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Epic exporting with Derek Handley and more

This year ExportNZ’s conference, Go Global, is joining forces with Epic NZ to bring a stellar lineup of opportunities and people together in one massive hit at SKYCITY on May 2.

What we’re most excited about: the opportunity to pick the brains of 15 Trade Commissioners from around the world, and to hear from global stars such as Derek Handley – who have launched from our tiny nation to make an impact on the world. And sometimes beyond the world, such is the height of their success.

In Derek’s case his wealth and success has earned him the right to add the description of “Virgin Galactic Astronaut” to his Twitter profile, as well “Drinker of Manhattans. founding CEO of @thebteamhq for a better world w/ @richardbranson + @jochenzeitz [New Zealander].” If all goes to plan, he will “get to rocket off sometime in 2015”.

It’s this thinking big and having no boundaries approach that is the theme of this year’s exporters’ conference Epic NZ Go Global. 

What launched Derek and brother Geoff Handley into the big time was creating their mobile marketing company The Hyperfactory, and selling it in 2010 for a reputed US$100 million-plus. To this day, the company helps the world’s leading brands create strategies and technology for engaging with the billions of people using mobile and tablet devices to navigate their lives

It is a great example of how to build a global business with a product that is perfectly suited to export – weightless, high-value and infinitely scalable.

As they went global, the Handleys also went through the process of learning how you have to adapt your product and business to suit different countries and cultures.  After securing funding, when Derek went to open the Asian office he said “It really was like starting all over again, because a lot of the learning from New Zealand didn’t translate to Hong Kong at all.”

To help impart advice to other Kiwi exporters attempting to cross such cultural boundaries, the Epic NZ Go Global conference is gathering Trade Commissioners from all over the world including: China, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Central Europe and Russia, Southern Europe, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, USA and Australia.

There will be break- out sessions to really delve into the various markets. So there should be something for everyone. It’s a fantastic opportunity for exporters to make connections in person with these Trade Commissioners and connect with other companies interested in the same markets.

Since selling The Hyperfactory, Derek has gone on to achieve further successes. This World Class New Zealander and Ernst & Young ‘Young Entrepreneur’ of the Year co-founded and is chairman of mobile advertising network, Snakk Media, which listed on the NZX in 2013, becoming one of the first publicly listed B-Corporations in the world.

He has also donated two years of life to help Sir Richard Branson and other global leaders to help create what is now The B Team to help “drive a brighter future of business for the wellbeing of people and the planet.”

Oh and did I mention he has also fitted in penning his first book, Heart to Start, about his entrepreneurial journey, and how he “landed on the premise that while business and entrepreneurship are the most powerful and inspiring forces of progress, in this century they have a far greater responsibility than purely financial profit.”

There will be an open-floor question and answer session with Derek at the conference, so anyone attending will get the chance to pick the brains of this epic Kiwi exporter. What would you like to ask him?

We have one pass to Go Global 2014 to give away to one Idealog reader. To be in to win, leave a comment and tell us about your export ambitions. Closes April 28.

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