Published on the 22/11/2017 | Written by Jonathan Cotton
It seems in 2017 every country wants to rebrand itself as an innovation hotspot, and New Zealand is no different. But what are we doing about it?…
Well, Techweek, for one thing. The home-grown festival “amplifying New Zealand innovation that’s good for the world” started as an NZTech initiative in 2012 to coincide with the Hi-Tech Awards, then joined forces with Auckland tourism body ATEED to produce the wildly successful TechweekAKL, attended by 10,000 people.
This year’s nationwide event, Techweek’17, was a similar success and 2018, while still in the planning stages, is gearing up to be even bigger yet.
And luckily, these events aim to be more than just ‘we’re-taking-on-the-world’ collective back-patting. Smart enough to know that antipodean celebrations of tech-acumen quickly devolve into these sorts of empty self-congratulation events, the organisers are working to focus the 2018 event taking the New Zealand story to international masses.
To that end, the Innovation Tour – a push to attract international movers and shakers to visit during Techweek’18 and actually see just what we’re capable of – is currently being put together.
In partnership with the Trans-Tasman Business Circle (among others, Government included), Techweek is offering international visitors access to the New Zealand innovation ecosystem, the opportunity to connect with influencers and thought leaders both foreign and domestic and maybe just see some of the countryside while they’re at it. It’s a good idea and the perfect corrective to our usual everybody-knows-everybody insularity.
Know an overseas-based big-wig keen on advising start-ups, uncovering New Zealand’s deep IP or finding new concepts and products to introduce to overseas markets? That’s the target market here.
“I’m excited about the stories we are going to tell and businesses we are going to showcase this year,” said Techweek’s National Director, Jennifer Clamp.
“I’m excited to see our international audience’s response to these stories and to see the stories build pride across New Zealand. We have so many amazing Kiwis creating world-changing solutions to global challenges. More people need to know about them.”
For international guests there are two packages available: The $2500, Auckland-based Innovation Ecosystem Experience – featuring two days (May 21-22) of hosted sessions covering Kiwi companies from the food, agriculture, health, sports, creativity, entertainment and environment sectors; and the $4500 Deep Dive New Zealand-wide package (May 21-25), including all the features of the Auckland gig, plus the choice of an agritech (Tauranga), creative (Wellington) or hi-tech manufacturing (Christchurch) session.
The Techweek‘18 is taking place 19-27 May next year with the theme ‘Innovation that’s good for the world’. Make a booking for The Techweek Innovation Tour here.