read more  from Idealog


Angels found, angels wanted

A year ago, The Business profiled six innovative new companies as they made their pitch for funding at the 2012 Angel Investment Summit. So did our six soar, or crash and burn? Lesley Springall checks back to find out.

Antony Dixon is bubbling with excitement. The chief executive of electronics-technology company Times-7 has just returned from Hong Kong, where the firm was named in the prestigious Red Herring Top 100 Asia awards.

Read more from Idealog


Linear Technology Corporation & PowerbyProxi Announce Partnership

Linear Technology Corporation (NASDAQ: LLTC) and PowerbyProxi ( today announced that they have been working in partnership to develop wireless power systems for use in a range of applications and environments. As a first result of that partnership, Linear Technology today introduced the LTC4120 integrated circuit that combines a wireless power receiver with a full-featured battery charger to implement the receiver side of a complete wireless power transfer system – a first for the company and a revolutionary product for wireless battery charging.

Read more  from


Minister heads to United States to promote NZ technology companies

Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams leaves tonight for the United States to support New Zealand technology companies and help them expand further into the market.

Ms Adams, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and the New Zealand Technology Industry Association will host a number of events and meetings for New Zealand technology companies, leveraging off the current international focus on San Francisco.

Read more  from


5 important things about raising tech company capital in NZ

From the outside, raising capital for technology start-ups seems harder than elsewhere in the world. In truth, it isn’t more difficult, just different.

This week’s Moxie Sessions on capital for technology companies revealed five key points. Few of these are widely discussed at the moment. Let’s change that:

Read more from Scoop


Crowd-funding risks worthwhile – Foss

Businesses and individuals with a bright idea will be able to raise as much as $2 million from the public without having to issue a formal prospectus from April next year.

Commerce Minister Craig Foss said that was when new rules in the Financial Markets Conduct Bill would come into effect that are designed to encourage crowd-funding, “peer-to-peer lending” and employee share-ownership schemes.

Read more  from (Marlbourough Express)


Angels Get Carry For Helping A Startup Raise Money With AngelList Syndicates

AngelList is testing out a new service that lets angel investors syndicate deals with each other, a feature that could allow startups to raise venture-sized rounds of money with relative ease. Called Syndicates, the private-beta product lets any accredited investor on the AngelList fundraising platform essentially create, lead and collect carry for a fund of angel money for a specific startup.

Read more  from Tech Crunch


Medical devices give healthy boost to exports

Medical device firms have contributed more than a quarter (27 percent) of export earnings to New Zealand’s high tech manufacturing sector, according to a just-released report by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The high tech manufacturing sector as a whole contributed $1.4 billion in export earnings.

Read more  from Scoop


Bootcamp to get city’s entrepreneurs running

A new scheme aims to help Rotorua entrepreneurs turn business ideas into reality – with the support of local “angels”.

Plenty of Innovation, run by Bay of Plenty investor group Enterprise Angels with the support of Grow Rotorua, launches next week with its pilot Rotorua Entrepreneur Bootcamp.

Read more  from Rotorua Daily Post


US tech investor trend offers clue to Xero’s rapid rise

New research from the United States might help explain the meteoric rise in New Zealand tech star Xero’s share price over the past year.

A study by CB Insights, a research firm that tracks venture capital investment, found only 2 per cent of total funding in the internet sector went to social media firms during the second quarter of this year.

Read more  from NZHerald


Software firms miss out on tax aid

Proposed tax changes that aim to improve cashflow for start-ups include some fishhooks for software companies and firms that run clinical trials, a Deloitte partner says.

An Inland Revenue Department policy paper proposes allowing 100 per cent of eligible tax losses arising from research and development expenditure to be immediately deductible.

Read more  from NZHerald


SEC Lifts Ban On General Solicitation, Allowing Startups To Advertise That They’re Fundraising

The SEC has just voted 4 to 1 in favor of implementing section 201(a) of the JOBS Act, which lifts the ban on general solicitation and permits startups, venture capitalists, and hedge funds to openly advertise that they’re raising money in private offerings. While it may pose added risk of investors being misled, it should make it significantly easier for companies to raise capital to start or continue financing a business.

Read more  from Tech Crunch


Incubator graduate sells to rival

Wellington company Dash Tickets, one of the first to go through business incubator Creative HQ, has been sold to a rival.

The Fortress Group, based in Dunedin, owns TicketDirect which was established in 1999.

Yesterday it announced it had acquired Dash Tickets, the company Nick Schembri co-founded as a student at Victoria University, for an undisclosed sum. It had been part owned by Ministry of Sound.

Read more  from (Manawatu Standard)


Follow the money

Want money from US investors? Then move to where the money is, says US angel investor and Kiwiphile, Bill Payne.

Read more  (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited


New Govt service launched to raise capital investment

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today launched a new Government service in Auckland to help businesses raise capital and accelerate their international growth.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Better by Capital service is one of 50 initiatives in the Government’s Business Growth Agenda, Building Capital Markets.

“To achieve the Government’s target of increasing our exports to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025, it is estimated New Zealand will need to increase collective investment in export industries by 70-90 per cent on current levels,” Mr Joyce says.

Read more from

Reeling in the big investors

Last year there were around 100 angel investments in New Zealand startups, according to the Young Company Finance Index.

All these companies had to perfect their pitch to get investors on board.

Learning how to make an investment pitch is critical for any startup CEO, because external investment is likely the only way he or she will be able to grow the business quickly.

Read more from Unlimited


Draft rules aim to free up raising of capital

Draft policy decisions about new regulations to New Zealand’s financial markets and “significant freeing up of capital raising” have been announced in Parliament by Commerce Minister Craig Foss. Changes in the Financial Markets Conduct Bill include allowing new forms of capital raising such as crowd-funding platforms and person-to-person lending services. The move to open new channels of capital has been welcomed by the business community.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from (Business Day)


Start-ups that really get going

A fast-growing company is a bit like a precocious child. It might eventually slow down and mature, or it might crash and burn along the way.

But if luck and good management is on its side, it will become a long-lasting sizeable export earner at a scale which will benefit our economy.

Read more  from (Business Day)


Innovate contest finalists picked

This year’s 10 finalists have been selected for Innovate, a startup ideas competition run by Palmerston North incubator the BCC.  Judges Simon Barnett, owner of sports equipment company OBO; Vicki Stewart, director of Stewarts Electrical Supplies, angel investor Sharon Bryant; InspireNet founder James Watts and the owner/founder of Rural Fuel, Larry Ellison, heard pitches from 32 semifinalists over two nights.

Read more from Unlimited


Govt mulls R&D payback

The Government is considering new rules that would require research and development funding to be repaid by companies if taxpayer-supported R&D projects prove particularly successful.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce told the Business Herald that the measure, if introduced, would apply to the new Project Grants scheme, unveiled in last week’s Budget, which provides 30 to 50 per cent public co-funding for specific R&D projects.

Read more from NZHerald

Lightning Lab’s Demo Day a sign that NZ’s startup scene is growing up

With the first intake of Lightning Lab’s accelerator programme now successfully behind us, the next phase is going to be vital for the ongoing evolution of New Zealand’s startup ecosystem from wobbly toddler to confident teenager. Luckily, the future’s looking bright if the feedback from last week’s Demo Day is anything to go by.

Read more from Idealog

Startups raise $3m of investment in one day

Entrepreneurs going through the first Lightning Lab intensive incubator raised $3 million of investment in one day in Wellington.

Nine startup digital companies went through the intensive three-month business planning and mentoring programme at Creative HQ, culminating in a Demo Day pitching to an audience of 140 angel investors at Te Papa last week.

Read more from (The Dominion Post)


Crowdfunding maybe more bust than windfall

Small businesses looking for a windfall of investor money from crowdfunding may find that it’s more of a bust.

US President Barack Obama and members of Congress have touted a law that makes crowdfunding, a method of soliciting money over the internet, as a way for startups and other small companies to raise money and create jobs.

Read more  from Yahoo7Finance

Business ‘angels’ a shining light in gloomy budget?

Start-up businesses and angel investors have been spared in the federal government’s hefty budget cuts, with Labor committing $350 million in administered capital to its Venture Australia program and changes to tax concessions to encourage the participation of angel investors.

