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Telecom New Zealand Incubator Award Finalists

2006 Telecom New Zealand Incubator Award Finalists Announced

Fifteen of New Zealand’s most dynamic start-up companies and business incubators, including companies developing power technology for medical devices and software that maximises fabric cutting in the apparel industry, have today been named as finalists in the 2006 Telecom New Zealand Incubator Awards.

The finalists will contest five categories, with the winners to be announced at the Sky City Convention Centre in Auckland on 28 February. The Awards were introduced by Incubators New Zealand and Telecom in 2005 with the aim of celebrating the knowledge-based start-ups that business incubators are helping to grow.

Incubators New Zealand Chairman Andrew Hamilton congratulated the finalists and believed they should be applauded for their achievements.

“There’s a misconception that a successful business survives on the strength of the idea on which it was founded. The reality is that the idea is just the beginning. Businesses actually succeed or fail depending on the sheer effort that goes into identifying the opportunities and developing the business itself.”

Mr Hamilton said that these finalists represent the new generation of business stars and should be role models for the country’s other budding entrepreneurs.

“We must excel globally if we are to lift New Zealand into the top half of the OECD rankings. These finalists are working towards using their technology or ideas to compete on the world stage and by doing so are helping to position New Zealand as a source of high value innovation.”

With a long and proud tradition in recognising and celebrating innovations by our home-grown businesses, principal sponsor Telecom’s Chief Executive Theresa Gattung is excited about what these companies are achieving.

“Kiwis might be shy about celebrating business, but we do value innovation and the idea of ‘giving something a go’. The Telecom New Zealand Incubator Awards are a chance to celebrate the success of these emerging companies.”

The Awards will also mark the start of the Telecom New Zealand Incubators Expo, at the Sky City Convention Centre from 10am - 4pm on Wednesday 1 March, where the public will have the opportunity to meet, learn about and connect with New Zealand’s freshest and smartest young companies in the creative and technology sectors.

There are currently 140 fledgling companies based in business incubators throughout New Zealand and more than 80 companies have graduated from incubators over the past three years. In that time, incubators have also helped their resident start-up companies secure about $34 million in equity capital.

The finalists for the 2006 Telecom New Zealand Incubator Awards are:

Start-Up of the Year Calcium Software Limited Optimal Usability Limited The Optima Corp.

Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year David Kelly (Zeald.com) John Saywell (Retail Reports Limited) Trent Mankelow (Optimal Usability Limited)

Innovation of the Year Retail Reports Limited ShapeShifter Technology Telemetry Research Limited

Incubator of the Year Creative HQ (Wellington) The ICEHOUSE (Auckland) Upstart (Dunedin)

Hall of Fame Clean Flow Systems Climate Coating Limited DataCol International

ENDS

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