ION e-Letter – March 2007

dubai.jpgION is New Zealand’s leading innovation and entrepreneurship online community. ION provides an informative and interactive virtual knowledge sharing forum plus a private business matchmaking service for emerging technology enterprises.

We are hosting this newsletter on the GeniusNet blog to allow participants to opt in and engage in the conversation. GeniusNet is project manager for ION.

Auckland MBAs to Look at Dubai Marketplace

A group of MBA students from Auckland University are heading to Dubai shortly as part of their research practicum. The group are keen to make connections for Kiwi tech businesses and to dig up some inexpensive market research. Notwithstanding the troubles in other parts of the Middle East, the UAE is booming with huge investments in infrastructure planned and a rapidly increasing standard of living. Dubai itself is also a key trading post in the region and garners most of its revenues from trade, finance and tourism – rather than oil.

NZ technology firms interested in receiving research from Dubai should post a response to this thread prior to the end of March, 2007.

ION Connects Mobile Developers to India

We can report that ION has brokered a valuable relationship with one of India’s leading mobile content aggregators that has led to Christchurch company Zodal to break into the world’s second fastest growing mobile market. New connections are around the 5 million per month mark!

The company is capitalising on the Indian love of cricket by providing a nifty multi-player mobile game with the sport as its theme. The revenue-sharing partnership provides access to one of India’s most popular short code service portals.

We are currently in the process of introducing a Wellington company to the same provider, a subsidiary of one of the largest entertainment conglomerates in that market.

Forum Assists Skilled Migrants to Acclimatise

There has been a lot of discussion recently about concerns that skilled migrants are experiencing problems integrating themselves into NZ society. There is a good chance your immigrant taxi driver has a PhD, but cannot find other work. Some give up and return home frustrated. At a time of skilled labour shortages, it seems like a wasted opportunity.

Because of the importance of this issue to the economy, ION has been hosting an online forum aimed at skilled migrants and migrant entrepreneurs. The aim is to provide a collegial environment for knowledge sharing and to tap into migrants’ stories about both the obstacles and successes on their journey to New Zealand.

Danes Leverage Networks to Top EU Innovation Stakes

The European Commission reports that Germany and the Nordic states are leading the charge in terms of rapidly catching up to levels of innovation in the United States. Interestingly, around 40% of Europes business enterprises consider themselves as innovators, with suppliers and customers perceived as the main partners and collaborators, rather than research or educational institutions.

Well established business networks are critical to the task of innovation, hence networking is an area that Denmark has put a lot of effort into. Copenhagen (one of my favourite cities) has a well established ICT Cluster and pitches itself as an enabler for the nearby ‘Medicon Valley’ cluster of biopharmaceutical firms. Medicon Valley is regarded as the poster boy of cluster success in organisational research circles.

But around 91% of all businesses in Europe have less than 10 employees. ‘Mikronet’ is another Danish network established to link knowledge and arts based micro-enterprises. Similar to ION, it runs an online community forum and weblog. Encouraging collaboration amongst smaller firms is seen as an important part of driving innovation and business growth in the region.

Kiwi Steers Canadian Software Venture Towards Success

An ex-pat Kiwi is applying his knowledge of capital markets and technology commercialisation to guide a Canadian software firm to success. Darren Sissons already had a very solid track record as both a VC investor and tech startup guru when he was asked to step in and assist with a new project. Log in and read how he took a technology venture from zero to hero in the highly competitive North American market. This informative article is exclusive to ION. Post comments on the forum or reach Darren here by adding a comment to this blog thread.

Need more info? Lost your password? Want to profile your New Zealand based technology venture? Post a reply to this weblog thread and we will endeavour to help out or to connect you to someone who can.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *