Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Merry Christmas from EPIC Innovation!

Tuesday, December 12th, 2023

What an amazing year it has been, with so many exciting events, collaborations and workshops happening around EPIC. This year we hosted 90 external events and workshops, with over 3,680 guests!

Our tenants celebrated another successful year with a pizza lunch last Thursday. It was great to see everyone come together to share ideas, stories and of course, kai.

We will be closed from 22nd December – 8th January, and look forward to an exciting year ahead in 2024.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Onside Celebrate Wine Industry Impact Award for AgTech and Digital

Thursday, December 7th, 2023


Congratulations to EPIC tenant Onside, who have won the 2023 Wine Industry Impact Award for AgTech and Digital!

The Wine Industry Impact Awards, hosted by the Wine Industry Suppliers Association in Adelaide, recognise and applaud innovation and excellence in the wine industry supply chain.

The Awards’ Gala Dinner is about highlighting those businesses who are providing solutions that positively impact the capability and competitiveness of Australia’s grape and wine producers.

Onside were recognised for their work  in monitoring mass vehicle movement through wine regions to enhance biosecurity controls. Well done team!

Are You Ready? Low A.I. Readiness Reveals Challenges for NZ Organisations

Tuesday, November 28th, 2023


Cisco has disclosed its maiden AI Global Readiness Index. This unique study aims to understand the level of preparedness of organisations around the world in terms of deploying AI into their operations. Shockingly, only 9% of New Zealand’s organisations are fully equipped to incorporate and maximise AI.

The Index brought to light the vast difference between the aspiration of Kiwi firms to adopt AI and the actual readiness for AI integration across areas like strategy, infrastructure, data, governance, talent and culture. Additionally, Cisco developed an AI readiness tool, permitting New Zealand businesses to evaluate and compare their readiness.

While 14% of global respondents were prepared for AI deployment, 61% of these organisations believe that they could lose their competitive edge due to AI’s rapid advancement. Furthermore, although 67% have strategies in place, these are more high-level concepts, with businesses unprepared for deployment.

Approximately 93% of New Zealand organisations reported that the urgent necessity to adopt AI-powered technologies has risen over the past six months. There exist considerable gaps in six key business areas, with 91% accepting their unreadiness to assimilate AI entirely. Alarmingly, 65% feel that they have a year at most to implement their AI strategy or risk severe business impact.

In comparison to global organisations, NZ entities are notably advanced in terms of strategic readiness. However, among the six readiness pillars, they lag in Data (#4), Talent (#5), and Culture (#6).

The index was unveiled to underscore the rapid consumption of AI and the major technological shift it is causing in businesses and individuals across the region. However, Cisco advised Kiwi firms to establish the essential groundwork for AI implementation to avoid potential failure.

This report is backed by a blindfold study involving 8,161 business and IT leaders involved with AI, across 30 markets, from companies with more than 500 employees. Of these, 191 were respondents from New Zealand.

The Index concluded that AI readiness is lacking not only in Kiwi firms but also globally due to a lack of focus on vital areas like infrastructure and governance and a lack of scalability when faced with AI challenges. It further observed that despite a highly defined AI strategy, most of the respondents hesitated to embrace AI, underlining that more needs to be done on this front.

The readiness was studied across six key areas: strategy, infrastructure, data, talent, governance, and culture. Almost one-third of the respondents were deemed “Pacesetters” or fully prepared. However, the AI readiness tool revealed that 62% of Kiwi organisations were less prepared, categorised as “Laggards” (4%) or “Followers” (58%), pinpointing several significant gaps.

Despite these drawbacks, organisations across New Zealand demonstrated a high level of motivation to make AI a priority, with more than seven out of ten (72%) organisations embracing AI with moderate to high urgency. From these insights, it is evident that the AI Readiness race is on.


This article first appeared on ITBrief on 21 November 2023, by Sean Mitchell. 

Canterbury Tech Lunchtime Tech Session: November

Tuesday, November 14th, 2023

With Adrian Cockcroft, Previous Cloud Architect of Netflix, VP of Amazon, Tech Advisor and Partner,

Join us for our final Lunchtime Tech Session for 2023 on November 21st with Adrian Cockcroft.

Adrian will present, ‘Speeding up innovation while responding to market changes.’

Feel free to bring any questions to this session.


When – Tuesday 21st November 2023

Time – 12:30pm – 1:15pm (NZT)

Where – Online.  A link to the Zoom meeting will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Cost – This is a free event

Click Here to Register


About  Adrian: 

Adrian Cockcroft is a technologist and strategist with broad experience from the bits to the boardroom, in both enterprise and consumer-oriented businesses, from startups to some of the largest companies in the world, equally at home with hardware and software, development and operations.

He’s best known as the cloud architect for Netflix during their trailblazing migration to AWS and was a very early practitioner and advocate of DevOps, microservices, and chaos engineering, helping bring these concepts to the wider audience they have today.

He spent the last few years as a VP at Amazon deeply immersed in the dual challenges of helping Amazon itself – one of the largest companies in the world – become more sustainable, and via AWS – one of the largest technology suppliers in the world – helping its enterprise and public sector customers become more sustainable.

Adrian will also be speaking at Multicore World 2024 in February at Christchurch Town Hall.


GymMaster Awarded Deloitte Fast 50 Awards

Tuesday, November 7th, 2023

EPIC tenant GymMaster has been named the winner in two Deloitte Fast 50 2023 categories!

