Wellington, the Emerging Tech Capital & Startup Hub Downunder
The name New Zealand is synonymous with scenic beauty, culinary trails and great quality of life. Its southernmost city and capital, Wellington is nestled between hills and harbours on one side and Cook Strait on the other. Though the city is well known for its coffee and award-winning restaurants, many do not know about its budding technology footprint.
The city is quickly emerging as an alternative to Sydney and Melbourne as some of the most successful technology companies are making Wellington their new address. This, in turn, is making the city an IT hub where tech-savvy professionals can seek a career in their respective fields like Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Could etc. The city has seen 12% year on year growth and a boom in tech companies choosing to set-up their base or a place to expand. With just 16 thousand tech employees i.e. 30% of New Zealand’s tech resource, Wellington is giving a tough completion to other cities with its dedicated pool of skilled labor and a strong sense of community that drives innovation.
A growing number of companies based there are gaining importance in the international market. There are companies like Raygun which boasts of customers like Coca-Cola, Samsung, and Microsoft is happy to return to New Zealand from the US. Raygun CEO John-Daniel Trask said1 “We can go global from Wellington so easily. We’ve established ourselves as a technology hub, we can bring in more people, we’re also seeing more graduates coming through with technology skills”. Holographic technology start-up 8i, which has raised $US27 million funding recently is also one based in Wellington. Rod Drury’s accounting software company Xero with $US100 million funding is another one in the list.2 Founded in 2006 in Wellington, and with New Zealand and Australia being its biggest markets, they already claim to have 500,000 more cloud customer than rival Intuit. Jucebox, Flick Electric, Wipster, Banqer these are few more in this emerging startup list.
Contributing around $2.5 billion annually to the local economy, Wellington also has New Zealand’s most educated and highest paid workforce. Working together to ensure the commercial success of Wellington, the government, businesses, and universities are playing a vital role here. With numerous start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, multinationals and world-leading research institutes, there is no dearth of opportunities in this city.
Home to fewer than 5,00,000 people, Wellington has an extremely innovative and globally linked science and technology ecosystem. Few of New Zealand’s top research institutes, including GNS Science, The Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology and NIWA are based here.
Being the global leader in terms of ease of doing business, New Zealand has started attracting new business and encouraging talent to stay and be a part of the emerging tech-hub – Wellington. Known for its entrepreneurial spirit, friendly and collaborative people, great standard of living, and facilitative government; this city is said to be one of the best places to work for entrepreneurs and techies around the world.