Read more  from BRW


Share floats to boost NZX

At times, New Zealand’s sharemarket has felt like a Murmansk supermarket shelf, circa 1958. Fine if you want pickled brassicas, tinned fish eggs and dual-purpose vodka (also powers tractors), but not exactly a cornucopia of delights.

However, times have moved on and lately a flurry of activity is transforming the range of offerings on the NZX. We’re talking easily post-perestroika shelving.

Read more  from (Business Day)

Online ‘Virtual world’ MiniMonos to close

MiniMonos, an “online virtual world” for children founded in 2009 by high-profile entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds, will close next month because of dwindling membership.

Chief technology officer Greg Montgomery said it was not the end of the road for the company of the same name, which employs 15 staff in Wellington and three at its head office in Britain, where Clark-Reynolds now lives.

Read more  from (The Dominion Post)


Singapore the new Switzerland? Rich turn to Asian havens

Switzerland: home of good cheese and better chocolate, accurate watches and, for as long as anyone can remember, the place the wealthy parked their money, with no one asking where it came from.

But with the rise of Asia and with a new cohort of rich-listers, that’s all changing, according to a report released last week by private banking research group WealthInsight.

Read more  from Crikey

Aussie startups could earn $109b – if nourished, says Google

Software startup Atlassian Sydney headquarters…Google says 1500 of these are needed each year for the projected $109 billion to come to fruition, with momentum building as success stories draw more investment into the sector.

Google believes Australia’s tech startup sector could add an extra $109 billion to the economy or four per cent of GDP by 2033, and add an extra 540,000 jobs, if nourished and allowed to grow.

Read more  from BRW


A Brisbane tech start-up company has signed a big deal with Twitter

IT WAS the spark in his technology officer Stephen Phillips that gave Queensland company director and businessman John Lyons a strong belief that one day the young man would do something big.

And he was not disappointed

Read more from


Kiwi angels see US meet as heaven sent

More than 20 Kiwi start-up investors are hoping to forge links with their counterparts from around the world at a major angel investment meeting in the United States next week.

The group heading to Angel Capital Association summit in San Francisco includes Ken Erskine and Robbie Paul of Auckland business incubator The Icehouse, Angel Association New Zealand chairman Ray Thomson and Brian Casey, chairman of the Ice Angels investment group.

Read more from NZHerald


NASA Space Apps Challenge launches in Auckland

New Zealand teams will compete in the NASA International Space Apps Challenge for the first time this weekend.

The inaugural event, jointly sponsored by the US Embassy and AUT University, will be one of 83 local challenges running worldwide at the same time. The event will be hosted by AUT University at its Auckland City Campus.

Read more  (broken link. New link here: from Scoop


Taiwan keen on better bilateral relations

Taiwan has been taking a series of policy initiatives to maintain stability in the Asia-Pacific region and promote better economic relations with friendly countries including New Zealand, a senior official of the country has said.

Lincoln Ting, Director General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Auckland said that his Government’s ‘Rapprochement Policy’ and ‘Viable Diplomacy’ have had a positive impact in improving ties.

Read more  (broken link. New link here: from IndianNewsLink


Uni programme sparks Kiwi entrepreneurs

A Porsche in the staff carpark. It was an early sign that a bid in the early 2000s to transform the University of Auckland’s culture into something more entrepreneurial was succeeding.

At the heart of that project was a fledgling entrepreneurial development programme called Spark, which last year turned 10.

Read more  from Unlimited


Angel investment funds fall

The country’s key angel investor group is looking for up to 200 new investors this year as funding for very young companies begins to fall.

New figures from the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund show that “angels” put $27.6 million into 95 deals last year. Just under $20m was in follow-on capital to existing investments.

Read more  from OneNews


Finalists announced for NZ Hi-Tech Awards

A record number of new entrants from companies across New Zealand have lifted the bar for this year’s Hi-Tech Awards, to be held on May 17 in Auckland.

With the finalists for the awards recently announced, software firms Xero and Serko are also in the running for the top prize of Hi-Tech Company of the Year, along with manufacturing company Buckley Systems.

Read more  from TechDay


Making tracks into the US market

Doing business in the US is massively different compared to New Zealand, according to Booktrack CEO Paul Cameron

“Things happen really fast, and it’s very dynamic. You’ve got to be really hungry. There will be 20 guys behind you looking to make a deal,” he says.

Read more  from ComputerWorld

Forging biotech ties with Asia

Forget funding from Asia – partnering is the best way for Kiwi biotech companies to crack the region, according to Janette Dixon, who’s been there, done that. Here are her top tips for succeeding in Asia.


It’s better to pursue partnerships than venture funding in Asia. Governments in countries like Singapore are focused on building the local sector with infrastructure and employment. Build lasting value for the local communities by partnering with them. To find partners, contact local government agencies or ask New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to set up meetings for you.

Read more  from Unlimited

Stars aligning for food producers – Joyce

Kiwi biotechnology companies are being urged to focus on exploiting the expanding international “food for health” market – estimated to be worth US$62 billion (NZ$75b).

Minister for Business, Innovation and Employment Steven Joyce told delegates via videolink at today’s NZBio biotechnology conference in Auckland that the stars were aligning for New Zealand food producers.

Read more  from (Auckland Now)

Crowdfunding: ‘Dumb money’ or democratisation of capitalism?

All over the world entrepreneurs are singing praises of crowdfunding and politicians are jumping onto the bandwagon.

From what we have seen so far, crowdfunding is here to stay. It can be a boon to countries like Australia where the entrepreneurial spirit thrives and high-growth startups can be an engine of growth.

Read more  from anthill

EU changes law to encourage investment in small companies

The European Parliament voted on Tuesday to change EU rules to make it easier for venture capital funds to invest in start-up businesses across the 27-country bloc.

The change, which introduces a special EU “passport” for funds that invest in new small enterprises, is part of a broader push to make European law more growth-friendly by cutting the regulatory burden on some types of investment or lending.

Read more  (broken link. New link here: from Reuters


The art and mystery of startup valuation, or why is my company worth more than nothing?

As a pre-revenue company, most entrepreneurs determine their valuation based on calculations of Discounted Cash Flow, Net Present Value or using the early valuation of more successful companies deemed to be comparable.

Most experienced early-stage investors looking at a pre-revenue company start with a valuation of zero.

Read more  from anthill


$30 million technology fund open for business

Some of the biggest names in the local technology scene have joined forces to raise just under $20 million at new fund Blackbird Ventures. About 35 technology entrepreneurs including Atlassian co-founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar, Business Catalyst’s Bardia Housman and Leigh Jasper and Rob Phillpot, the co-founders of Melbourne construction software outfit Aconex have contributed to the fund’s first close.

Read more  from Financial Review

Being big in Australia, or even Texas, won’t get you Valley funding

Silicon Valley mentor and angel investor Mike Loftus says Australian entrepreneurs are selling themselves short if they don’t set their sights on America.

Loftus, a 20-year veteran of the start-up scene and entrepreneur-in-residence at US-based The Angels’ Forum, says Australia is a great marketplace for start-ups to test things out, but they need to live and breathe Silicon Valley to take their business to the next level.

Read more  from BRW

Over $25 million granted to 8 Kiwi high-tech companies by Callaghan Innovation

Eight New Zealand high-tech companies have received over $25 million in Technology Development Grants (TDG) from the government, the first handed out by Callaghan Innovation which began operation in February.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says the chosen Kiwi businesses have pedigree in research and development investment.

Read more  from Idealog

Report card from top world scholars

Staff from the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will produce a scorecard of Auckland and NZ’s innovation system, and the results should be favourable.

Institute professors Edward Roberts and Scott Stern, will lead a three-day MIT Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme workshop in Auckland from March 25-27.

Read more  from NZHerald

Government tips $60 million into venture fund

The Government is backing the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund with a further $60 million as part of its efforts to encourage more private investment.

The latest injection follows a previous $40 million underwrite and is on top of the $160 million the Government has already allocated to the venture capital programme.

“The underwrite facility is a contingent liability rather than an upfront sum,” said Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

Read more  (broken link. New link here: from NBR

Ahead of the pack

Pick your targets and avoid distraction, say company leaders TIN’s top performers.