The gym software system took out the top spots for Fastest Growing Technology Business and Fastest Growing Exporter for Christchurch and the Upper South Island.

Congratulations to the team!

Christchurch council reduces water consumption by 13% with SAP

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

Story image

The Christchurch City Council has successfully implemented SAP S/4HANA, driving a 13% reduction in household water consumption. It projects this figure to rise to approximately 20% in the coming year. Subsequently, a quarter of citizens with high water usage—those consuming over 6,000 litres daily—have rectified water leaks.

The digitisation efforts are part of an initiative to improve the long-term sustainability of the council’s water supply. This has been heralded as especially crucial as Kiwi officials warn that the El Niño climate system could pose a heightened threat of drought.

Maintaining a network of wells, reservoirs, pipes, pump stations, and aquifers to supply nearly 148,000 households with water, Christchurch City Council was acutely aware of the problem of excess water usage. High demand is often noted during the summer in particular. Unequal usage distribution was a notable concern, with a mere 4% of households found to use more than 23% of the entire residential water supply, mainly for outdoor irrigation and gardening, as well as unidentified leaks.

To counteract this, the council enacted a new excess water rate via a second instance of SAP S/4HANA. This would aid in managing water demand and mitigating the risk of pressure drops in the network over the summer while also reducing necessary funds for network expansion to meet demand, thereby bolstering the long-term sustainability of its water supply.

Leah Scales, General Manager of Resources and Chief Financial Officer at Christchurch City Council stated: “Christchurch City Council is focused on driving sustainable outcomes for our district and meeting our climate change goals. We knew we needed a best-in-class solution, which is why we selected SAP. Through the implementation of SAP S/4HANA, we have been able to effectively reduce demand on the water network and save on the cost of building and maintaining our wells, pumping stations, reservoirs, and other network infrastructure.”

Scales noted that as Christchurch residents have become increasingly engaged with water preservation and sustainability, shifts in their water usage behaviour have begun to emerge, and more leaks are being discovered and fixed to prevent water wastage. The website’s water reporter page has seen more than 444,000 visits, highlighting the growing public interest in water sustainability.

Nick Quin, Director of Public Sector at SAP New Zealand, highlighted the critical role technology plays in creating a sustainable future and enhancing people’s lives. He commented, “Only by recording, reporting, and acting on actual sustainability data can organisations deliver tangible sustainability outcomes. By using SAP S/4HANA, the council can drive meaningful long-term impact for its residents and create a more sustainable future for its people.”

This article was first published on CFOTech New Zealand on 24/10/2023 by Sean Mitchell. 

Recycle A Device at EPIC

Tuesday, October 24th, 2023

We have teamed up with RAD (Recycle a Device), who work with businesses and individuals to get their used and unwanted laptops into the hands of those who need them.

Laptops are refurbished by student volunteers from local schools, who as a result gain insight into career opportunities.

RAD offers a low cost and data secure opportunity to ethically get rid of outdated IT equipment while contributing to local community improvement and development, progress towards corporate social responsibility and sustainability goals. Donors join the ranks of previous donors including Spark, Christchurch City Council, Auckland Council and many others.

If you have an unwanted laptop that is less than ten years old and comes with a charger, then please donate to RAD!

Donation box is next between the EPIC reception desk and Meeting Room C.

Game Development Sector Rebate – Applications Open!

Tuesday, October 17th, 2023

Registration is open for the Game Development Sector Rebate, announced in Budget 2023 earlier this year. The Government provided funding of $40 million per annum for delivering and administering a rebate for the game development sector, with a view to support the ongoing development and growth of game development in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Game Development Sector Rebate (GDSR) is a rebate on eligible expenditures of eligible firms, at a rate of 20%. A firm’s rebate payment will be capped at $3 million per annum and the minimum qualifying expenditure per annum is $250,000. The GDSR is effective as of 1 April 2023 which means that eligible firms will be able to count eligible expenditures from this date.

To read more about the scheme and find out if you’re eligible, click here


EPIC AI Lunchtime Presentation Series

Thursday, October 12th, 2023

Please join us in a lunchtime AI series from World Class experts. There will be three 40min sessions over the next two weeks, which will generate great perspectives (some differing from others) and food for thought on where the world of AI is taking us.

The Future Unveiled: A Journey Into Exponential Technologies

Uncover the future’s mysteries with Ray Kurzweil! Join us for a captivating keynote on exponential technologies and their profound impact. Explore AI, nanotech, and the paradigm shifts that lie ahead. Gain valuable insights into the accelerating pace of change. Don’t miss this enlightening glimpse into tomorrow!

Tue Oct 17th 12:30pm – EPIC Lounge


Geoffrey Hinton: A Race Toward Danger

Discover the future of AI with Geoffrey Hinton. In this eye-opening discussion, explore the power of deep learning and recent breakthroughs in AI. Gain insights from Hinton, who made waves recently by leaving Google to be able to openly discuss the dangers of AI. Don’t miss this inspiring and sobering glimpse into the evolving landscape of AI.

Fri Oct 20th 12:30pm – EPIC Lounge


Why AI Often Seems Clueless

AI is disrupting entire industries. But is AI really as competent as the headlines say? At her AI humour blog,, Janelle Shane watches machine learning algorithms struggle to deal with the complexities of the human world. Through hilarious anecdotes, Shane illustrates the kinds of problems where AI will succeed, fail … or succeed at solving the wrong problem entirely. Don’t miss this entertaining perspective on the nature of AI.

