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Million dollar fast track for digital tech entrepreneurs

Million dollar fast track for digital technology entrepreneurs

Boosting New Zealand's digital technologies industry is behind a new talent development programme and a high-tech hub in San Francisco announced today by Science and Innovation Minister Dr Wayne Mapp.

"We have a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs developing in New Zealand," said Dr Mapp. "These people are working in high-potential, globally-focused high-tech businesses.

"They know they must connect innovation, opportunity and market acumen to achieve commercial success on the world stage."

The IT sector is a huge market growth area, and the sooner New Zealand companies can tap into the global IT community, the more quickly they will get traction.

The Government will invest $2.8 million over four years to support up to 20 budding entrepreneurs each year to help them grow a high-value, global innovative business.

New Zealand is a hotbed of IT innovation and this programme will nurture those with entrepreneurial flair and the potential to innovate and create value for New Zealand's digital technologies sector, said Dr Mapp.

"This will help them to get their ideas ready for the market and increase their chances of securing investment capital. They will be introduced to top-end mentors, here and overseas, and be linked into innovation and business networks."

Dr Mapp also announced the Government will invest US$300,000 to set up the Kiwi Landing Pad Ltd - a hub for New Zealand high-tech businesses in San Francisco.

Initiated by TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, the Landing Pad is supported by leading entrepreneurs Sir Stephen Tindall, Rod Drury and John Holt.

"The Landing Pad is like a shop front where New Zealand businesses can physically be together and tap into each other's networks and connections. It will help our high-tech businesses get access to the US market," said Dr Mapp.

"It is a perfect example of a public-private partnership where Government is helping to build bridges and open doors for New Zealand businesses to the international stage," he said.

Dr Mapp said there is an appetite in the business community to create success stories and put New Zealand on the map as a 'smart nation'.

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