All CEOs are motivated achievers but Skope Industries boss Guy Stewart has an incentive to succeed not shared by most: he’s managing his parents’ retirement nest egg.

Stewart’s father, Robert, bought the family’s Christchurch technology business in 1965 and after decades at the helm has stepped back into a governance role, albeit as a very engaged chairman of the board.

Read more  from NZHerald


A very good day for venture capital: AVCAL

Successful entrepreneurs could be tempted to establish their own venture capital funds thanks to the $350 million expansion of the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) scheme under the federal government’s A Plan For Australian Jobs program.

The expansion, which over the next three to four years will see the government match every dollar of private investment into qualifying venture capital funds up to $350 million, will underwrite the venture capital industry for the next decade, says Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association chief executive Katherine Woodthorpe.

Read more  from BRW

Angel Investor Conference draws international guests

Award-winning, high-tech serial entrepreneur and CEO to speak at Angel Investor Conference this week.

A world-renowned intelligence specialist who once managed the CIA’s spy satellite system has been secured to speak at Australia’s peak Angel Investor conference on the Gold Coast this week.

David Roberts spent 10 years working for three of the most secretive organisations in the world, the Office of Special Investigations, the CIA, and the National Reconnaissance Office.

Read more from Australia’s GoldCoast

eBus Acquired by IMD

The eBUS Media Network has been acquired by London-based media logistics operator IMD.

eBUS started operation in 2005 when Carmine Masiello decided to settle in NZ after sailing with his family around the world.

eBUS started with excellent momentum in the NZ market and then created a strategy for where to next, which essentially was Asia given the main markets of North America and Europe had already played out competitively.

Read more  from IceHouse


Global money pours in: Australia 6th most popular nation for VC, PE and angel investment

Australia had the sixth-highest deal volume of any nation last year, according to a new report, which shows total acquisition value in the Asia-Pacific rose 258% from 2011 to 2012.

Right Click Capital, a Sydney-based venture capital firm, has released findings from its Internet DealBook annual report.

Internet DealBook is a global database that tracks angel, venture capital and private equity investment, along with M&A activity, across internet and technology-related private companies.

Read more  from SmartCompany

Huge coup for local software firm

Government websites will switch to free, open-source software from Wellington firm Silverstripe under an “all-of-government” contract that Internal Affairs Minister Chris Tremain is due to announce this morning.

The Department of Internal Affairs estimates the government spends at least $40 million a year on its 600-plus websites. The decision to back local software could be good public relations in the wake of the Australian-supplied Novopay debacle.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said it was critical for Wellington’s economy “that we see more successes like this, with local companies being recognised for their abilities”.

Read more  from (Technology)


R&D policy under fire

Sale of another tech company overseas sparks debate over fair use of taxpayer funds.

The sale of a technology company to a British buyer has reignited debate over the Government’s approach to research and development funding and the growing number of innovative Kiwi firms shifting overseas.

Read more  from NZHerald

Cold inspires hot run on high-tech

In 2010, a group of students at Aalto University, just outside Helsinki, embarked on the most constructive piece of student activism in the history of the genre. They had been converted to the power of entrepreneurialism during a visit to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. When they got home they organised a “summer of start-ups” to spread the word that Finland’s future lay with new companies, not old giants. The summer of start-ups turned into a season of innovation.

Read more  from AFR


Callaghan Institute kicks off high-tech push

The government has launched the cornerstone of its policy to encourage new, high value, high-tech products and services across science, engineering, design and technology disciplines.

To be known as Callaghan Innovation, the institution brings together the former crown research institute Industrial Research Ltd, the business investments team at the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, the Auckland Foodbowl initiative, and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Lean Manufacturing programme.

Read more  from Scoop

Patents Bill petitioner demands action

The movement against software patents will be ramping up its campaign, trying to encourage a more active political stance in support of the Patents Bill as it currently stands, with its clause stating simply “a computer program is not a patentable invention”.

Action is urgent, says Dave Lane, organiser of the ‘No Software Patents in NZ’ petition. Parliament is due to start sitting on January 29 and the Bill is currently eighth on the order paper. This means that after its debate by the committee of the whole House, it could reach the third reading stage in the first week of Parliament this year.

Read more  from ComputerWorld

Early age spread

Startup Weekend junkies will have three more regions across the country to hitch a ride to in 2013, with Hawke’s Bay, Dunedin and Hamilton set to host the 54-hour business competition events this year.

New Zealand’s first Startup Weekend — where teams compete to turn their best business ideas into real companies in a single weekend — was held in Auckland in 2011.

Read more  from Unlimited

Gold Coast looks to boost innovation credentials with angel conference

Representatives from the world’s largest angel investor groups will attend a conference on the Gold Coast next month, as the Queensland city attempts to reposition itself as an innovation hub.

From February 20-22, the Gold Coast will play host to the sixth annual Australian National Angel Conference, to be held at the Royal Pines Resort Convention Centre.

Read more  from StartupSmart


US VC funds raised $20.6 billion in 2012 – but what slice did Aussie start-ups take?

Venture capital firms in the United States raised $20.6 billion from 182 funds in 2012, new figures show, with Australian start-ups among those that benefited from the surge in investment cash.

The figures, released by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association, show the amount raised in 2012 was a 10% increase in dollar commitments when compared to 2011.

Read more  from StartupSmart

Fear of failure hampering Kiwi business

Californian business coach Mark Moses has a video on his website of himself riding an elephant into the annual meeting of his mortgage banking firm, Platinum Capital.

He was aiming to send his employees a message – “If you think big and act big, you will be big.”

Read more from (Southland Times)


We’ll never be home to the next Google: experts

The ‘next Google’ will never be built in Australia, according to early stage venture experts. They say start-ups will never be able to find Australian investors with the appetite to fund a speculative tech venture with a potential global reach.

“You need a bigger market to fund something like a Google. Although it has become much easier over the last five years to grow a global business with world-changing ambitions from here,” says Phil Morle, co-founder of start-up incubator Pollenizer.

Read more  (broken link. New link here: from The Age


Where to find money for non-digital start-ups

David Whitfield wants to raise $5 million – soon. He had hoped the $650,000 he raised from family and friends in November 2011 would last until mid-2013 but his low energy LED lighting technology business, enLighten, is “already outgrowing its cash flow”. To fund domestic and international expansion, Whitfield reckons he will be “knocking on doors” for the next year.

Read more  from BRW


Australian start-ups think too small, survey finds

Australian entrepreneurs are less ambitious than their US counterparts, less likely to develop global businesses and are not keen on getting rich or changing the world, according to new research.

A survey by Deloitte Private, start-up incubator Pollenizer, Australian start-up publication From Little Things and global research group Startup Genome Project has highlighted concerning findings about Australian early-stage ventures.

Read more  from The Age


NZVIF welcomes proposal for Maori fund

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) is welcoming possible discussions with iwi and Māori organisations, fund managers and investors on the shape of a new Māori-orientated investment fund, as recommended by the Māori Economic Development Panel.

NZVIF Chief Executive Franceska Banga said the panel’s report has correctly identified access to investment capital as a major component in terms of building growth companies in the Māori and wider New Zealand economies.

Read more from Voxy

Angel investors want NZ ‘tax tweak’

International gurus want tax breaks to help boost angel investment.

The latest Young Company Finance Index shows angel investors poured $30.7 million into 97 deals with New Zealand starts-ups and entrepreneurs last year.

Spend was down $24 million on 2010, but until last year the figure had been steadily rising since 2006. In the past six years, a total of $220 million has been invested by angels in New Zealand.

Read more  from NBR


Polybatics: Biotech firm needs $1.5m more

Tracy Thompson, chief executive of Polybatics, has been here before. This is the fourth formal funding round the Manawatu-based biotech company has embarked upon since Thompson took over the Massey University spinoff in 2009.

“You never have enough money if you’re a tech company. We’re producing something to a pharmaceutical standard: it’s expensive.”

Read more  from NZHerald

Looking for an angel at the Summit

Tracy Thompson feels as if he has done little else but raise capital for the past four years.

The United States-born chief executive of biotechnology company Polybatics says raising money in New Zealand is like a treadmill you can never turn off.