Tue Oct 24th 12:30pm – EPIC Lounge

Canterbury Tech Lunchtime Tech Session: October

Tuesday, October 10th, 2023

Join Canterbury Tech for their October Lunchtime Tech Session on October 17th with Nina Oberg Humphries


Nina will present ‘Mo Mai Moana- Engaging Pacific Communities in the Technology Sector, Investing in the Future of Tech’


Covid-19 highlighted the rapidly growing digital divide for Pacific people living in Aotearoa. Tagata Moana Trust has developed a program and initiatives to engage Pacific people in the technology sector, build skills and create products to see themselves in the digital world.


Using Minecraft, Tagata Moana Trust has been working with Pacific communities to build a Pacific Minecraft world with over 200 students across Aotearoa. Due to be released this year, learn about the considerations and challenges when working with ethnic community groups to build Aotearoa’s future technology workforce.


Feel free to bring any questions to this session.


When – Tuesday 17th October 2023

Time – 12:30pm – 1:15pm (NZT)

Where – Online.  A link to the Zoom meeting will be emailed to you prior to the event.

Cost – This is a free event


Register here

Cyber Smart Week 2023

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023

CERT NZ’s annual awareness campaign takes place 30 October – 5 November 2023. This year Cyber Smart Week will also mark the official launch of a brand new CERT NZ programme.

Cyber Smart Week aims to reach a broad range of New Zealanders to help raise the importance of cyber security. Businesses and organisations of all sizes can take part.

Your participation is vital in helping reach millions of New Zealanders – including your valued customers and team – to empower them with tools and resources to protect themselves online.

You’re invited to register your support for Cyber Smart Week and receive promotional material and resources.

Once you sign up, you’ll be kept up to date with Cyber Smart Week 2023 updates and the new programme launch.

Canterbury Tech October Monthly Event

Tuesday, September 26th, 2023

Join Canterbury Tech for their October monthly event with presenter Hannah Hardy-Jones, Founder of Contented AI and a special celebration – Canterbury Tech turns 21!


Hannah will be presenting, Everyday AI: Stripping Away the Complexity for Small Businesses’


Contented AI create simple bespoke AI tools so businesses can leverage AI in their own way. In this presentation they will share simple ways to use generative ai to impact marketing, productivity, data analysis, HR and more.


When: Tuesday 3rd October 2023

Where: Christchurch City Council (entrance on Worcester Street, NOT Hereford Street)

Event Outline:

5.30pm – Registration opens, networking, drinks and nibbles
6.00pm – Canterbury Tech updates

6.15pm – Quick pitch: TBC

6.20pm – Our guest speaker Hannah Hardy-Jones and Q&A time
7.00pm – More networking + cake (its our 21st birthday!)
7.30pm – Close of event

Things to note:

IMPORTANT: The entrance to the event space at the council is on Worcester Street, not Hereford Street

Register Here

CerebralFix Summer 2023/24 Internships

Thursday, September 21st, 2023

There are some exciting opportunities available with our tenant CerebralFix over the coming summer months! CerebralFix are a leading game development studio dedicated to creating innovative, immersive gaming experiences for players around the world. Current internships are for:

🎮Game Developer
🎮Game Designer
🎮Marketing and Communications

Find more details and apply here

Seeds Impact Conference 2023

Tuesday, September 19th, 2023

This online conference with 27 sessions will give the chance to catalyse more impact as we reimagine the role of business and for-purpose organisations.

Drawing mainly on former Seeds Podcast guests to be speakers and panelists (as well as other amazing friends) it will be a full day of empowering impact by connecting, learning and inspiring action with others.

With a low cost to attend ($20), the option to apply for a scholarship, and accessibility enhanced by being entirely online, this an invitation to the seeds impact community.

Each of you have unique gifts, perspectives and talents that we need as we move into a collaborative future.

Seeds Impact Conference wants active participants, who each commit to bringing your own ideas and contributions. What would we result if we listen to each other and collaborate more?


Coordinated from Ōtautahi Christchurch, and held online so anyone can attend regardless of geographical restrictions.

After this event we hope to gather support for holding an in-person conference in 2024.


Thursday 5 October 2023.

How much will it be?

The aim is not to make money, but to cover any costs. Tickets are $20 per attendee here.

Egg Academy September Holiday Programme

Thursday, September 14th, 2023

Looking for something to entertain the kids these school holidays? Check out these events from Egg Academy, for ages 10-15, happening 23 September – 8 October.


20 computers, all in the same room, hooked up together to play multiplayer video games.

3-7pm Saturday 23rd September
2 Dundas Street, Central


Code a Narrative Game

Craft your own choice-based narrative game in 90mins using a program called Twine.

Te Hāpua: 10:30am-12pm Saturday 23rd September
Tūranga: 10:30am-12pm Sunday 24th September
(repeat, only attend 1)

Book here


Decorate cupcakes to a carnival theme and enjoy your delicious creations at the end of the session!

1-3pm Tuesday 26th September
1/57 Warrington Street, Edgeware

Book here


Arists, Designers, Coders — come make a video game over 2 days.

Join solo or as a team. No experience required.

9am-3pm Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th September
Yoobee Chch Campus – 573 Colombo Street, Central

Book here

Pixel Animations

Create a pixel art animation (GIF) in an Egg Academy 90min workshop.

Te Hāpua: 10:30am-12pm Saturday 30th September
Tūranga: 10:30am-12pm Sunday 1st October
(repeat, only attend 1)

Book here

Game Design in Scratch

Design a game within 90mins for your fellow creators to playtest at the end of the session.

