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The next Silicon Valley

17 Aug 2011

The government has announced a two-pronged initiative to boost New Zealand’s technology sector, offering a cash fund for entrepreneurs as well as a physical office in San Francisco.

Science and Innovation Minister, Wayne Mapp, says the initiative will help New Zealand’s new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

"These people are working in high-potential, globally-focused, high-tech businesses,” Mapp says.

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

The government is offering up to $2.8 million in assistance for up to 20 entrepreneurs, to be paid out over the next four years.

"This will help them get their ideas ready for the market and increase their chances of securing investment capital,” Mapp says.

"They will be introduced to top-end mentors, here and overseas, and be linked into innovation and business networks.”

In addition, the government is investing $360,000 to set up a physical hub in San Francisco, to be called the Landing Pad.

Initiated by New Zealand’s most successful technology entrepreneur, TradeMe founder Sam Morgan, the Landing Pad will allow New Zealand businesses to physically band together and tap into each other’s networks and connections.

The initiative is also supported by Warehouse founder Sir Stephen Tindall, Xero founder Rod Drury and Sonar6 CEO John Holt.

"It is the 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,” Mapp says.

Just yesterday the government announced the latest round of funding in its recent technology research & development initiative. Read our story here.