“It’s constant. I feel like I’m on life support thinking ‘quick nurse, bring me another drip bag’.”

Read more  fro NZHerald


10 business safety nets every soloist should put in place

Life as a sole trader is a liberating and, usually, fulfilling one. By striking out on your own, you are freeing yourself of a boss in order to put all of those great ideas of yours into action, free from interference.

But with this freedom comes heightened risk. The official stats show that the fewer employees a business has, the shorter its life expectancy.

Read more from Startup Smart

NZ Technology Ticks Minister’s Boxes

Press Release: Silvereye Communications

NZ Technology Ticks Minister’s Boxes

Baker No-Tillage ticks every one of Minister, Steven Joyce’s, boxes.

The Minister for Science and Innovation and Minister for Economic Development opened Baker No-Tillage’s new Feilding offices earlier this month and inspected its revolutionary new seed drill.

Read more from Scoop

Showcasing New Zealand’s business talent

Imagine this. Eighteen business presentations, each capturing the essence of their value proposition, being open about financial performance to date, and explaining why someone should invest in them – all in eight minutes per business.

You can be forgiven for immediately jumping to the conclusion it was an episode of popular TV show Dragon’s Den, but compared to what I witnessed at the New Zealand Angel Investment Showcase this week, Dragon’s Den is amateur hour.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited

Partnership opens doors for fund managers

The Government-backed New Zealand Venture Investment Fund says a partnership with its Taiwanese counterpart will open doors to Asian venture capital networks for local fund managers and the high growth firms they invest in.

NZVIF has signed a co-investment partnership with Taiwan’s National Development Fund (NDF), which it says could invest up to $200 million into funds in Taiwan and this country.

Read more  from NZHerald

Heatley wins 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year

Sky Television founder Craig Heatley takes the top award out of five category winners.

Sky Television founder Craig Heatley is this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Heatley is a veteran entrepreneur and won the master category in this year’s awards.

He set up the first of mini golf company Lilliputt’s sites in Taupo in 1979 and went on to found Rainbow Corporation, which merged with Brierley Investments in 1987. He has a diverse range of investments, including Pebble Beach Resort in California, quarries in Australia and property in China.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited

NZTE makes international appointments

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has made several recent appointments, including Clayton Kimpton as new regional director for India, the Middle East and Africa. He will be responsible for the operations of NZTE’s offices in Dubai, New Delhi and Mumbai and will move to Dubai in April.

Kimpton is a senior commercial advisor and will join NZTE from commercial law firm Kensington Swan.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited


Private equity deal signed with Taiwan

The New Zealand Government’s private equity fund and its Taiwanese equivalent have signed a partnership agreement which will see them both inject up to $160 million into a new cross-border venture capital fund.

Under the terms of the deal, the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) and Taiwan’s National Development Fund will stump up $25m each into any new venture capital (VC) fund looking to invest in Kiwi or Taiwanese business ventures.

Read more from (The Southland Times)

Startup successes breed success

New accelerator’s backers put their time and money on the line, despite not knowing who they’re investing in.

If you pitched the analogy of Johnny Appleseed vs Gordon Gecko to a roomful of Kiwi investors, you’d get a split vote and more probably a rabid aversion to being likened to either of them.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited


Iwi inc

The Maori economy is worth $37 billion, but it hasn’t broken out of the primary industry pigeonhole. Are collaboration and an increased appetite for risk the keys to a different kind of entrepreneurial success?

Eels don’t have the sex appeal of our national icon, the kiwi, John Hohapata-Oke concedes.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited

Tenants get ready to move into tech hub

As the first tenants of Christchurch’s new technology hub prepare to move in, co-founder Wil McLellan is already preparing for stage two of the venture.

About 17 quake-displaced companies have signed up as tenants of Epic Sanctuary, the first stage of the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus.

Read more from

11Ants Analytics launches 11Ants Predictor for Microsoft SQL

11Ants Analytics today launched 11Ants Predictor for Microsoft SQL Server, a break-through solution which transforms Microsoft SQL Server into a forward-looking predictive analytics solution, in hours. 11Ants Predictor leverages an organization’s considerable investment in data warehouses by transforming the data warehouse from a backward looking analytics tool to an ‘intelligent’ competitive tool to predict customer behaviour. The launch follows the recent launch of 11Ants Predictor for Oracle and 11Ants Predictor for Teradata.

Read more from Scoop


Why our best entrepreneurs are moving overseas

Now it its 10th year, the BRW Young Rich has had 288 members grace its pages with fortunes ranging from $10 million to $1.13 billion.

Several trends have emerged from the 10 years of data. One of the clearest is that more and more successful young entrepreneurs are choosing to base themselves in other countries.

Consider the following: The number of Young Rich members living overseas has risen from nine in the first issue to 23 this year and has increased in all but two years over the past decade.

Read more  from BRW


Fund wants 20 firms listed

Government-backed NZVIF expects to have invested in 180 local firms by 2017.  The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund has set an aggressive target of getting 15 to 20 of its portfolio companies listed on the NZX over the next decade.

Read More  from NZHerald

Biotechs have healthy upside

Emerging biotechnology companies are notoriously risky due to high costs in the research, development and trial phases and uncertainty in getting the product to market, but interest in the sector is heating up.

Read More  from Australian Financial Review

How to become an entrepreneurial country

For 10 years, the BRW Young Rich has provided much-needed heroes for aspiring entrepreneurs and its case studies are helping spark a resurgence of entrepreneurship.  But much more needs to be done to foster entrepreneurship and remove the barriers that dissuade young people from pursuing their own ventures and creating their own businesses.

Read More from BRW


Global from Day One Seed Fund

Start-up fund aims to take 20 companies global A new start-up investment fund – the Global from Day One Fund – has successfully closed its fundraising.

The fund has up to $4.6 million available for investment – having raised $2.3 million from private investors and with access to matching co-investment from the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund. It aims to invest into around 20 start-up companies with international ambitions over the next four years.

Read more from Scoop

EverEdge CEO takes international IP award

Paul Adams, CEO of Auckland company EverEdge IP, has won the Outstanding IP Leader Contribution category at the China Intellectual Property Focus Awards recently announced in Shanghai.

“Judges were impressed with [Adams’] advanced understanding of intellectual property and commercialisation issues and the cutting edge advice he provides to clients. This enables them to utilise intellectual property assets in new and highly profitable ways,” says Zhang Qingkui, director general of the Pharmaceutical and Biotech Examination Department of the China State Intellectual Property Office.

Read more  from Unlimited


Clean tech start-up lands $5 million in funding

Clean tech start-up Brisbane Materials, which has emerged from research commercialisation firm UniQuest, has closed a $5 million Series A funding round as it seeks to scale up its R&D, manufacturing and marketing both domestically and overseas.

Brisbane Materials, based in Brisbane and Silicon Valley, is a specialty materials company focused on creating innovative materials solutions for solar and other applications.

It has patented technology for creating high-performance, low-cost, wide-area coatings of porous silica and other materials, made at room temperature and atmospheric pressure.

Read more  from SmartCompany

Fund reaches bigger target

Global from Day One currently considering two ventures likely to be funded shortly.  The Global from Day One investment fund has closed its fundraising after private investors gave $2.3 million, to be matched in co-investment by the government run New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.  The fund had originally aimed to raise $4 million.

Read More  (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited

Crowdfunding success puts pressure on entrepreneurs

An effort to build a sleek aluminium charging dock for the iPhone generated fervor online when it was announced last December. The project’s creators raised close to $1.5 million through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding Web site, and promised to start shipping their Elevation Dock in April to those who had backed the project.

Read More  (broken link. New link here: from NYTimes


$4.6m fund to help NZ firms ‘conquer the world’

A new $4.6 million investment fund is aiming to take Kiwi mobile, media and technology start-up companies to the world.  The likes of Groupon and Facebook have become global success stories thanks to technology-based business models that know no geographical bounds.

