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The key to great ideas: blow them up

Keep your idea big, scalable and fresh. That's the key to cutting through, says investor and entrepreneur Nick Gerritsen (the cofounder of Aquaflow and Carbonscape).

Nick GerritsenSpeaking at the Survive and Thrive conference last week, he said often people “pushing their ideas through New Zealand” ended up reducing the scope of their vision.

Gerritsen, however, advises them to blow up their plan, because he says big ideas are what the world wants to see. That said, he believes New Zealand is a good place to beta test and prove a model.

Gerritsen sees New Zealand as a metaphor for the future, due to what he calls our country’s worldview and voice, size and potential to collaborate (though he reckons we could do a heck of a lot better on the last front).

“This is what people want to invest in,” he says.

New Zealand is well positioned right now because as a country we’re not on the radar of others overseas yet, he says.

“We can operate through stealth, control our value proposition.”

Gerritsen says sourcing investment is a more organic process than one might think and “there is not one perfect way of getting investment”.

Making New Zealand a magnet for investor attention largely hinges on being home to smart people doing "cool stuff".

Capital will flow to wherever the best idea is, with talent – people – being the key differentiator, according to Gerritsen. Focusing on nurturing talent here will attract infrastructure and capital, he says, and all three elements need to be aligned to seal the deal.