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ICEHOUSE secures funding for high growth companies

Media Advisory
24 April 2003


Industry goals to have 100 high growth companies with annual sales of $100 million by 2012 have been boosted by the awarding of a contract to develop an executive development programme for high growth New Zealand entrepreneurs.

The ICEHOUSE has been awarded funding of $100,000 from Industry New Zealand to develop Growing Global, a programme designed to tackle one of the main barriers to growth identified by the ICT Taskforce - the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and chief executives in managing rapid growth to capture and defend a global customer base. It is planned to launch the new programme in late 2003. The ICT Taskforce is a tightly focused group of ICT (information, communication and technology) business leaders which was appointed by Government to consider the growth potential of the ICT sector.

The ICEHOUSE is being advised on Growing Global by Dr Jana Matthews, an international expert on entrepreneurial leadership and business growth, and the founding President and CEO of US-based Boulder Quantum Ventures. Dr Matthews, who was in New Zealand this month, has worked internationally with private and public sector organisations and government agencies to design and develop policies and programmes to help entrepreneurs commercialise technology and grow.

A member of the original senior staff of the Kauffman Centre for Entrepreneurial Leadership at the Kauffman Foundation, Dr Matthews was the architect of highly successful programmes designed to teach entrepreneurs how to manage growth.

The ICEHOUSE, which won the funding in a competitive pitch, has an established track record in entrepreneur development with its two-year-old Owner Managers Programme boasting 75 alumni. Of these, three companies have made the Deloitte Fast 50 list of high growth companies, seven have acquired new businesses and over half have achieved more than 30% year-on-year growth.

The ICEHOUSE Chief Executive, Andrew Hamilton, said today the new programme would focus on developing high growth entrepreneurs to take their companies into a phase of rapid international expansion.

"While the concept of a 'growing global' education programme was driven by the ICT Taskforce, Industry New Zealand believes that it should be made available to all entrepreneur leaders in emerging high growth companies that are trying to expand in international markets."

The ICEHOUSE will draw on its partnership with a corporate sector advisory group and The University of Auckland Business School to develop a programme which will mix business and academic presenters in an intensive, real life, interactive course staged over several monthly blocks. The organisation also has direct experience in developing growth companies, with The ICEHOUSE's incubator assisting high potential start-ups to begin on the "going global" mission.

Industry New Zealand's evaluation of The ICEHOUSE's proposal says the learning needs of entrepreneurs were clearly identified and were consistent with those identified by overseas research.

"The ICEHOUSE's recent research into successful high growth companies is very relevant and the international networks established by The ICEHOUSE with universities and entrepreneur development programmes will assist in benchmarking this programme with international best practice," said Liz Longworth, Director, Information Communications and Technology Sector, Industry New Zealand.

Andrew Hamilton said there are some niche areas where New Zealand has the ability to become a world leader.

"We have some great companies and some very entrepreneurial people. As the ICT Taskforce recently said, the world is their oyster if only they can overcome the challenges of operating in the dynamic and highly competitive global markets for products and services. With our international links, our research and our understanding of education of the entrepreneur, we are confident we can help these people to create the conditions needed in their companies to allow those companies to reach their full potential."

The ICEHOUSE (The International Centre for Entrepreneurship) was established in August 2001 by The University of Auckland Business School and is a collaborative partnership between BNZ, Carter Holt Harvey, Telecom, The Boston Consulting Group, Chapman Tripp, Deloitte, Microsoft, HP and The Business School. Its vision to be recognised in New Zealand and internationally as a leading centre of practical expertise for growing businesses.


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