As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Massey University’s onsite business incubator the ecentre, recently ran a cloud computing seminar.
Over 70 local entrepreneurs and business people gathered at Massey University to hear speakers that included Mega Ltd’s Vikram Kumar, Associate Professor David Parsons from Massey University and Deloitte tax partner Darren Johnson.
Chief executive Steve Corbett says the ecentre chose to focus on cloud-based services because the sector represents one of the most important job creation events in New Zealand’s recent history.
“This shift to cloud-based business IT systems is a hugely important one for New Zealand,” he says. “For the first time, we are in a position to participate in a global technology wave.Our geographic location is no longer an inhibiting factor and our investments in infrastructure such as education and broadband will provide a payback to New Zealand many times over.”
This theme was picked up in the evening panel discussion as part of the ecentre stakeholder’s night. It featured three of New Zealand’s most successful cloud-based companies – Entrepreneur of the Year, Rod Drury of Xero, VendHQ’s CEO Vaughan Rowsell, and Greg Murphy, founder of Unleashed Software.
Radiolive host Andrew Patterson facilitated the event providing challenging questions to the panel discussions and drawing out inspirational comments.
Xero has been a great role model in demonstrating the relationship between growth in customer numbers to shareholder value and ability to raise new capital. Drury shared some valuable insights about the perfect pitch which “is a story about yourself” and he stressed the similarity to having good relationships in the bedroom which had the audience in laughter.
Rowsell emphasised how important it was to have local people in the markets you are going after. “New Zealand has a great airline that flies almost anywhere you would want to go. Now we just have to get on a plane.”
The need to continue to strengthen the ecosystem around technology companies was emphasised and the necessity to continuously recruit the best talent. “We have to de-risk working for an IT company and telling our success stories helps with that,” says Drury. He encouraged young people to study “whatever they are passionate about plus information technology as there is a huge opportunity globally especially in Enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings such as Xero”.
Rowsell added that you do not have to start your own venture straight away but go get some experience first. “To pursue the entrepreneurial path, it might be a good idea to work for one of us to learn first-hand what it means to build a global business from New Zealand”.
November 25, 2013