Te Hāpua: 10:30am-12pm Saturday 7th October
Tūranga: 10:30am-12pm Sunday 8th October (repeat, only attend 1)

Book here

Redefining Sustainability in the IT Landscape

Tuesday, September 12th, 2023

Key considerations for future growth

With the unprecedented growth and influence of the information technology (IT) sector, the importance of integrating sustainability practices cannot be overstated.

A paradigm shift is imminent, with industry leaders directing the charge towards incorporating eco-friendly strategies into their operations. One path to sustainability is through carbon neutrality. This requires companies to measure and account for their carbon emissions from every aspect of their operations, including energy usage to business travel.

Reaching carbon-neutral status is a significant milestone in any organisation’s journey. However, it’s not just about carbon offsetting; it’s also about fundamentally rethinking every aspect of business operations, from supply chains to energy consumption. It requires a holistic approach that encompasses innovative strategies, technological advancements, and a commitment to sustainability throughout the company. By embracing this mindset, businesses can pave the way for a greener future, foster positive change, and inspire others to follow suit.

A greenhouse gas assessment can even consider less-obvious elements like cleaning services, software, and stationary. The baseline established through this process can inform future sustainability strategies and help organisations track their progress.

The ongoing assessments ensure that businesses remain carbon-neutral beyond a single financial year. This continued effort is essential for driving long-term, systematic change. However, this isn’t a journey that companies need to tackle alone. Partnerships with like-minded organisations can help reduce emissions across the supply chain and operating ecosystem. This shared responsibility for sustainability will ultimately help the business reduce its own emissions, too.

IT companies can look to several additional operational changes to enhance sustainability. For organisations that are situated on premises, opting for renewable energy sources and using electric vehicles for deliveries and transportation can considerably shrink their carbon footprint. Embracing recycling and using sustainable alternatives wherever possible can also make a significant difference. These changes can come in the form of substituting plastic packaging with recycled cardboard or even harnessing rainwater for sanitation and gardening.

Shifting to cloud-based services can be a helpful move because these providers are usually better at energy management and cooling. To take it a step further, businesses can modernise their applications, which can take more time and effort; however, these have much smaller footprints than traditional applications, which can result in further emissions reductions.

While moving to the cloud can provide numerous benefits, it’s not a magic bullet for sustainability. Responsible consumption of cloud resources is critical, as the ease of access and use can inadvertently lead to waste. Continuous monitoring, measurement, and education about sustainable IT practices are crucial.

Embracing sustainability within the IT sector will undoubtedly be a demanding and complex challenge, requiring a shift in mindset, commitment to accurate measurement, and a willingness to innovate. However, the potential benefits—a healthier planet, improved brand reputation, and a more engaged workforce—make it a journey worth taking. By learning from the experiences and insights of industry leaders well into their sustainability journey, companies can create significant changes today and work towards a more sustainable tomorrow.


This article was first published in TechDay New Zealand on 6th September 2023, by Gordon Brownell

Generative AI Roadshow – Christchurch

Thursday, September 7th, 2023

We find ourselves in a society where the line between what is created by humans, and what is created by machines, is increasingly blurred. Generative AI has been a turning point in how we create, design, and interact with technology. But how does it work, what are the benefits beyond novelty, and what are the risks?

Join AWS for an understandable and approachable deep dive into how generative AI works and how we can use this technology not just as a standalone tool, but in collaborative partnership to responsibly drive innovation and transformation.

This course is intended for:

  • Non-technical enthusiasts
  • Technical enthusiasts
  • Decision makers
  • Developers
  • Solution Architects
  • Data Engineers
  • Anyone who wants to learn about the machine learning pipeline

Xero Opens Beautiful Business Fund to Small Businesses

Thursday, August 31st, 2023


Xero, the global small business platform, marked day one of Xerocon Sydney 2023 by opening applications for its inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund, designed to celebrate small businesses, empower success and help accelerate their growth.

The Fund is open to small businesses across Aotearoa New Zealand, with the opportunity for four Xero small business customers to receive a share of more than $750,000 in funding to support their future aspirations.

Xero announced submissions are now open and there are four categories Kiwi small businesses can put themselves forward for including sustainability, technology, community and upskilling.

Xero Country Manager – NZ, Bridget Snelling says the Xero Beautiful Business Fund is a great initiative for Xero’s Kiwi small businesses to celebrate their hard work and take their business to the next level.

“After a challenging few years for our small business community, we’re excited to be able to support them to further invest in their own future success under these four key categories,” says Snelling.

Alongside Snelling, the local judging panel in Aotearoa New Zealand includes Auckland Business Chamber CEO Simon Bridges, 1Centre Founder & CEO Miriana Lowrie, Plugin Accountant Limited CEO Sue de Bievre, and Xero employee, Maarten Idema.

According to Xero, there are low barriers to entry, and to apply, Xero small business customers will need to submit a 90-second pitch video and complete a brief written form for as many categories as they would like to enter:

  • Innovating for sustainability: For small businesses who want to take the next step on their sustainability journey. For example, it could be to move to sustainable packaging, implement energy-efficient equipment or carbon neutral transport.
  • Trailblazing with technology: For small businesses seeking to innovate. This could include digitalising parts of their operations or integrating new emerging technologies.
  • Strengthening community connection: For small businesses or non-profits who strive to give back to their communities. It could be to contribute to philanthropy, social good, or make an impact on the community in a meaningful way.
  • Upskilling for the future: For small businesses seeking to support upskilling for themselves or their employees. This could include access to training and other professional development opportunities.