Read More from (Business Day)

KiwiNet partner with KCA to deliver technology transfer course in NZ

Commercialisation staff from research organisations across New Zealand and Australia will be developing their expertise and abilities in transferring technologies to industry hands next week. The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet), a consortium of New Zealand universities and crown research institutes collaborating on research commercialisation, are partnering with Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia (KCA) to present the KCA Fundamentals of Technology Transfer Course to New Zealand for the first time.

Read More (broken link. New link here: from Voxy

ICEHOUSE Announces CIO Wynand Strydom

Business growth centre, The ICEHOUSE has appointed Wynand Strydom as Chief Information Officer. Wynand has been seconded from Gen-i.

Andy Hamilton, Chief Executive for The ICEHOUSE welcomes Strydom to the team and thanks Gen-i for their generous support.

Read More  from Scoop

Citrix Acquires Cloud-Based Customer Support Technology Startup Beetil

Citrix Systems announced today that it has acquired Beetil, a Wellington, New Zealand-based startup that makes cloud-based customer service management software built on the ITIL framework.

According to LinkedIn, Beetil, which is headed up by CEO Dan Lee, has fewer than 10 employees and was founded in 2009. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

Read More from Tech Crunch


11Ants Analytics launches 11Ants Predictor for Oracle

Transforms Oracle into a forward looking predictive analytics solution within hours.

HAMILTON, New Zealand, 24 August 2012 – 11Ants Analytics today launched 11Ants Predictor for Oracle,a break-through solution which transforms Oracle into a forward-looking predictive analytics solution, in hours. 11Ants Predictor leverages an organization’s considerable investment in data warehouses by transforming the data warehouse from a backward looking analytics tool to an ‘intelligent’ competitivetool to predict customer behaviour.

Read More from WaikatoLink

ecentre makes it easier to become an entrepreneur

ecentre, the business innovation centre at Massey University, wants to make it possible for anyone to become an entrepreneur. It is introducing three different levels of its ecentreSprint market validation programme to make entrepreneurship more accessible, especially for those in the early stages of developing a business.

Read More from Business to Business


Cloud data storage a ‘money saver’

THOUGHT BALLOON: How much money could cloud-computing save the government?

Big savings could be made by switching the public service to cloud-based application software, especially if it was hosted outside New Zealand or Australia.

Read More from (Business News)

Workshop highlights future investment opportunities for investors

Investors in the Tauranga region will have an opportunity to preview promising technologies being developed in universities and Crown Research Institutes at a workshop today. The investor engagement event run by KiwiNet, Enterprise Angels, Return On Science, and the Angel Association of New Zealand has the dual purpose of highlighting future investment opportunities to investors and helping commercialisation professionals to develop their presentation skills.

Read More from

Sydney start-up gets backing from Microsoft’s Bing fund

Australian gaming start-up Pinion has been selected as one of the first companies to participate in Microsoft’s new Bing Fund, after raising almost $2 million from Australian investors

Read More from SmartCompany

New thinkers: the 2012 Influencers

While the global economy is shaking, seismic shifts in Canterbury prompted the country’s biggest ever economic project. More than ever, we need new thinking. Unlimited highlights 25 individuals bringing about positive change in our economy.

Read More (broken link. New link here: from

99designs snaps up German rival and gets ready for Europe push

Australian crowdsourcing pioneer 99designs is expanding overseas. While other companies are steering clear of Europe right now, 99designs has just acquired Berlin–based crowdsourcing designer 12designer for an undisclosed amount.

Read More from SmartCompany

IBM Teams up with Unitec Institute of Technology

Multi-million dollar investment to provide employment and skills development opportunities for local services economy

Based at Unitec’s Mt Albert campus, the Delivery Centre will open in February 2013 and will employ full-time and part-time professionals, and Unitec graduate and current students. IBM anticipates that the Delivery Centre will employ up to 400 people within the next two years.

Read More from Scoop


Google buys expat Kiwi’s company

Google has paid a reported US$250 million (NZ$307m) to buy social media company Wildfire, founded four years ago by expat Kiwi Victoria Ransom.

Ransom said she couldn’t talk about the sale as she was required to forward all inquiries to Google.

Read More  from Taranaki Daily News


New faces and big names vie for Entrepreneur of the Year

Sixteen entrepreneurs in the running to become category winners later this month.

This year’s awards were judged by Icehouse chairman and Cross Ventures head Greg Cross, Jucy CEO Tim Alpe (the 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year), Seaworks chairman Bill Day (the 2000 Entrepreneur of the Year), Diane Foreman of Emerald Group (the 2009 winner), Trends International Publishing owner David Johnson (the 1998 winner) and Andy Lark, chief marketing officer for Commonwealth Bank Australia.

Read more from Unlimited Business Link

Look who’s laughing now: Aussie start-up raises $1 million

Australian start-up Ninja Blocks has secured $1 million from investors to build a killer app to propel the remote controlled home into the mainstream consciousness and spark the next technology revolution where anything can connect to anything.

The company was laughed at by investors in Australia when it proposed a $500,000 round of fundraising based on a company value of $2 million. Investors in the United States later said the company was undervalued.

Read More from Canberra Times

Maori innovation deal

Federation of Maori Authorities leaders expect an agreement they have reached with Industrial Research Ltd to significantly speed up Maori business innovation.

Leaders asked the state science company to help boost a science and innovation programme for Maori businesses.

Read More  from Radio New Zealand

NZ moves up Global Innovation Index

New Zealand has been ranked 13th in the world in the 2012 Global Innovation Index – up two places from 2011.

The report, which analyses innovation in 141 countries, also ranks New Zealand third in the Asia and Oceania region after Singapore and Hong Kong.

Read More  from

11Ants Predictor for Teradata

HAMILTON, New Zealand, 4 July 2012 – 11Ants Analytics today launched 11Ants Predictor for Teradata, a break-through solution which transforms Teradata into a forward-looking predictive analytics solution, in hours.

11Ants Predictor leverages an organization’s considerable investment in data warehouses by transforming the data warehouse from a backward looking analytics tool to an ‘intelligent’ competitive tool to predict customer behaviour.

Read More  from Scoop


Microsoft ramps up start-up efforts with Bing Fund

Global tech giant Microsoft is in the process of launching an angel investment incubator dubbed the Bing Fund, only months after launching the Queensland Microsoft Innovation Centre.

There’s no official word from Microsoft on the Bing Fund, but a Twitter account titled @bingfund was set up late last month. Tweets include “bing fund is coming”.

Read More  from

Video contest inspires micro-exporting

Upstart business coach Rueben Skipper believes development of the micro-exporting sector has “huge potential” for the New Zealand economy – and the sector could be something Dunedin becomes known for.

He estimated if every New Zealander made $20 per week in foreign currency from some online activity then micro-exporting would be the third-biggest export from New Zealand.

Read More from Otago Daily Times


Business superstars up for honours

AUT’s Business School took ownership of the awards earlier this year, and 49 finalists were chosen, the highest ever in the awards’ seven-year history.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of entries from large businesses, and such interest in recognising quality in the field of business support indicates an understanding that, with world-class business support, New Zealand can build world-class business,” says awards founder Sarah Trotman, who is also director of business relations at AUT Business School.

Read More  from idealog

Entrepreneurial attitude encouraged at Startup Weekend

This Friday, entrepreneurs, designers and developers will gather in a unique collaborative 54 hour event to develop their ideas and transform them into new businesses. Prizes for the winning team at this year’s event include a place on the ecentreSprint programme (valued at $4,500), $1,000 worth of MYOB products, and a trip to the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco.

Read More  from Scoop

What Valley VCs want

We would all love to see a tech companies taking on the world from New Zealand – and even better if they are close to 100 percent New Zealand ownership. But most tech startups don’t grow internationally without the much deeper pockets of international capital.

Read More  (broken link. New link here: from FastCompany

Appointments to new Ministry

The Acting Chief Executive of the new Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, David Smol, has appointed the acting senior leadership team who will lead the Ministry from 1 July.

The new Ministry (MBIE) is being formed from the merger of the Department of Building and Housing, the Department of Labour, the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Read More (broken link. New link here: from Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Rangatira FY profit falls 32 percent

Rangatira posted a 32 percent decline in net profit reflecting lower returns from asset sales and forecast little earnings growth for the coming year amid a “weak and unstable global outlook.”

