Kiwi Ingenuity never fails to surprise

The winners were announced on Thursday 17 October at an event in the Atrium of the Auckland Museum. Pacific Edge Ltd was the very deserving winner of the Supreme Award, with GreenButton’s Cloud Fabric product taking out the Innovation in Information Communications Technology category, sponsored by ng Connect.

GreenButton Cloud Fabric is a specialised PaaS (platform as a service) that lets businesses harness the vast computing power of cloud technology.

There were almost 200 entries across 12 categories – a significant increase on last year – and reviewing and evaluating the 35 entries for this category was huge and exciting task.

I was delighted to see that the step-up in quality from previous years was quite staggering. Not only were there some excellent ideas, but many were backed up by carefully conceived plans to take them to market and clear revenue expectations. What stood out most was a real improvement in the understanding of the commercial model the entrants were working to deliver and their value proposition to consumers and businesses.

Perhaps most importantly, and evidenced by GreenButton’s win, there was a real sense of the cloud being an enabling technology or architecture to help New Zealanders reach out to the world with our services and ingenuity. Using the cloud to export weightlessly means we can engage quite easily with others on a global scale, and this is why investing in Ultra Fast Broadband to support such cloud-based businesses makes so much sense.

In addition to the rise in quality entries, the diversity was also astounding, with everything from electric fencing technology (classic Kiwi ingenuity) through to technology around cloud-based computer power, and the finalists included everyone from small start-ups to some of our largest companies.

It’s stimulating and encouraging to be involved in events like the New Zealand Innovators Awards. It’s clear that New Zealand really is driving some quite amazing innovationand it’s inspiring to see our businesses getting a grip on go-to-market strategies and commercialising some of those innovations, which has been a weak point for us in the past.

The Awards ceremony was a great night and a well-attended evening, featuring an address from the ‘Minister of Everything’ but in particular Science and Innovation, the Hon Steven Joyce. I’d encourage anyone in New Zealand business to attend, as it provides the chance to mix and mingle with some of our most innovative organisations and individuals.

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