Each submission should be future-focused and detail how the funding would benefit the small business, Xero states.

Xero CEO Sukhinder Singh Cassidy says, “Supporting and celebrating small businesses and their owners is at the core of Xero’s mission, and we’re energised by the opportunity to empower these companies and trailblazers with funding that can help them achieve the next level of success.”

“We already know that so many of our customers embody Xero’s values, and we’re pleased to be awarding funds to help our customers in an area like sustainability or upskilling, where they may not have had the cash to do so.”

The Xero Beautiful Business Fund is open to Xero small business customers in Australia, Canada (excluding Quebec), New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the US, and the UK.

A total of 28 regional winners, one from each region for each category, will be determined by regional judging panels before being put forward to the global judging panel to select the global winner for each of the four categories.

The global judging panel for the inaugural Xero Beautiful Business Fund includes judges who represent accounting, small business and Xero’s global partners: Laurie McCabe, Co-Founder and Partner, SMB Group; Becca McClure, Director of Transformation, BDO Global; Jeanne Grosser, Global Head of Partnerships, Stripe; John Hummelstad, Locatrix CEO; Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Xero CEO; and Nigel Piper, Xero Executive General Manager, Customer Experience.


Click here to find out more and apply

Applications close 6 October 2023

This article first appeared in TechDay New Zealand on 24 August 2023 by Catherine Knowles.

Concentrate Receives International HubSpot Excellence Award

Tuesday, August 29th, 2023


Our pursuit of excellence is a journey marked by innovation, collaboration, and our commitment to ensuring our clients get the most out of their HubSpot investment. We love seeing them increase their sales efficiency, improve their campaign-to-market timeframes, and leverage all the advantages that come with automation.

We’re also not adverse to tooting our own horn when our hard work and achievements are recognised, so it’s with no small amount of pride and excitement that we add another trophy to the cabinet: the HubSpot 2023 Semi-annual Platform Migration Excellence Impact Award.

Our winning submission, a case study centered around Squiz, a global digital experience company, sheds light on the intricacies of navigating the ever-shifting tech terrain. In the project Concentrate migrated Squiz from SugarCRM, Marketo and a bunch of other tools to the HubSpot CRM platform.

A sprawl of apps and disconnected efficiency

We’ve seen that tech companies, like Squiz, were quick to embrace the promise of sales and marketing technology. However, that can result app sprawl – a multitude of tools, each functioning in isolation, leading to a tangled web of inefficiencies. This disconnect impeded both sales and marketing operations, as well as visibility into overall performance.

To address this challenge head-on, Squiz embarked on a strategic collaboration with HubSpot and Concentrate. As a premium HubSpot solutions partner, our expertise and insight were instrumental in evaluating the HubSpot CRM platform’s alignment with Squiz’s unique requirements.

Recognising excellence: HubSpot Solutions Partner Impact Awards

These awards are a celebration of exceptional client work, HubSpot’s recognition of the dedication and ingenuity that Solutions Partners bring to the table. The Platform Migration Excellence category is a tribute to the prowess displayed in migrating clients from legacy systems to HubSpot’s dynamic ecosystem.

Concentrate’s case study submission garnered an impressive score of 85.00 out of a potential 100 points. This achievement reflects the depth of research, innovation, and dedication Concentrate brought to the migration project. As a result of our victory, we’ve earned a place on the Impact Awards Hall of Fame page.

This is a triumph for our team as we celebrate the power of collaboration, innovation, and the pursuit of excellence.

The big winners at the 2023 NZ Hi-Tech Awards

Friday, August 25th, 2023

Image from NZ Hi-Tech Awards. This article was originally published in the NZ Herald on 23 June 2023 by Chris Keall.

The big winners at this year’s NZ Hi-Tech Awards spanned from e-commerce to AI to space.

Cin7 was named the 2023 NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year at a Christchurch ceremony tonight – overcoming a post-Covid hangover that saw it cull 15 per cent of staff in April as the lockdown-fuelled online shopping boom subsided.

The Auckland-based e-commerce specialist was founded in 2011 by Vietnamese refugee turned entrepreneur Danny Ing, and assists firms that want to sell through Amazon and other e-commerce platforms. Most of its customers are overseas. It was bought by US firm Rubicon in a 2019 deal pegged by the Overseas Investment Office at $133 million.

The judges said Cin7 was a shining example of “how Kiwi companies can win in highly-competitive global markets competing against the biggest global software vendors”.

The Auckland-founded company now employs over 350 people across six countries and has continually invested in employees at all levels while maintaining a consistent Kiwi ‘get stuff done’ culture.”

Two startups picked up two awards.

Christchurch-based Dawn Aerospace won both the Hardware and Emerging Company categories, while Auckland’s Formus Labs took the Software and Deep Tech categories.

Dawn Aerospace has two products: a prototype spaceplane, which is still in the very early stages of development, and a propulsion, fuel tank and control system that’s already used by 12 operational satellites, with more on the way.

The company recently signed a major deal with Lynk, which is in the early stages of building a network of 5000 low-Earth orbit satellites to compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink, and numbers 2degrees and Spark among its early trialists. Six Lynk satellites due for January launch will be powered by Dawn Aerospace systems.

Formus Labs, a maker of an AI-powered orthopaedic surgery planning tool has just made a key breakthrough in the US

In May, the firm received 510(k) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Formus Hip as the first “automated radiological image processing software” for hip replacement pre-op planning.

