The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery, a New Zealand innovation
New Zealand is generally known for its meat and dairy products and its beautiful tourist destinations. You can also add Kiwis and Peter Jackson's Hobbit series to the list. However, this little country tucked away in a far corner of the world is also making its mark in technology innovation.
The ICT industry is New Zealand's fastest growing sector, averaging 11 percent growth per annum since 2002. It is the country's third largest export earner, right behind dairy and tourism. It generates over $6 billion in annual exports.
The country has only 4.5 million people but is ranked 7th for global patent activity and 18th in Bloomberg's Global Innovation Index.
On 18 March, the country showcased some of its best startup companies in Singapore, which has become an important hub of innovation and venture funding in the last few years.
Opening the tech showcase was Todd McClay, New Zealand's Associate Trade and Foreign Affairs Minister.
Craig Richardson, the CEO of Wynyard Group, gave a brief peep into his success story-a New Zealand startup that has grown into a 250-staff world leader in risk management and crime fighting software development.
Among the venture capitalists present to support the startups was Bill Reichert, MD of Garage Technology Ventures, a seed-stage and early stage venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, California.
This reporter was extremely impressed with the range and quality of startups that were on display at the showcase.
Paul Cameron, CEO of Book Track speaking at the showcase event
Some of the ten outstanding companies featured at the Art Science Museum were:
- The WilliamsWarn Personal Brewery: It produces perfect, commercial quality beer in the comfort of the living room or workplace in just 7 days. Invented by New Zealand's very first Master Brewer, it is the first personal brewery in the world.
- 90 Seconds is a crowdsourced video production company. It allows you to shoot professional high-quality films anywhere in the world without ever leaving your desk. By harnessing its global community of talent, video creation has never been so fast, simply and affordable
- STQRY is a super-app providing immersive and highly engaging visitor experiences on your smartphone. Every story is completely customised to the individual user, to engage with as they like.
- Signal harnesses social media analytics for law enforcement, emergency management and security organisations, and providing real-time insights into the world's most important events.
- Puteko's colAR app brings augmented reality to your fingertips, allowing consumers to print their favourite images, colour and then watch their drawing come to amazing 3D life.
- Mobilis provides cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions for mobile banking, billing, payments and mobile money across the developed and emerging markets, enabling customers to pay, buy, bank, bill and remit money with a mobile device at the point of sale.
- iMeasureU fuses high-tech body movement sensors and analysis systems into a compact and easy to use wearable device, providing real-time performing enhancing feedback for your workout.
- Booktrack turns your e-books into immersive audio experiences with synchronised movie-style soundtracks tailored to your reading speed.
- TranscribeMe! takes a unique spin on dreary transcriptions, making use of its huge online community of professional transcribers to deliver quick and accurate transcriptions in minutes, at a fraction of the normal cost.
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