Click here to close now.


API Journal Authors: Flint Brenton, John Basso, David Dodd, Jason Bloomberg, Liz McMillan

News Feed Item

New Zealand “Seed” Technology Firms Driving Big Innovation; Geeks on a Plane Investor Tour Participants See for Themselves

Rising in importance as a technology start-up cluster, New Zealand hosted “Geeks on a Plane,” an investment and technology tour for investors, startup founders, and corporate executives to learn about burgeoning technology markets worldwide. Organized by leading startup accelerator and seed fund “500 Startups,” representatives from Mohr Davidow Ventures, XG Ventures, General Electric, SoftTech VC, XG Ventures (managed by ex-Google executives), TechCrunch, and other venture capital and corporate organizations participated, amplifying recent Silicon Valley interest in New Zealand’s entrepreneurial business climate.

The focus of the “Geeks” tour was on the rapidly-growing Kiwi cluster of seed technology companies—niche firms advancing new ideas that solve big corporate and consumer problems.

In particular, New Zealand companies are becoming known for solutions for the cloud computing industry, developing user-friendly technology that has attracted clients including Nike, Boeing and Chrysler. New Zealand technology companies have made their mark internationally by focusing on solving problems in specific areas. A few examples include:

  • Network Security & Compliance: Auckland-based Mako Networks uses a cloud-managed system to help businesses secure their networks and comply with the stringent Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) for merchants that process, transmit or store cardholder data.
  • Enhancing the e-reading experience: Booktrack creates synchronized soundtracks for e-books that automatically match music, sound effects and ambient sound to your reading speed to create an immersive reading experience. The company works in partnership with the largest publishing houses, best-selling authors, and award-winning composers and musicians. Click here to learn more.
  • Promotional mobile apps and games: Taking advantage of the mobile applications development cluster in New Zealand, Kiwi companies Carnival Labs, a mobile marketing company, and PikPok, a digital publishing company, just launched a new game for OREO cookies. Both companies have worked for the world’s most prominent brands.

“U.S. companies are taking notice of the Kiwi tech cluster—to invest in, buy from and partner with companies born from our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” explains Marta Mager, Regional Director – North America for New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, the country’s business development agency. “This deepening engagement is creating innovative products that benefit both our economies.”

Business-friendly government policies nurture a fertile environment for innovation in New Zealand. New Zealand companies benefit from a 0 percent capital gains tax and a strong financial system that maintains a position of regional economic leadership throughout the global financial crisis.

According to The World Bank and International Finance Corporation's Doing Business 2013 report, released in October, New Zealand ranks as the easiest place to start a business out of 185 countries. Forbes also ranked New Zealand as the “Best Country for Business” in its annual ranking this year. Against the backdrop of a supportive government sector, start-ups are aided by a national network of internationally recognized technology incubators. For example, Auckland-based, The ICEHOUSE, was announced the co-winner of the Best Internationally Connecting Incubator at the most recent Annual Incubation Conference & Awards.

About New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

NZTE is New Zealand’s international business development agency. Our role is to help New Zealand businesses build strategic alliances and develop commercial relationships internationally.

Through a global network of 45 offices, we connect New Zealand businesses with the world, sharing opportunities, knowledge, experience and networks.

About Geeks On A Plane – New Zealand

Organized by Silicon Valley venture capital firm 500 Startups, Geeks on a Plane (#GOAP) is an invite-only tour for startups, investors, and executives to learn about burgeoning technology markets worldwide. The “geeks” travel by planes, trains, and automobiles to the most exciting international startup scenes with the sole mission of uniting geeks and exploring cross-border opportunities. The result: a lifelong bond with fellow travelers, a wealth of new friends and business contacts in exploding technology markets, and a stronger appreciation for the cultural and economic ties that bind us globally.

500 Startups was invited by NZTE to bring Geeks on a Plane to New Zealand from December 8-15, with tour stops in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Queenstown. The goal of GOAP is to explore New Zealand's early-stage technology ecosystem, learn about startups, share knowledge and experiences, and make lifelong connections. The "geeks" include entrepreneurs and executives from companies like LivingSocial, GE, TechCrunch, Cheezburger, SoftTech VC, Mohr Davidow Ventures, 500 Startups, and many others. For more information, visit

More Stories By Business Wire

Copyright © 2009 Business Wire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Business Wire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Business Wire. Business Wire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

@ThingsExpo Stories
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Most of the IoT Gateway scenarios involve collecting data from machines/processing and pushing data upstream to cloud for further analytics. The gateway hardware varies from Raspberry Pi to Industrial PCs. The document states the process of allowing deploying polyglot data pipelining software with the clear notion of supporting immutability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Shashank Jain, a development architect for SAP Labs, discussed the objective, which is to automate the IoT deployment process from development to production scenarios using Docker containers.
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Countless business models have spawned from the IaaS industry – resell Web hosting, blogs, public cloud, and on and on. With the overwhelming amount of tools available to us, it's sometimes easy to overlook that many of them are just new skins of resources we've had for a long time. In his general session at 17th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, an IBM Company, broke down what we have to work with, discussed the benefits and pitfalls and how we can best use them to design hosted applications.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.