Founder Dr Ju Zhang has already seen his software adopted by surgeons across Australia and New Zealand – now, on the back of the FDA clearance, he’s lining up top US hospitals in a market that sees some two million joints replaced per year – a number that’s seen doubling by the end of the decade. Zhang told the Herald that rather than replace medical clinicians, his company’s technology helps to cut long waiting lists for operations by helping surgeons plan more quickly and safely.

This year’s “Flying Kiwi” lifetime achievement award went to Guy Haddleton and his wife Sue, who passed away last year.

The Haddletons founded two business-planning software ventures: Adaytum (sold to IBM for US$160m in 2003) and Anaplan, which raised US$263.5m when it listed on the NYSE in 2018 at a US$3 billion valuation.

The Haddletons were also early backers of medicinal cannabis, putting $15m into Helius Therapeutics in 2018.

The past couple of years have held some choppy moments for the couple’s latest investments. Guy Haddleton stepped in as a white knight for struggling Waikato storage startup Nyrian – an effort that’s still a work in progress. He also backed Covid-19 Vaccine Corporation, a Kiwi startup with a promising line on a T-Cell-based vaccine, which held potential for future pandemics. But CVC folded earlier this year after the Government refused to provide a follow-through for its initial funding.

Guy Haddleton is also managing director of Lodestone Energy, which is seeking to disrupt the energy market. It recently raised $300m from backers including Rod Drury and Sir Stephen Tindall to build five solar around NZ. Construction on the first, near Kaitaia, is already underway.

Although 2023 has been up and down for their portfolio, it’s shown Haddleton – a former SAS officer – is still willing to mix it up on the front lines by backing some of NZ’s most cutting-edge startups.

2023 NZ Hi-Tech Award winners

Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever: Fraser Paine (a Hamilton-based data scientist who has been evangelising machine learning – a branch of AI)

Spark Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good: Recycle a Device

IBM Most Inspiring Individual Winner: Janine Grainger (founder of Easy Crypto)

Tataki Auckland Unlimited Most Innovative Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution: Writer’s Toolbox

Callaghan Innovation/Poutama Trust Hi-Tech Māori Company of the Year: AskNicely

Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution: Formus Labs

Braemac Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product: Dawn Aerospace

Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Service: Tend Health

NZTE Most Innovative Hi-Tech Agritech Solution: Halter

Consult Recruitment Best Contribution to the NZ Tech Sector: Digital Future Aotearoa

Punakaiki Fund Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year: Zerojet

ASX Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year: Dawn Aerospace

Soul Machines Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution: Formus Labs

PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year: Cin7

Tait Communications Flying Kiwi Award: Guy & Sue Haddleton


EPIC Innovation is proud to be part of the Recycle a Device initiative, which won the award for Spark Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good.

Canterbury Tech Summit 2023

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2023

5th September 2023, Te Pae Convention Centre, Christchurch.

Grow your network, connect, be inspired!

A full day, in person event, being held at the new Te Pae, Christchurch Convention Centre, it’s an event not to be missed!

High quality speakers will share their experiences and ideas on innovation, digital transformation, business and technology agility, with a particular focus on assisting organisations in navigating their way through the new post-COVID reality.

While other captivating speakers will present around a more technical nature, focusing on new technologies and related innovations that are poised to have a positive impact both on our sector and associated industries.

Andy Masters, Head of Technology at EPIC tenant Onside, will be part of the AI panel on “The AI Advantage – Build Your Product Faster with a Virtual Tech Team.” Andy will take you on a journey with Product Owner Polly, Coder Codey, and Testing Tessa – discover how these AI-powered virtual specialists can enhance your capabilities, accelerating the creation of compelling products.

Numbers are limited at this venue, so it’ll be first in, first served. Don’t miss out, especially if you’re keen to enjoy time with your peers and connect with some new ones – there is ample networking opportunities over morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and evening networking drinks and nibbles.

Whatever your current situation, the 2023 Canterbury Tech Summit promises to be the perfect catalyst to help our members Connect, Grow and Inspire, both through enjoying quality presentation content and opportunities to network and share views, problems, and solutions with industry colleagues.

Tickets available here 

More information available here 

Smart Christchurch Innovation Expo

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

10-11 September 2023, Te Pae Convention Centre, Christchurch.

This exciting two-day event has something for everyone, including over 100 interactive exhibitors showcasing leading-edge innovation initiatives and the Innovation Summit, which will host international keynote speakers, panel discussions, and workshops on topics such as future cities, Internet of Things (IoT), and cybersecurity.

EPIC tenants Digital Confectioners, CerebralFix, and Orion will be taking part as exhibitors!

The Innovation Expo will also feature I-Atea Gaming Expo – the setting for the New Zealand Secondary School Esports National Finals and the Esports Hyperfibre League Finals, which offers an immersive experience with engaging activities and the latest gaming technology. This is also at Te Pae, with entry covered by tickets to the Innovation Expo.

Other Christchurch events centred on innovation during the week are the Canterbury Tech Summit and Aerospace Summit (separate tickets) both of which are also hosted at Te Pae.

The Innovation Expo is produced by Council’s Smart Christchurch programme, promoting Ōtautahi Christchurch as an exemplar city, showcasing solutions that make life better and that are replicable by others.

Register early to secure your spot. Some sessions and workshops have limited numbers and may require a separate registration to secure your place.

