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Soul Machine’s Greg Cross on winning the 2019 NZ Hi-Tech Flying Kiwi award: ‘I’ve never had so much fun working in the tech sector’

Taking tech to the world

Soul Machine’s Greg Cross on winning the 2019 NZ Hi-Tech Flying Kiwi award: ‘I’ve never had so much fun working in the tech sector’

Soul Machines co-founder and chief business officer Greg Cross, Predict HQ, Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck and Pushpay were among the big winners of the 2019 NZ Hi-Tech Awards held on Friday, which celebrates the best performing high-tech companies in New Zealand. Cross, who was nominated by his peers into the Hi-Tech Hall of Fame, shares some learnings from a career spent taking New Zealand tech companies to the world, and the direction he hopes the tech sector will take in the future.

Taking flight

It’s a strong point of contention when a successful Kiwi company gets bought out by an overseas investor, many question its loyalty to our local economy, however a new report conducted by Callaghan Innovation has tracked the exits of companies over fifteen years ago and worked out where that money has gone. It shows that fifteen years after one of New Zealand’s largest tech companies was sold to a US buyer for around $100 million, Kiwi entrepreneurs have created at least nine businesses worth more $1 billion each. It suggests rather that global success breeds local growth. We chat to the CEO of Callaghan Innovation, Victoria Crone, about the findings from the latest Callaghan Innovation report.

New heights, new depths

From the dawn of time, the urge to explore has always been in humankind’s nature, propelling us forward to new discoveries, new experiences and new frontiers. Many years ago, humans migrated out from the temperate plains of Africa to traverse unknown lands and embarking on such a conquest helped society evolve. But come 2018, much of the world is within plain sight – a quick search on Google Maps can enlighten anyone as to what the Pyramids of Giza or Mount Everest look like. However, many believe there are two frontiers yet to be properly explored and developed: the deep ocean and deep space. In part two, we talk to Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck about the future of the space industry.

Space oddities

Retired astronaut Chris Hadfield - in New Zealand for IBM Think - chats with Idealog about what role small nations like New Zealand can play in space exploration and the space industry, how technology is changing space exploration, how private businesses are disrupting things, a technology that has really surprised him, and more.

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Innovation

A group of top Kiwi innovators are going on the ultimate road trip – the Innovation Heroes tour – where wine, canapés and inspiring stories will all be part of the mix.