Read More   from

Crop forecaster targets US sales

It sounds like every farmer’s dream – a tool that not only forecasts how much water and nitrogen a field of potatoes will need, and when, but can forecast crop yield and harvest date too.

CropLogic, a spinoff from the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research, offers potato farmers an online crop management system that helps farmers achieve the perfect mix of irrigation and nitrogen, predict crop yield and its harvest date.

Read More  from (The Press)

What goes around should come around

OPINION: Miles Valentine has surely been celebrating this past week after selling the software company he founded in 1994 for $40.7 million to offshore interests.

Canadian company Enghouse has bought Zeacom, which develops call centre and messaging software. Valentine, who owned about a quarter of the company, will run the merged firm’s Asia-Pacific operations.

Read More  from (Marlbourough Express)

Network Event Headlines Leading Entrepreneurs and Futurist

The ICEHOUSE Network Event is all about looking to the future. On July 6, 2012 the Network Event will introduce an impressive line-up of keynote speakers and panellists including Rob Adams, U.S entrepreneur, venture capitalist and author; Sarah Gibbs, co-founder of Trilogy; Tim Longhurst, futurist; Vinny Lohan, founder and CEO of OneBeep; and Chris Quin, CEO of Gen-i Australasia.

Read More  from Scoop (link broken. New link here:

Dell announces $US100 million credit fund for startups

Dell has announced the creation of a US$100 million credit fund aimed at giving startups the “financial and scalable technology resources they need to maximize potential for innovation, speed to market and job creation.”

Read More  from


Salesforce adds social media muscle with Buddy Media buy

(Reuters) – Inc will buy Buddy Media, which helps big brands manage Facebook and Twitter pages, for about $689 million, in the latest sign that the social media marketing sector may be a new battlefield for large tech companies.

Read More   (broken link. New link here: from Reuters

Start-ups flying offshore

Angel investment group Sparkbox Ventures and the ICEHOUSE business growth centre are joining forces to raise a specialised $4 million angel investment fund – the Global from Day One Seed Fund – targeting Kiwi start-up technology companies with international horizons.

Read More   from Scoop

CrowdFunding: The Inside Guide

Want to start your own business or have a great idea for tomorrow’s next million-dollar app, software program or video game? Congratulations, crowdfunding gives you the power to bring entire businesses to life overnight.

But what is crowdfunding exactly? Simply put, crowdfunding is the process of asking the general public for donations that provide startup capital for new ventures.

Read More  from

Venture Solutions enters commercialisation ‘no-man’s-land’

The untitled head of nine-month-oldVenture Solutions Ltd recently – and reluctantly – agreed to put up a website advertising its services.

Grant Marris’ reluctance is warranted. Operating in the ‘no-man’s-land’ between the (often backyard) inventor and other types of commercialising entities, VSL may now find itself being plagued by tyre-kickers and the rather mad.

Read More   from Idealog

Budget gives $385m for science and innovation

The government has announced $385 million of new investment for research, science and innovation in the next four years as part of the 2012 Budget.

It has allocated $166 milllion for the redevelopment of an Advanced Technology Institute to help grow high tech firms and increase exports.

Read More  (broken link. New link here:  from Unlimited

Biz Dojo eyes new incubator

The Biz Dojo has teamed with IP commercialisation firm MacFarlane Engel Associates (MEA) to work towards a new incubation company, the Mainframe.

The joint venture plans to apply to the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund’s Seed Co-investment Fund (SCIF).

Read More   (broken link. New link here: from Unlimited


Fund targets startups with global goals

Sparkbox Ventures and the Icehouse have partnered to contribute a new $4 million angel fund for tech startups – the Global from Day One Seed Fund.

The fund aims to attract $4 million from investors by the end of August this year. It already has commitments from eligible investors of $1.35 million. Another $2 milllion could come from the partnerships with the government-run Venture Investment Fund held by Sparkbox and the Icehouse’s Ice Angels group. This would be done through co-investment on a deal by deal basis.

Read More   from Unlimited


The singular vision of Peter Thiel

In JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth fantasy, the Valar are deities who chose to enter the world they created, to give it order and shape its development.

It’s probably more coincidence than divine intervention that in 2010 Valar Ventures descended with financial largesse upon New Zealand, the scenic backdrop to The Lord of the Rings movies. Except that, in some circles, Valar’s billionaire president, Peter Thiel – PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor – is seen as god-like. As a teenager, his favourite book was The Lord of the Rings which he read again and again.

Read More   from NZHearld


‘Negative know-how’, one way to make money from failure

‘Negative know-how’ was a fantastic idea thrown up at the KiwiNet commercialisation forum in Wellington on May 2.

Kate Wilson was talking to about 100 people actively trying to kick university or CRI ideas into life.

Read More   from Scoop

Silicon Valley takes Facebook fizzle in stride

Facebook‘s lackluster initial public offering performance is a black eye for many on Wall Street and could have ramifications for similar upcoming deals such as an offering by Twitter, but venture capitalists in Silicon Valley are keen to shrug off Facebook‘s stumble – at least for now.

Read More   from International Business Times/Tech

Taking New Zealand businesses to the next level

Professor Claire Massey, head of Massey University’s School of Management, says there’s a good national network already of economic development agencies.

“The challenge is to do what we are doing now and do it better.”

Read More  from Idealog

Israel as a teacher of innovation

People from around the world are traveling to Israel to learn from its innovation and economic success.

Israel lacks natural resources and is surrounded by hostile neighbours and yet it has generated a dynamic economy. The Israeli economy has been growing at more than 4 per cent a year for the past decade (4.8 per cent last year) and is set to grow at 3.2 per cent this year. Israel currently has almost 4,000active technology start-ups – more than any other country outside the United States, and a flow of venture capital that amounted to US$884m in 2010 alone.

Read More   from


More angels at Livelink Connect’s table

Livelink Connect has secured a second round of funding from a syndicate of five ICEAngels members and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, the company announced.

The $350,000 investment will support product development while the company targets overseas markets, such as India, according to a statement released by the company.

Read More  from Unlimited

Little Monkeys take on the world

Just one year after coming out of beta, and six months since its UK launch, MiniMonos (it means Little Monkeys in Spanish) is taking off in the UK. The company has raised sufficient capital to grow a team in England and focus on that market. User numbers have grown to over 800,000, and revenue is now more than the cost of acquiring cutomers.

Read More   from

Growing your business – the equity story

If you own your own business you’ll know that it burns cash daily and you need to know how to fund this. But you should also be thinking about the equity side of your business too.

Highly successful entrepreneurs live more in their balance sheet than their Profit and Loss. The P&L is a short-term view of the operating status of the business. The balance sheet tells you where the future is and how to resource the business for growth. Pre-empting where your cashflow will be 6 to 12 months out is critical. All too often entrepreneurs grow their business, run out of cash and end up raising funds under desperate circumstances, which can be expensive.

Read More from


To hell with Cinderella

For startups enticing investors, easy money is just a fairy tale

What’s the story with getting investment?

First up, your business will be supported solely by the founders – financially and emotionally.

You use your income from your day job and borrow against your assets (if you have them) to fund the business. Then you might sell the assets and turn to credit cards. Friends and family come next where you take an advance on all your future birthday and Christmas presents.

Read more from Unlimited

Forget altruism and philanthropy, this is about profit

A recent NZ Herald commentary piece on Peter Thiel’s New Zealand venture capital fund made the curious claim that Thiel has invested with the knowledge that he may never see a financial return.

From what we know of Thiel (Paypal, Facebook, Linkedin), he does not invest to lose money. He is far from a philanthropist altruistically helping out small, struggling technology companies just for the thrill of it.

Read more from Idealog

‘Science park’ could boost Wellington’s economy

Grow Wellington wants a ”science park” to attract research-based businesses to the region.

The initiative is in the regional economic development agency’s draft statement of intent, which will be reviewed by the Wellington regional strategy committee today.

The statement suggests initiatives under four strategic priorities: business attraction, science and technology, digital and creative services and innovation.

Read more from (Dominion Post)

Finalists in 2012 New Zealand International Business Awards named

Twenty-seven companies are finalists in the 2012 New Zealand International Business Awards, which recognise the myriad of ways companies now do business globally.