Tickets available here – FREE

More information available here

Onside Named in Matchstiq’s Top 100 NZ Tech Firms to Work For

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2023

This article was originally published on on 27 July 2023. By Aimee Shaw.

A new list of the best 100 New Zealand tech companies and start-ups to work at has been drawn up by venture capital investors and career platform Matchstiq.

To be considered, companies had to be of a minimum size and be well-funded, and up to 30 years old. They were chosen for their growth potential, innovation, purpose, and contribution to nurturing a diverse pool of talent.

This year’s list includes Kea Aerospace, the company building a solar-powered stratospheric aircraft, Auror, a retail crime intelligence software used by some of the biggest retailers in the world, and Cogo, a carbon footprint management platform that enables businesses to measure their impact on the climate.

This is the third time a list of the top tech companies and start-ups to work for in this country has been published.

The tech industry is the country’s fastest-growing and poised to become the biggest.

Matchstiq co-founder Greg Denton said the organisations included in this year’s list showed tech was not just for computer engineers, with examples of former butchers, bakers and electricians all finding their home in a tech start-up.

The recruitment platform, along with well-known names from Blackbird VC, Icehouse Ventures and K1W1, amongst others, spent three months compiling the list from over 450 nominations., a resource planning software for progressive companies, that allows firms to create a fully remote working culture with people working overseas, and brand tracking software firm Tracksuit, one of New Zealand’s fastest growing start-ups, were also included.

MenuAid, Lumin, Harmoney, Whip Around and Partly were also featured.

Denton said he picked Auror or Tradify, a job management software platform for tradespeople, as up and coming start-ups to watch – and potential contenders to be the country’s next billion-dollar company.

Companies included on the list were some of the fastest-growing in the sector, he said.

“The New Zealand ecosystem continues to go from strength to strength, attracting more domestic and international investment, more companies being created as well as existing ones growing and succeeding on the international stage,” said Denton.

“Tech is now our second-biggest industry and will very soon be our largest industry.

“Unfortunately in New Zealand, tech is still not quite seen as the same as in America, for example. There, if you took the top 10 companies that everyone worked for, almost every single one of them would be a tech company, whereas that hasn’t really permeated to this side of the world yet,” he said.

“We’re a little bit behind in terms of people recognising that this is our fastest-growing industry, and perhaps from a careers standpoint, the extremely interesting opportunities.”

The purpose of the list was to help jobseekers and in part to showcase interesting companies that some people did not know exist, said Denton.

He said the tech industry and the wider start-up space in New Zealand had faced a big shift in global funding markets and investments intentions following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March.

But he said there were positive signs for the sector, including tech companies starting to recognise the need to be more accessible and open in order to be able to attract top talent.

New Zealand’s tech sector contributes 7% of New Zealand’s GDP as of 2022, and employs north of 113,000 people.

According to the latest Technology Investment Network report, New Zealand’s top 200 tech exporters grew their revenues by 11% and had $13.9 billion revenues in 2021.

Over 23,000 businesses make up the technology industry in this country.

Hi-Tech Awards chairman David Downs said the tech was in great shape and seeing some amazing companies coming through in the sector.

“NZ’s tech sector is going from strength to strength, and the increased size and breadth of the sector means we see more awareness, interest and engagement … but we can’t rest on our laurels; other countries are increasing their investments in tech, and there is ever increasing competition,” said Downs.

“We have a long history of innovation and tech. But I think you can you can trace the latest explosion of innovation back to the likes of the launch of TradeMe (and capital recycling into startups that started to flow once that was sold), and the creation of Xero, which showed NZ tech companies that thinking big was valid for a NZ-based tech company, and the establishment of a strong investment community.”

Downs said the industry and companies could look to Ireland, Denmark and Israel for inspiration as they grow their businesses.

”There are lots of great things going on, but I think the sector could grow even more quickly with some adjustments to policies, immigration, tax and R&D policy… However, we do have fantastic entrepreneurs and ideas, and they are at the core of the sector.”

Congratulations to Onside for making the list! 

Tech Week Hub at EPIC Centre hosted by Canterbury Tech

Friday, April 28th, 2023


Canterbury Tech hosts a week of awesome speakers and workshops on all things technology at the Tech Week Hub at EPIC centre on Manchester Street, Central Christchurch.

Each day we are exploring themes about how tech is helping us build a future together. Here are the themes for each of the days.

Monday 15th May : The Future of Transport Day

Tuesday 16th May : The Future of Health Day thanks to Spark Health

Wednesday 17th May : The Future of Food & Climate Day thanks to ASX

Thursday 18th May : The Future of Business Day

Friday 19th May : The Future of Technology Day

12pm – 2pm Each Day

During this time, some of our key speakers will be talking, so take a long lunch, grab a coffee and some food at one of the food trucks onsite at EPIC!

If you work in the industry, are looking for work in tech or are just curious to find out about Canterbury’s awesome technology sector and how we are helping to build a bright future – please come along and join in.

Secure a ticket today
 – Click on the link above to the day(s) you’d like to attend, then click through to “Register Now” on each of those specific pages per event day – it’ll take you to a Humanitix page to grab your ticket.

Free for members and only $30 a day for non-members.


Find out more information here.

Digital Confectioners receives Tencent investment

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022

Games studio Digital Confectioners has received an investment from conglomerate Tencent.

Founded in 2007 and based out of New Zealand, the company has developed titles such as Dread Hunger, Last Tide, and Depth.

