Serious about innovation? You need to scale up

 

One thing will be certain as you delve into the wonderful range of events lined up for Techweek next month – you’ll want to find out more about the innovative companies, experts and entrepreneurs you fleetingly come across.

There will be the obligatory swapping of business cards, post-event Googling and LinkedIn connections made. But wouldn’t it be fantastic if all you had to do to find the perfect business partner, collaborator or potential funder, was to go to one place online that had your interests at heart? Or if all you needed to do to promote your business to powerful international players was to join a local database that had both clout and scale?

This week that wish will be granted for many businesses as New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation, launches Scale-Up NZ.

Free and trusted information

Scale-Up NZ is a free online platform that aims to showcase Aotearoa’s most innovative businesses to each other, and on the world stage.

Created from a model that’s hugely successful overseas, Scale-Up NZ intends to make it faster and easier for local people and organisations to find and connect with the people, capital and any other help they need to innovate and grow, both here and offshore. It’s also intended to help investors and multinationals discover innovative businesses in Aotearoa.

Callaghan Innovation’s General Manager of Market, Engagement, Experience and Sectors, Erica Lloyd, says the agency recognised a pressing need for a neutral platform that promotes innovative New Zealand companies. “So far, we’ve had a phenomenal response from people and organisations wanting to be on it from day one,” she says.  “We will launch officially on 16 April with several hundred profiles, but we expect it will eventually be in the thousands.” 

Insights you are interested in

If this all sounds a bit like Tinder for the tech sector, don’t worry — it’s a lot more sophisticated than that. The aim of Scale-Up NZ, says Erica, is to allow people to find the information they need, when they need it, and to give businesses a channel into both new and existing markets. Users will be able to find key contacts for businesses they’re interested in, and ask for facilitated introductions. These requests will be mediated to ensure their mutual value. They will be able to dive into verified details of the latest investments, deals, and start-ups, as well as explore new technology and business trends. 

Usability to the fore

There will also be a raft of search and filter options.  Results can be saved or exported easily, and information will be regularly verified and updated to ensure accuracy. "In an era when knowledge has never been more powerful, Scale-Up NZ will be invaluable for gaining insights into local industries," says Erica. 

A similar platform in Israel, Start Up Nation Finder, features over 6,000 companies and has been able to demonstrate, for example, the impact that Industry 4.0 is having on the Israeli manufacturing sector. Data gathered from the platform shows that Israel currently has around 200 Industry 4.0 start-ups — a number that’s doubled in under five years. Nearly half have grown past their initial ‘garage stage’. 

“It will be great to be able to map similar trends in New Zealand,” says Erica, “and benchmark ourselves against other small advanced economies. One of the key advantages of Scale-Up NZ is that it will significantly reduce the cost for companies to access such information. Currently, this information is very fragmented and often privately held.” She promises that commercially sensitive information will be handled with appropriate care and won’t, for example, be available on public profiles. “It’s a tremendously exciting initiative, and we expect it to make a significant difference in helping to accelerate the growth and long-term success of our most ambitious businesses.”

 

Visit Scale-Up NZ to register your company’s profile so that when you do the Techweek rounds, you are ready to showcase your own company on Aotearoa’s go-to source of quality information on our thriving innovation ecosystem.


For more information please contact scaleup@callaghaninnovation.govt.nz.

 


This content is created in partnership with Callaghan Innovation.

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