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Support Network For Software Community

Christchurch's technology community will soon be able to access online and offline support in the form of the Canterbury Software Cluster, which launches on Wednesday 6 June.

The cluster was established in response to strong demand from the Christchurch software community for a central focus on practical business resources. The cluster aims to help small/medium software companies to move from ownership of "a hunk of great code" to having a mature marketable software package and a sound international sales channel, says cluster co-founder Keith Cowan of Jade.

"There is a lot of agencies that support developing software companies, but there is no one single place where they can see the full range of resources laid out in front of them," says Mr Cowan.

"The cluster will help members succeed by providing them with access to existing networks and acting as a conduit, pointing developers in the direction of proven sales and distribution channels. If we can stop someone taking a wrong step or point them in the direction of a better product strategy, then the cluster will have done its job both for the company involved and for Canterbury as a whole."

The cluster intends to fast-track success with clear, collated information on what is available, lessons others have learned, how to base their work on sound business principles, and who can help.

The information will be available on the cluster's Web site (http://canterburysoftware.org.nz), created by SPIS Ltd, and the cluster will hold regular events, workshops and social activities. The initiative is being supported by a group of software developers and suppliers including Trade New Zealand and the Canterbury Development Corporation. The cluster is affiliated with the New Zealand Software Association, and aims to create a distinctly Canterbury flavour that makes the most of strong local networks.

Using feedback obtained from software developers who attended an establishment meeting late last year, the cluster will offer access to:

a.. mentoring, in which experienced industry members give young companies advice on business strategies b.. marketing advice, helping developers gear their solutions for distribution, promotion and sale c.. resources on the http://canterburysoftware.org.nz Web site including directories, links, discussion groups, bulletin boards, events calendar and news d.. practical assistance in obtaining investment capital The launch will be on Wednesday June 6 from 5.30pm at the Canterbury Innovation Incubator, 200 Armagh Street, and is open to all interested parties.

ends


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