Look who's trying to pinch our start-ups

Look who's trying to pinch our start-ups

Australian business owners explore business opportunities in Wellington, New Zealand, as it tries to tempt them

Wellington had a big display at the recent CeBIT 2015 trade show at Homebush where it was busy tempting start-ups. Photo by Mike Gee

Wellington had a big display at the recent CeBIT 2015 trade show at Homebush where it was busy tempting start-ups. Photo by Mike Gee

Growing tech hub, Wellington, New Zealand, is targeting Australian start-ups and ICT companies and the message may be getting through.

The North Island city has a progressive and supportive tech community with a Silicon Valley vibe, according to Australian business owners who have been exploring business opportunities in the region.

Wellington City councillor for economic development, Jo Coughlan, said the campaign was part of the council’s ‘Destination Wellington’ program to seek and attract new business investment and talent to Wellington.

“Business attraction is a long-term game and it is critical that we promote Wellington both domestically and internationally. We may not know the full impact of this campaign for a few years, but we know it has put the city on the radar of Australian entrepreneurs.”

As a result of the campaign, Aussie tech start-ups recently visited the city to assess its business and lifestyle advantages.

Kate Raynes-Goldie, founder of Perth-based gaming consultant, Games We Play, was one of five business-owners who won a trip to Wellington in a competition to attract Australian tech start-ups and businesses to the city.

Raynes-Goldie said she was impressed by the “very progressive” community, along with support offered to small business owners by government and local organisations.

"The government support and enthusiasm for games and tech start-ups in Wellington is impressive. The scene is vibrant, with innovative co-working spaces and a range of incubator and accelerator programmes, as well as R&D and capacity funding, which all offer great opportunities for game and tech entrepreneurs.

“I can only imagine what we could do in Australia with the same level of support," she said.

Analytics company, Proximiti chief executive, Alex Topaloski, said technology concepts bubbled up to the surface a lot quicker in Wellington, while Darren McMurtrie, co-founder of Internet payment company, PromisePay, said he loved the sense of collaboration and camaraderie in Wellington.

“It seems easier to cut through the corporate and government bureaucracy that often kills innovation,” Topaloski added.

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