Finalists include businesses creating health ingredients from everyday foods, companies developing software and systems used in cinemas, hospitals and airports, and firms manufacturing refrigerators, heaters, magnets and baggage handling systems.

Read more (broken link. New link here:  from NZTE


Powering up for niche car market

A Christchurch company that had its beginnings at Canterbury University has high hopes of a massive market for its new battery technology targeted at the green car market.

ArcActive recently won an award for excellence in the field of environmental technology research at the CleanEquity 2012 conference in Monaco, a magnet for the world’s investors. It was one of three main awards.

Read more from (Business Day)


Why you need to get over the ‘tall poppy’ syndrome to conquer global markets!

Dr. Jana Matthews, one of the world’s leading experts on entrepreneurship and growth, is the program director for ANZ Innovyz START, an accelerator program that is part of the Global Accelerator Network led by the United States’ TechStars.

Matthews is a global thought leader and was a member of the original team at the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. She also is the founder of four entrepreneurial companies, including The Jana Matthews Group, a global consulting group specialising in entrepreneurial leadership and business growth.

Read more (broken link. New link here: from Australian Anthill

Challenge celebrates entrepreneurship

Named after Mary Jane Innes – once owner and manager of the well-known Waikato Breweries during the 1800s – the Innes 48 Hours startup challenge was run in the Wintec Atrium this past weekend.

Since its inception more than 12 months ago, I have been a member of the organising committee of this 48-hour business competition.

Read more from Waikato Times


Innovation nation? Searching for the plan to boost R&D

The tropical downpour swamps gutters along Halsey St beside Auckland’s Viaduct Basin, turning the deserted industrial zone a bleaker grey. Guests arriving at the North Sails building on Pakenham St West, shoes sodden, shake out umbrellas and climb the stairs.

Stormy weather for research and development (R&D). The 150 or so attendees cram into Nextspace’s converted loft. The atmosphere is convivial – wine, canapés and humidity – the air conditioning unit working overtime.

Read more from NZHerald

NZVIF commits another $4 million to Ice Angel picks

Investment partnership expected to see $10m in startup funding in next four to five years.

The New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) has renewed its co-investment partnership with the Icehouse’s Ice Angels network.

Read more from Unlimited


Angel veterans launch advisory services

Auckland-based investment group Sparkbox Ventures, is offering a range of advisory services for young companies looking to expand.

The services will include financial and strategic advice, business build, and exit planning, according to a statement released by Sparkbox. While the services are meant to address the limited experience of many startups, they are being looked at by experienced entrepreneurs, according to the statement.

Read more from Unlimited

Billionaire backs tech firms

The Government has joined with Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel to create a $40 million venture capital fund aimed at getting Kiwi tech firms exporting.

While the cash is good news, industry insiders say the real prize is Thiel throwing his weight behind New Zealand.

Read more from NZHerald


Angel Investment Rounds in Startups Increase 40 Percent in 2011

Angel investors boosted funding for startups last year, according to research released today.

The median size of investment rounds by so-called angels — wealthy investors who use their own money to back startups — increased 40 percent to $700,000 last year, according to a study by the Angel Resource Institute, Silicon Valley Bank and CB Insights.

Read more from Bloomberg

Competition for Hamilton innovators

A Dragon’s Den-style competition that grew out of a discussion on business networking site LinkedIn is back on.

The inaugural Innes48 competition, moved from November to March to avoid the Rugby World Cup, aims to raise the profile of Hamilton as the place for new business.

“Innovative people and budding entrepreneurs should finetune their ideas and get teams together to participate in the competition which will be running March 31 to April 2,” said Greg Soffe, chairman of the organising committee and the Hamilton-based writer of

Entrants will have that time to start a new company from scratch and see how much they can achieve in the allotted period.

Read more from Waikato Times

Where are all the female angel investors?

Angel investment groups, it seems, still think women are only suited to being Charlie’s Angels.

Female angel investors are scarce in Europe, the US, and yes, in New Zealand – according to Angel Association New Zealand, which encompasses all of New Zealand’s angel networks and clubs, only five percent of angel investors are female.

Five percent may seem pretty dire. However, European female angels are also in a minority at 10 percent and the US does only slightly better at 13 percent, a new report by the OECD states.

Read more from Idealog

NZ startups to get boost from new Chinese angel group

The first Chinese angel investment network in New Zealand could be up and running as early as next year.

The funding for the group and its investments will come from local and overseas Chinese investors. Other investors include the privately-funded Ice Angels group – the largest Australasian angel investment group with 100 directors, set up by business incubator The Icehouse – and investment firm Pacific Channel.

Brent Ogilvie, managing director of Pacific Channel and Ice Angels advisory board member, is one of the seven directors of the new Chinese-focused subgroup.

Read more from Idealog

Cautious angel investors sign of a ‘maturing’ market

Angel are investing smaller amounts in each deal as they focus on supporting existing companies rather than investing in new businesses, according to the latest Young Company Finance Index.

In 2011, angels made 97 investments into young high-growth companies – slightly behind the previous year’s record activity level – but the amount invested was $30.7 million – a decline of nearly half the amount invested in 2010.

The fall in the level of investment was more pronounced in the second half of last year, when angels invested $13.1 million, the lowest total since the Young Company Finance Index began collecting data in 2006.

Read more from Idealog


NZ angel investors spurn start-ups

Angel investors – rich individuals who back business start-ups – were active in the second half of last year but were keener on supporting existing companies than they were on stumping up cash for new ventures, the NZ Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) said.

NZVIF, which administers venture capital and seed co-investment programmes for the Government, said “angels” made 97 investments in young, high-growth companies, slightly behind the previous year’s record activity level, but the amount invested was $30.7 million – about half the amount invested in 2010.

Read more from NZHerald

Collaborate + compete

Competition has been an important contributor to the rapid economic growth achieved during the past 200 years. The most effective businesses are rewarded with profitable growth while the least effective fail and their resources are redeployed.

Late last year I participated on a conference panel with Franceska Banga (CEO, NZVIF), Peter Chrisp (CEO, NZTE) and Murray Bain (CEO, MSI). The topic was competitiveness, yet we all praised progress on collaboration to lift the performance of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem. So what’s going on? Has something fundamental changed?

Read more from New Zealand Management

Can New Zealand become the world multicore capital?

Kiwi company Open Parallel will attempt to ‘kick start a new software industry’ in New Zealand next month, hosting a two-day conference about a new technology and how it could change the face of the New Zealand IT sector.

Kicking off in Wellington on March 27, the Multicore World conference will feature speakers from around the world explaining the potential of the technology, as well as local representatives discussing how New Zealand businesses can take advantage.

Read more from Techday


Igtn the hothouse

Is an accelerator or an incubator the best springboard for startup success?

It’s generally accepted three and a half minutes is the ideal amount of time to boil an egg. But what’s best when it comes to helping startups kickstart growth?

Does the incubator approach (yep, it’s eggs again) in which a company is given shared workspace and mentoring over an extended period of up to two years, produce the goods? Or should a startup opt for an accelerator programme, a short and sharp examination of the merits of a business idea with the prospect of investment at the end?

Read more from (Unlimited)

Investors Face Off with Creatives at National Angels Event

The National Angel Conference 2012 will host what promises to be a fiery debate on the merits of investing in the arts and new media technologies rather than just “digging holes in the ground”.

The premise is that investors don’t understand business models from the creative sector and creative people don’t understand commercial prerogatives.

New Models, New Partnerships, New Experiences will be emceed by Hael Kobayashi of the Creative Industries Innovation Centre; the Chair of Digital Sydney, Kobayashi was one of the producers of Oscar winning animated feature Happy Feet.

Read more from Newsmaker

UC/powerHouse collaboration could create fifty global businesses by 2020

Venture capital investment company powerHouse has been ‘hot housing’ young entrepreneurial talent at the University of Canterbury during its first ever summer programme. The company hopes that this will contribute to its goal of creating fifty international multi-million dollar businesses for Canterbury by 2020.

powerHouse Managing Partner, Dr Stephen Hampson said the research-based intellectual property (IP) coming out of the university had great commercial potential. Working with the university, powerHouse ‘spins out’ these research outcomes into companies, and incubates them to give them the best start, employing entrepreneurial graduates to staff them. “This creates a virtuous circle, enabling the research to find commercial expression, and creating demand within the universities for new research and IP. We’re on track to create 50 new international multi-million dollar companies this way by 2020, and we need a lot of talented people to run them,” he said.

