Small country, big tech

Here in NZ, people may think we’re just a small nation tucked away in the corner of the map, but we’re having a big impact on the global stage – especially when it comes to technology.

That became obvious at the NZ Hi-Tech Awards, held recently in Auckland.

These incredible awards recognise and reward New Zealand’s tech superstars – our companies and talented individuals achieving some remarkable success here and overseas. 

The awards’ year-long calendar of events is overseen by the Hi-Tech Trust, which focuses on promoting the tech sector as a key part of New Zealand’s economy. The winners are then announced at a gala dinner held during Techweek – the perfect spot (and time) to shine a spotlight on technical innovation in New Zealand.


From New Zealand to the world

shot of a busy room on awards night. Dinner table in forground

Winners for the Hi-Tech Awards are chosen by a panel of both local and international judges including Bill Reichert, co-founder of Garage Ventures and Savannah Peterson, who was named on the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 list in Consumer Technology. 

The reputations of the judges are evenly matched by the reputations of the companies that have  previously won big at the Hi-Tech Awards – an illustrious list of internationally successful New Zealand companies and individuals. 

The profile that comes with winning an award brings invaluable and very real opportunities to spread internationally – whether that’s major investment or new international clients. But for the winners – and much of the tech industry across New Zealand – thinking global is just a normal part of being in tech in New Zealand anyway. 

“New Zealand is far from most of the markets that we want to do business with,” explains Michael Prendergast, Spalk CTO & Cofounder. “This forces us to think globally from day one. The tech industry is especially well positioned to build businesses driving real value from New Zealand shores whilst still reaching a global market.”


A prime reason to celebrate

PushPay and Jacinda Ardern at the NZ Hi Tech Awards

That global thinking was on show on May 24 at the awards, when a record-breaking crowd of 1000 gathered to celebrate. With New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern along to support the tech industry, it was a particularly special night.  

Underlining the importance of the tech sector to the economy, Ms. Ardern handed out prizes to the innovative winners, including Pushpay, who took home the Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award. Boasting international clients such as Qantas, Uber and Dominos, PredictHQ also walked away with three awards, including the award for Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year. Virtual sportscasting studio Spalk was also thrilled to be recognised with this year’s Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution Award, sponsored by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED).

“We were incredibly grateful and humbled to receive the award,” shares Michael. “We believe Spalk is developing a world-leading team, technology, and strategy. The judges must have agreed with that and identified ours as an innovative approach to an industry that is already undergoing tremendous change.”

A full list of this year’s winners can be found here.


Could your name be on an award next year?

Auckland’s tech sector is growing rapidly and enjoying phenomenal international success. There are real opportunities available right now for top tech talent just like you. Discover more here.

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