New Zealand’s startup ecosystem


New Zealand start-up tech companies are ‘born global. ’New Zealand firms have a “can-do” culture and an ability to extract maximum value from available resources. With a strong history of innovation and as early adopters of new technologies, New Zealand companies are building solutions to global challenges.

New Zealand provides a great base from which to export globally with connections to North American and Asian markets. The country has a comprehensive network of free trade agreements, promoting easier trade and investment flows.

New Zealand has some of the fastest internet speeds in the world. It is a safe, developed democracy offering many lifestyle benefits attractive to skilled labour.

New Zealand’s innovative technology scene is a magnet for entrepreneurs, with the sector providing a number of benefits for would-be investors, including:

Cost competitiveness – Lower market rates and fewer employee add-ons ensure New Zealand’s workforce holds a cost advantage over other developed countries such as Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.

High quality workforce – New Zealand software developers hire locally trained PhD and other post-graduate specialists with skills commonly sought in Silicon Valley, but without having to meet Silicon Valley salary expectations. New Zealand’s universities produce world-class mathematics, statistics and hard sciences graduates. Top students are coming out of universities and taking interest in innovation-based ventures, investment capital and experienced entrepreneurial talent are putting energy into supporting new generations of startups, and international entrepreneurs are taking notice and participating in the local startup community.

Design capabilities – New Zealand’s software developers and designers lead the world in their creative thinking and originality. The broad nature of work in New Zealand means that employees tend to be generalists and typically work in smaller development teams, leading to faster response times.

Time zone advantages – As the first country to start each day, business has a head start in New Zealand. Our business day covers the afternoon on the West Coast of the United States, much of Asia’s business day, the morning in Europe, and is a few hours ahead of Australia. This gives investors the opportunity to do business while other markets sleep.

Political and regulatory environment – New Zealand has stable markets, good regulatory oversight and a modern Ultra-Fast Broadband network.

New Zealand is building an international reputation for the quality of its innovative health information offerings, with integrated solutions that work across the continuum of care from hospitals and community clinics, to telemedicine and home care. Also New Zealand’s technology services in cloud-based POS, Fintech and loyalty analytics are taking advantage of market opportunities to provide efficient solutions for your business built on unique intellectual property, fresh thinking and sophisticated partnerships.

New Zealand is an internationally acclaimed hub of digital innovation, with our expertise in visual effects, AR, VR and image processing sought out by clients around the world and opening up numerous collaborative and investment opportunities.


Introduction of particular startups

ARANZ Medical wound-measuring and monitoring system, the Adherium smart inhaler, and Pacific Edge’s cancer diagnostics systems are just a few examples of locally-developed, innovative technologies that are transforming healthcare and improving outcomes for patients.

Volpara Health Technologies

Wellington-based Volpara Health Technologies is a software and health analytics company that has developed software that analyses breast density, which can be a risk factor since it indicates both a higher incidence of breast cancer and can also hide cancer in a mammogram.

The Volpara system is used in over 30 countries and provides radiologists with an automated assessment of mammograms. So far, an estimated 98 million women have been scanned using Volpara’s software and it is responsible for saving thousands of lives. In November 2016, Volpara Solutions announced that volumetric breast density percentages generated by VolparaDensity software have been incorporated into the latest version of the Tyrer-Cuzick Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. The Tyrer-Cuzick Tool is the first widely recognized risk model that includes family history, genetic factors and breast density. Despite being recognized as a major independent risk factor for cancer, breast density has not previously been included into a major breast cancer risk model. Volapara Health technologies is a finalist in the 2016 New Zealand International Business Awards.


Vend provides cloud based point-of-sale inventory and customer loyalty software that makes it easy for retailers to set up and run and grown any size of business. Vend is used in over 18,000 stores across more than 140 countries.

In 2014 the company raised $20 million in Series B funding from PayPal co-founder and the first outside investor in Facebook, Peter Thiel of Valar Ventures and Square Peg Capital in Australia.

In July this year, Vend and Xero sign global partnership to accelerate product innovation and customer growth. Both already share thousand s of customers worldwide and under the agreement, both companies will pursue a range of product updates and joint marketing activities, to deliver the most advanced end-to-end solution for small business retailers.

Vend provides point-of-sale, inventory and customer management for retail, while Xero is sophisticated accounting and payroll software. Sales, customer and cash-flow data is shared in real-time between the two systems, which reduces the overheads and administration required to run a small business. Recently, Vend launched a number of industry-leading updates to the integration including tracking of stock margins (cost-of-goods), which allows business owners to make better decisions on how to increase cash-flow and profitability.

New Zealand has an ecosystem of companies working in AR/VR Garage in Auckland. These companies are collaborating and bringing in international business so New Zealand can be used as development centre for rest of the world.

The AR/VR Garage will fuel Auckland’s growing AR/VR community, which includes game developers, screen and film producers, animators, educators and digital storytellers, and help grow New Zealand’s global digital industry footprint, jobs and investment.

The AR/VR Garage will be the Oceania base of the influential US-based VR Society, joining chapters in Beijing and Canada. The society last year secured about US$170 million of VR projects for its global members.

A group of 16 innovators from the booming virtual and augmented reality sector have joined forces to create the newly-formed New Zealand VR/AR Association.

The new association will represent and promote New Zealand’s virtual, augmented and mixed reality sectors nationally and internationally.

Foundation members include Wellington-based virtual and augmented technology company 8i, Massey and Victoria Universities, and a number of emerging companies, such as Auckland-based Imersia and the recently opened Christchurch HTC room-scale virtual reality experience space, The VR Room.



Investment Manager
At NZTE Michelle has a focus on supporting New Zealand businesses raise capital to fund growth including a secondment in Singapore as Investment Manager. There she promoted foreign investment to New Zealand and facilitated New Zealand companies’ investment and business development in East Asia with emphasis on ICT and VC’s.

Michelle also spent four years at General Electric as a Product and then a Marketing and Export Manager; founded a wholesale telecommunications company and owned and governed her own retail franchise for eight years with a successful exit. Michelle is an Angel investor in technology companies predominately Digital and Fintech.

Areas of speciality Mergers and acquisitions, Capital solutions, Board and Management support, Investment Strategy.