Kiwi cloud software companies Xero and Vend were the big winners at the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards last Friday, taking home two prizes each – giving chief executives Rod Drury and Vaughan Rowsell two shots at honing their acceptance speeches.
(Pictured: Left - Vaughan Rowsell, Vend CEO; Right- Rod Drury, Xero CEO)
The night's top honours went to Xero, the cloud accounting company winning both the PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year as well as the HSBC and NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year (over $5million).
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Co-founder and chief exec Drury was on the same stage a year ago accepting an award for the under $5 million category, this year his advice to other New Zealand tech companies is to explore growth through the New Zealand Stock Exchange as Xero has done (where it's now worth over $1 billion).
"Man up and list," Drury said empahtically during his second acceptance speech of the night.
Cloud point-of-sale software company Vend won the under $5 million category this year, as well as the State Government of Victoria Innovative Service Product award. Chief exec Vaughan Rowsell puts the success of his company solely on the shoulders of his team.
"We're not only exporting bits, we're exporting the Kiwi attitude," says Rowsell.
Animation software developer Trigger Happy won the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Hi-Tech Pre-Commercialisation Company of the Year. Chief executive Shona Grundy also thanked her team (who were all on stage for the award) as well as her late mother, bringing a few tears to the otherwise hardy technologist crowd.
Green Button took home the Cisco Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year award. Last year it was pipped at the post by its own clients Bio Matters for the same award.
List of NZ Hi-Tech Awards 2013 winners:
HSBC and NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award - Under $5 million
HSBC and NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award - Over $5 million
Duncan Cotterill Innovative Software Product Award
Endace Innovative Hardware Product Award
State Government of Victoria Innovative Service Product Award
Telecom Business - Most Innovative Mobile Technology Award
NZVIF Pre-commercialisation Company of the Year
Special commendation: Performance Lab Technologies
Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment Best Hi-Tech Start-up
Cisco Hi-Tech Emerging Company Award
PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award
The finalists of this year's New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards are amongst tough competition, especially those facing off against Idealog alumni such as KlickEx, Vend, 3i, Trigger Happy, Timely and Xero.
A record number of new entrants is a highlight of this this year's awards, which kicked off with the announcement of finalists last night. There were over 180 submissions from 120 companies.
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A panel of local judges are joined by an international line up including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Google's director of engineering Craig Nevill-Manning, and senior vice president of Cisco Howard Charney.
The winners for the Hi-Tech Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Auckland on 17 May.
PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year 2013
Cisco Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year 2013
HSBC + NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year over $5M 2013
• ARANZ Geo
• Buckley Systems
HSBC + NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year $500,000 to $5m 2013
MBIE Science, Skills and Innovation Group Hi-Tech Start up Company of the Year 2013
• Carnival Labs
New Zealand Venture Investment Fund (NZVIF) Hi-Tech Pre-Commercialisation Company of the Year 2013
• Solar Bright
Duncan Cotterill Innovative Hi-Tech Software Product 2013
• Carnival Labs
• Matakina Technology
• Wynyard Group
State Government of Victoria, Australia Innovative Hi-Tech Service Product 2013
Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product 2013
• 3i Innovation
• Compac Sorting Equipment
• Fusion Electronics
Telecom Business Innovative Hi-Tech Mobile Product 2013
• Carnival Labs
Fronde Hi-Tech Young Achiever 2013
• Robert Bell
• Guy Horrocks
• James Robertson
• Sam Talwar
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Best Contribution to the NZ Hi-Tech Sector from a Multinational Company 2013
• Sprint International