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International think tank links Kiwi companies

International think tank links Kiwi companies
with top digital innovators

22 April 2008, Wellington – Thomas Duterme, Google’s Head of Business Development and Acquisitions, is to visit New Zealand as part of an international think tank that connects the world’s leading digital media innovators with local enterprises.

Mr Duterme, whose role is to find business partnerships and investments for Google, will be one of 13 of the world’s leading digital media professionals in New Zealand for X|Media|Lab, to be held in Wellington from 30 May – 1 June 2008.

X|Media|Lab is an internationally acclaimed think tank and workshop that brings together the world’s leading digital media practitioners, power-brokers and innovators in a creative environment that helps local companies and project teams improve their own digital media ideas and explore ways to get their products to market.

The Wellington event will be the first X|Media|Lab to be held in New Zealand and recognises New Zealand’s status as a growing centre of digital media creativity. X|Media|Lab will also be held in the hi-tech centres of Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Suzhou, Melbourne, Mumbai and Dubai this year.

Local companies are invited to apply to take part in the Lab’s two-day workshop, which will see 12 project teams work one-on-one with a range of the world’s most outstanding digital media professionals on their own digital media project ideas. The theme of the Wellington X|Media|Lab is “Commercialising ideas”.

“New Zealand is fast becoming known for its hi-tech, digital media, and creative industries,” says Megan Elliott, Director of X|Media|Lab. “X|Media|Lab is a fantastic opportunity for New Zealand innovators to team up with leading international mentors to develop the digital media enterprises of tomorrow.

“Mentors like Tom Duterme, Brian Seth Hurst, Chris Deering and Chris Adams, who have developed innovative ideas and technologies for international entertainment conglomerates, bring tremendous industry knowledge to help New Zealand companies develop successful international products and brands,” says Ms Elliott.

X|Media|Lab is supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, as part of its work to help grow New Zealand’s digital content industry and build its international competitiveness.

“Digital media is a key area of opportunity for New Zealand. It fits the weightless export profile, is experiencing rapid growth and builds on New Zealand companies’ innovative work in screen production and interactive content. This event brings some of the world’s leading digital media professionals to New Zealand, to help build industry expertise and know-how around new media channels, create high-value international networks and raise awareness of the quality work already being done here,” says Adam McElroy, NZTE Sector Manager, Digital Content.

The international mentors who will be on hand to work with Kiwi entrepreneurs are:

- Tom Duterme – New Business Development Manager, Google (Mountain View)

- Sam Morgan – Founder of TradeMe (Wellington)

- Chris Deering – Chairman of the Board, Codemasters, the world’s largest independent game company; formerly Head of Sony Europe (London)

- Chris Adams – New Media Pioneer; Co-founder Participant Productions (“Syriana”, “Good Night and Good Luck”) (Los Angeles)

- Noah Falstein – The Father of Serious Games, and one of the first ten employees at LucasArts Entertainment; The 3DO Company; and Dreamworks Interactive (San Francisco)

- Brian Seth Hurst – Nominated as one of America’s Top 50 Digital Media Powerbrokers; Vice Chair of the Television Academy Board of Governors, Board Member, Producers Guild of America (Los Angeles)

- Suresh Seetharaman – CEO and Co-Founder, Virgin Comics and Virgin Animation (Bangalore, New York)

- Alvin Wang Graylin - China’s leading mobile expert and entrepreneur (Beijing)

- Marcelino Ford-Livene – General Manager, Interactive Content, Intel Digital Home Group, Governor of Interactive Media, Academy of Television, Arts and Sciences (Los Angeles)

- Jason Roks – Emerging Technology & Digital Distribution Analyst (Toronto)

- Richard MacManus – Founder and Editor of ReadWriteWeb, one of the world’s top 20 web blogs (Wellington)

- Hugh Mason – Digital Media Investor and Business Strategist, Pembridge Partners LLP (London)

- Sean Kauppinen – Business Development and Brand Expert on more than 400 computer games titles, Triplepoint PR (Los Angeles)

- Rod Drury – Serial Entrepreneur, Founder and CEO, Xero (Wellington)

X|Media|Lab Wellington begins with a one-day Keynote Conference on 30 May at Te Papa, where the mentors will present an overview of the digital media landscape and insights into future developments.
This is followed by the two-day think tank, which is attended by selected teams only.

“The event will bring New Zealand to prominence in the global digital media space, expose local companies to the best minds in the industry and create high-value networks that link New Zealand with the world’s hi-tech capitals,” says Ms Elliott.

Companies interested in attending the seminar or applying to take part in the think tank should visit for more information.

About X|Media|Lab

X|Media|Lab is the internationally acclaimed think tank and creative workshop for digital media professionals across the emerging digital media disciplines in computer games, animation, digital cinema, interactive content and entertainment, and mobile applications. X|Media|Lab brings together the world’s leading digital media practitioners, power-brokers, and innovators in a unique creative environment that helps local companies and project teams improve their own digital media ideas, get their products to market and achieve commercial success.

In 2008 X|Media|Lab will be held in Suzhou, Wellington, Seoul, Melbourne, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai and the Middle East.

X|Media|Lab was created in 2003 and has been held at some of the world’s most iconic venues including the Sydney Opera House and the Great Hall of the People, Beijing. It has been held in conjunction with the Sydney Film Festival, the Melbourne International Film Festival, the Asia Media Festival, the Asia Games Developers Summit, Broadcast Asia, FICCI FRAMES - Asia’s largest Entertainment Event, Virtual Worlds Forum Europe, and China’s International Cultural and Creativity Expo in Beijing.


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