Director at Digital Confectioners, James Tan, explained that the new funding will go towards expansion of the company and its development of two new titles.

He also said that the investment from Tencent will create a new partnership for the studio.

“Tencent provided us with insights into the China market and how Dread Hunger hit the mark with players seeking a higher skill-cap gameplay compared to other social deception titles,” he explained.

“We’re excited to see where this takes us and what it can enable us to do in future”

Concentrate selected to join HubSpot’s prestigious elite partner program

Wednesday, September 7th, 2022

Kiwi business selected to join HubSpot’s prestigious elite partner program, a leading CRM platform for scaling companies

Christchurch-based Digital Sales and Marketing Agency, Concentrate, has been appointed a HubSpot Elite Solutions Partner, joining the top 1% of thousands of companies selling the HubSpot CRM platform world-wide.
Concentrate is the largest B2B tech-focussed HubSpot agency in Australia and New Zealand, and for them, tech is everything.
‘’As one of HubSpot’s first partners in Asia-Pacific (APAC), Concentrate has played a key role in our growth in this region,” says Brian Garvey, VP of the Solutions Partner Program for HubSpot.

Concentrate was one of the earliest advocates of HubSpot in New Zealand, with Managing Director Owen Scott forming New Zealand’s (NZ) first HubSpot User Group, and was appointed the country’s first HubSpot Customer Training Accredited partner.

‘’B2B technology and SaaS companies across the region need to use the right tech to sell their tech,” says Owen Scott, ”HubSpot is the ideal CRM platform to drive their growth, and they back it up with an outstanding partner programme.

Concentrate has won multiple Impact Awards for Product Excellence, Sales and Marketing. During the last 18 years, the B2B Tech Marketing Agency has grown steadily, gaining HubSpot awards in Platinum, Diamond, and now Elite in August 2022. With clients in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Silicon Valley, the world’s tech capital, Concentrate’s work reaches across the globe.

‘’Becoming a HubSpot Elite solutions partner means Concentrate are ideally placed to continue their mission of helping B2B technology and SaaS companies grow better with the HubSpot CRM platform.’’

It is very difficult for agencies to achieve the Elite HubSpot Solutions Partner Tier, with more than triple the amount of targets that were required in the previous tier.

‘’We’re delighted to join the Elite tier of HubSpot’s global partner community, as it means we can bring even more of the combined resources of HubSpot and Concentrate to benefit our customers.’’

About Concentrate

Concentrate’s mission is to help tech companies to use HubSpot to get more leads, more sales and more customers.

Formed in 2004, Concentrate has worked with hundreds of B2B technology companies across virtually every industry and geography. The technology firms Concentrate have worked with have featured on the covers of the New York Times and Time Magazine, been sold to multinational technology giants, launched on stock markets and won numerous awards.

Canterbury’s first Regional Workforce Plan at EPIC

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022


First Canterbury workforce plan aims for collective change

The Canterbury Regional Skills Leadership Group (RSLG) launched Canterbury’s first Regional Workforce Plan in Christchurch at Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus (EPIC) on the 14th of July 2022.

The Regional Workforce Plan has an initial focus on rangatahi as a key labour market demographic and on digital technology, manufacturing, and healthcare and social assistance as key sectors.

Canterbury RSLG Co-chair Karena Brown said it aimed to stimulate a regionwide conversation on “how Canterbury can work collectively to change the way we develop and support our workforce – now and in the future”.

Key priorities in the plan include a focus on actions to address labour and skills shortages and to improve access to career development support – particularly for the region’s rangatahi.

The RSLG is an independent advisory group of community leaders with representatives from both the supply and demand sides of Canterbury’s diverse labour market. The Regional Workforce Plan’s development involved extensive community engagement.

“We view this inaugural Canterbury Regional Workforce Plan as a plan for the region, by the region,” Karena Brown said. “It will support our education, welfare and immigration agencies to be better connected through Canterbury’s labour market planning and delivery, and reflect kaupapa Māori views in its actions.”

Work on the Canterbury Regional Workforce Plan began in 2020 with analysis undertaken by the interim RSLG, which was stood up to support the initial response to COVID-19 and its impact on the regional labour market. The permanent RSLG has then built upon this work since being appointed in 2021.

“The process of developing this strategy has been one of partnership and collaboration. We are extremely grateful to the many colleagues from industry, the education and training sector, rangatahi, unions, and business who have participated in the development of our areas of focus and actions,” said RSLG Iwi Co-Chair Liz Brown.

The Regional Workforce Plan will be refreshed annually, and the group will continue to work within the community to ensure it captures the views and priorities of the region. The Canterbury Regional Workforce Plan is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website, at

AmCham awards

Friday, July 15th, 2022

Entries are now open for the 2022 AmCham awards!

They are looking for entries in the following categories:

  • Best Emerging Exporter of the Year to the USA
  • High Growth Exporter of the Year to the USA
  • Best established Exporter of the Year to the USA
  • Investor of the Year to or from the US
  • Bilateral Service Award with the USA
  • US Company of the Year
  • Importer of the Year from the USA

For more info go to

Christchurch’s own ‘Silicon Valley’ to stay on Manchester St

Thursday, July 7th, 2022

A boutique version of Silicon Valley on Manchester St has secured a 15-year extension to its land-lease agreement with Christchurch City Council.

The EPIC Innovation Campus on Manchester St is home to about 15 local tech companies that, after 10 years of innovation, are now mixing it with the best on the world stage.



Digital Confectioners Epic Success

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022