The Canterbury Tech Summit (CTS, previously known as the Canterbury Software Summit) took place at Christchurch Airforce museum this month and it was a sell-out! We were lucky enough to be able to head along as sponsors of the new Community Zone that premiered this year, featuring some great not-for-profits, including Ministry of Awesome, Women in Tech, Code Club and Startup Weekend to name a few!

If you made it along you may have crossed paths with some HQ Flicksters who attended – Anita, Jase and Steve. Armed with a few kilos of yellow jet planes (yes, you can buy whole bags of single coloured lollies!), they got comfy in the Community Zone and had some indepth conversations with Tech Summit go-ers.

There was a great line up of hugely successful and inspiring speakers, but two companies who really caught our eye were Muru-D and Kiwi Landing Pad.


The story behind Muru-D is one of realisation and a drive to do more. After pausing to have a serious think about what really made her happy, a stressed and less-than-inspired Annie Parker found that everything that made her smile was completely unrelated to her work. She took some time off to tackle Mount Kilimanjaro and gather her thoughts. As she neared the summit, a time when she should have felt elated, she found herself feeling a great wave of sadness at the thought that her trip was nearly over, and she’d soon be heading back to work. This was just the motivation she needed to pick up the phone and inform her boss that she quit. What else would you do at the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro?

She went on to co-found Muru-D with Charlotte Yarkoni. Muru-D is a startup accelerator that takes startups through a six month program where they’re given access to a network of mentors, co-working spaces and investors, among other great resources. Their impact on these budding entrepreneurs and their businesses are huge. Let these numbers sink in; they’ve helped 44 startups across 3 locations raise over $14 million in capital and generate $7.8 million in revenue, while creating 269 jobs. That’s huge!

During her talk at the Canterbury Tech Summit, Annie shared some great tips for nurturing a successful startup ecosystem. Here’s what she had to say:

  1. Be open and honest – this is the greatest contribution you can make
  2. Develop strong partnerships
  3. Hire well – recognise your expertise and any knowledge gaps you have
  4. Be in it for the long haul – startups can take 8-10 years to become established
  5. Don’t do it for the money
  6. Pay it forward

Kiwi Landing Pad

Kiwi Landing Pad (KLP) was created to help New Zealand technology companies get a foothold in the US market. Their collaborative workspace, located in downtown San Fransisco puts them right at the centre of the technology entrepreneurship community. KLP is working to build and coordinate a thriving community of New Zealand technology businesses in Silicon Valley, where they can collaborate, connect and help each other succeed.

Sian Simpson, the Global Community Manager at KLP, and a 2016 Women of Influence finalist, shared some of her knowledge at the CTS this year. Here are some of the points she covered:

There are some factors that hinder New Zealand businesses entering the US market:

  • Tall poppy syndrome
  • Being overly humble – we need to be more direct and be proud of our achievements
  • Being a lone wolf – we need to be comfortable networking and sharing ideas

What helps us?

  • People love New Zealand – we should embrace our authentic and genuine culture, and use it to our advantage
  • Ingenuity
  • We have a great regulatory market
  • Our eco-system is young
  • We can innovate quickly in a small, controlled market

And finally…. everything takes time. Success = (variable + variable + variable…) + time!

The lineup of speakers was incredible, but Kiwi Landing Pad and Muru-D stuck out the most for us. If you attended the Summit, we’d love to know what the greatest takeaway for you was. Comment below!

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