Time is right for tech startups as venture ecosystem matures

A maturing startup scene and the recent success of several Kiwi software businesses are paving the way for local tech companies to go global, the head of Massey University’s business innovation centre says.

Steve CorbettSteve Corbett, chief executive of the Albany campus-based ecentre, believes the environment in New Zealand has reached the right combination of expertise and training, financial support, media knowledge and legal backing to foster real growth.

"I am convinced that New Zealand software companies will succeed in the next decade," Corbett said. “Over the past 10 years the support system for the industry has come a long way and grown from crawling to walking – still with the occasional totter – but is now gaining momentum.”

He said universities are now more focused on developing commercial opportunities and initiatives like the Venture Investment Fund, Seed Capital Fund and Angel Investment network have sprung up to address the need for early-stage funding.

Corbett, who is also chair of industry national association Incubators New Zealand, says while Kiwis have always excelled in technology,  the number of tech startups with the ambition to become global players has dramatically increased – and new companies are able to leverage on the success of the early movers.

According to Corbett, technology investment companies from the US are now actively looking for emerging New Zealand technologies.

“We are developing a quiet confidence and self-belief that New Zealand can consistently deliver world-class technology solutions into niche markets,” he said.

“Our solutions are based on leading technology in both concept and user experience and this combination can provide our differentiation.”