Read more from Business to Business

NZTE strengthens international team

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has made four recent appointments to its international team in China, Hong Kong and India.Media release: NZTE strengthens international team

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has made four recent appointments to its international team in China, Hong Kong and India.

John Cochrane has been appointed Trade Commissioner/Consul in Guangzhou. He is responsible for developing and maintaining an extensive network of business relationships in the region relevant to NZTE clients’ trade and investment interests.

Read more from Scoop

Clearing the wood from the (fruit) trees

A Levin company specializing in forestry tree loppers has just been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI) to design and develop an innovative lopper for use in the fruit tree industry.

Lakewood Products are a successful supplier and exporter of forestry loppers to Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, Guatemala, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Spain. The loppers feature a unique ergonomic design that enables users to work more efficiently than traditional loppers, reducing physical fatigue and potential for repetitive strain injuries.

Read more from the Bio Commerce Centre

Startup growing pains

There is no single blueprint for a successful startup. Sometimes an entrepreneur will be successful, but often he or she will fail at the outset. It’s difficult to predict how startups will fare, but patterns start to emerge after working with a large number of them over a long period.

One of these is the recurring growth pains that seem to affect many startups during their lifecycle.

The growth pain pattern seems to hit a large number of businesses around each $3 million gross profit mark. For services companies it tends to happen around the $3 million revenue milestone.

Read more from (Unlimited)


Global startup comp coming to NZ

Auckland has been selected as one of 36 global startup ‘hubs’ to be visited by judges in a global ‘Entrepreneur Idol’ competition.

The contest, Startup World, is open to startups launched within the last two years. Entrants must have a demonstrable product or service, and have received less than US$2 million in funding.

Judging will be based on how innovative or disruptive the idea is, how scalable the technology is, how innovative the pitch is, and the potential global impact.

Read more from Techday

Product, meet market

Just build it and they won’t come.

You’re a budding entrepreneur with a great idea you’re certain the world needs. You’ve already built a prototype with hundreds of super-innovative features. But have you got any customers?

In their eagerness to dive into the market, a surprising number of companies still take the ‘build it and they will come’ approach. They overlook a crucial step that will make or break their business, especially if they plan to export. It’s called market validation and involves the seemingly obvious: market research and confirmation of customers.

Read more from Unlimited

New Year’s resolution: Becoming an entrepreneur

Massey University’s ecentre is encouraging entrepreneurs to tap into its expertise about potential markets for their ideas and save start-ups time, money and effort.

The business innovation centre, on the Albany campus, will be running free advice workshops next month.

Steve Corbett, chief executive of ecentre, says tough economic times are a paradise for entrepreneurs who have the courage and capability to exploit opportunities and seek out support.

Read more from Business to Business

Freedom and openness: the key ingredients of Startup Weekend

Auckland and Wellington have already gotten in on the game, and next month it’ll be Christchurch’s turn. Christchurch Startup Weekend runs from February 24-26, the city’s first event of the kind. And thanks to tireless campaigning by local Startup Weekend facilitator Jason Armishaw, Startup Weekend chief executive himself Marc Nager will be in attendance.

Read more from Idealog

Jordan’s passion for reinvesting in NZ

Wellington venture capitalist and International Business Awards tried retirement, it lasted three weeks.

After a lifetime of hard slog, most 68-year-olds would be content to kick their slippered feet up and relax with a cold beverage in hand.

Neville Jordan tried retirement, once. He lasted three weeks.

The Wellingtonian venture capitalist continues to work 60 hours a week as executive chairman of his company, Endeavour Capital.

Read more from (Unlimited)

The 5th annual Angel Investor Conference to focus on sustainability of investment

Sustainability of investment is the main focus of the 5th Annual National Angel Investor Conference. The Melbourne Angels are inviting entrepreneurs to come, collaborate, hear about the latest industry trends and learn of smart investment oppourtunities.

Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 29 February 2012 – 2 March 2012, the conference will consist of workshops, sessions exploring industry and tech trends, and discussions around what the community can do to ensure sustainable support for startups in the Australian economy.

Read more from anthill

Finalists announced for NZTE awards

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) has announced 27 Kiwi companies as finalists for the 2012 New Zealand International Business Awards.

The awards, which will be handed out by the government-funded agency and ANZ on March 31, celebrate businesses that help grow and transform the New Zealand economy.

Contenders for the awards come from a broad range of businesses, including companies developing software and systems used in cinemas, hospitals and airports, businesses creating health ingredients from everyday foods, and firms manufacturing refrigerators, heaters, magnets and baggage handling systems.

Read more from TVNZ

Calling all Angels! AAAI wants to know what made you tick in 2011.

The Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI) wants to examine the investment choices that shaped the business landscape over the past year.

AAAI is asking angel investors, individuals and groups who provide capital to start-ups to complete the National Angel Survey before next Monday, 16 January.

The results from the survey will be revealed at the upcoming National Angels Conference in Melbourne on 29 February.

Angel investment is a rapidly growing source of funding for Australian start-ups, said Bentleys director Heath Shonhan.

Read more from anthill


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FaceMe wins $100k Challenge

Ten of New Zealand’s top entrepreneurial businesses made it through to the final of the BNZ/Virgin Business Challenge, but only one could win the prize package which included $100k in cash and one-on-one time with Sir Richard Branson. NZBusiness was at the announcement dinner.

It doesn’t get any better than this if you’re an entrepreneur with global aspirations. The prize package in the BNZ/Virgin Business Challenge included $100k in cash, one-on-one mentoring with Sir Richard Branson (no introductions necessary) plus a BNZ business education scholarship, mentoring from BNZ and Virgin executives, and flights around the world courtesy of Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand.

To enter the Challenge you had to be a clever Kiwi company with passion and drive, creativity and innovation, and demonstrably the desire, plus the potential, to go global.

Read more from NZBusiness


Australia picks Southern Cross for ‘clean’ start with renewable energy fund

Australia is ready to make a ‘clean’ start in its quest to reach the mandated 20% level for renewable energy.

The Commonwealth Government’s first Renewable Energy Venture Capital Fund is ready to roll in the New Year after Southern Cross Venture Partners was selected to manage the $200 million fund with a tenure of 13 years. The fund is a commendable step that recognises not only the importance of clean energy but the role of venture capital to act as a catalyst.

The Australian government is investing $100 million in the fund with an equal amount coming from Softbank China Venture Capital, an arm of Japan’s Softbank. The fund forms part of the Australian Government’s $3.2 billion Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

Read more from anthill

Kiwi biotechs aim for US boost

It costs more than $200 a minute to present your business to 1300 specialist investors at Biotech Showcase in San Francisco this week, but the 25-minute slot on stage is not the main attraction for five Kiwi businesses attending.

”If you’re looking to roll out your business in the healthcare space, these are the right people to meet,” says Pacific Edge CEO David Darling.

In California for his company’s Wednesday conference presentation, Darling said the event was one of the biggest healthcare conventions in the US and was useful in gaining exposure in the industry.

Read more from (The Southland Times)


Investment firm snaps up software stake

Wellington investment firm Rangatira has paid $3.5 million for a 15 per cent stake in Auckland software company Konnect as it finishes rebalancing its $150m portfolio to give it exposure to riskier, higher-growth investments.

Read More  from (Manawatu Standard)



Kiwi expat Sean Gourley, the founder of a $20 million high-tech business in California’s Silicon Valley, believes Auckland is well placed to become an innovation hub.

“You have great talent coming out of the universities, creative, hardworking software developers on a par with anyone anywhere in the world,” says Gourley, a former Rhodes scholar, originally from Christchurch.

Read more  from NZHerald (check link… sometimes works… sometimes doesnt!)



The Government has joined with Facebook billionaire Peter Thiel to create a $40 million venture capital fund aimed at getting Kiwi tech firms exporting.

While the cash is good news, industry insiders say the real prize is Thiel throwing his weight behind New Zealand.

Read more from NZHerald