ION e-Letter Jan/Feb 2009

GeniusNet is proud to host the ION e-Letter. ION is New Zealand’s leading virtual community for innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.


Making Sense of Social Media

We think 2009 will be the year of communities, so businesses need good advice when it comes to devising social media strategy. Navigating corporate blogs, twittering and online community development are rapidly becoming core activities for marketers in both small and larger businesses. But there seems to be an explosion of “social media consultants” bursting onto the scene. Who can you trust? ION member Simon Young offers advice through his company iJump and has loads of free resources available on the iJump TV site. Well worth a look.

BizChat Offers Sound Advice to SMEs

Speaking of community sites – serial entrepreneur and technology columnist/blogger Ben Kepes has launched a free online community that provides advice and knowledge sharing for New Zealand’s small and medium enterprises. Got a question about GST? Need help with your export documentation? Struggling with a curly HR problem? Chances are you can get an answer to your question on the BizChat forum from resident experts or from other forum users.

Your Shiny New Online Business

Do you have a brilliant idea for a new online business in 2009 but not sure how to get started? Get in touch with GeniusNet and we will help you formulate your idea. We’ve got access to skilled web developers, social media experts, data hosting suppliers and project management people. And if we can’t help, we will probably know someone in our network who can.

Kiwi Tech Appraises Video Evangelism

Last year’s W2W event saw local tech firms promoting themselves at a live demo session and through videos exported onto YouTube. With talks from both entrepreneurs and technology researchers, the half day event attracted media and investor interest. Organisers hope to repeat W2W again in November this year and are looking for cutting edge tech firms to audition and project partners/supporters. Presenters must be able to clearly articulate a value proposition that entails a globally scalable, NZ owned and built technology opportunity.

iPhone innovation impresses

An iPhone application that allows users to search for and register domains on the go has had thousands of downloads from Apple’s App Store. Wellington based web technology developer ideegeo Group Limited launched the iPhone app to promote its new domain registrar site iWantMyName. The iPhone tool not only differentiates the registrar in a competitive marketplace, but also demonstrates Kiwi expertise in translating e-commerce applications into a mobile setting. The company is also launching an Erlang user group because of its success in rolling out very high volume, low latency e-commerce solutions using this emerging programming language.

Real Life Networks Important Too

Virtual communities are spreading like wildfire and we are proud to say that ION was one of the earliest in NZ. But it’s important to get out from behind your PC or laptop sometimes and go meet real people. That’s how you build trust. Wellington ICT network Unlimited Potential has loads of networking events planned for 2009. If you want to promote your tech venture or a networking event through ION, please log in and post on the ION forum or let us know by reply with a comment below. Happy to help.

ION e-Letter August/September 2008

GeniusNet is proud to host the ION e-Letter. ION is New Zealand’s leading virtual community for innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.


DIY Online for Dad’s Day

Fresh from their debut Morning TV experience the Dad’s from are on the final countdown to Fathers’ Day. The global website aggregates rich educational content tailored specifically for fathers from both New Zealand and abroad. The site promotes a sense of community around the important job of being a Dad in the modern world including linking to resources through the SKIP parenting skills programme. Site users can upload their own stories and articles, promote father related events and enjoy loads of multimedia content about parenting.

W2W  Showcase Kicks Off Capital Tech Fest

Creative Wellington Innovation CapitalWellington is blessed with a plethora of high tech events in November. First off the block on Friday 7th November is Unlimited Potential’s long awaited innovation  launchpad gig Wellington to the World (W2W). This event is aimed at showcasing undiscovered local technology talent and emergent university ICT research with commercialisation potential. Presentations will be videocast to a global audience. Expressions of interest to: paul (at} up {dot) org (dot] nz

The AnimFX conference and AFCI Cineposium follow later in the month.

Software Freedom Day ’08

Speaking of cool tech events, Software Freedom Day ’08 is almost upon us. The 20th September event will feature an ‘open source barcamp’ and ‘hackfest’. The event is an opportunity to develop code, share experiences, drink good coffee and celebrate the joy of open source software. Around 150 developers are expected to attend the half day event. SFD are urgently looking for one more co-sponsor for this event, an opportunity to put your brand in front of NZ’s leading developers. Contact organiser Jayne Wallis directly   jayne (at} up {dot) org [dot} nz

ideegeo Leveraging Developer Talents


Software development firm ideegeo Group Limited has its sights set on dominating the Internet domain name management space globally. Two of the co-founders are recently arrived skilled migrants who chose to reverse the brain drain and move to New Zealand for lifestyle reasons. Now the firm is building a services export business based around developing high volume, web-based transactional technologies for enterprise applications. In addition to building their own suite of products, ideegeo provides development consulting and software trouble-shooting in PHP, Perl, Python, Ruby and also devises implementations involving databases such as SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL and Oracle. Enquiries to paul {at] ideegeo (dot) com

Networking at Software NZ – 9th Sept

NZSA hold their popular monthly networking dinner on Tuesday evening in Auckland. The speaker is i-lign CEO Tony Crewdson. Learn from the mistakes and successes of his 30 year career in the New Zealand I.T. industry and enjoy networking with your peers at the Viaduct venue.

i-Phone Spawns Kiwi Innovation

With Apple anticipating global sales of its 3G i-Phone to reach 10 million units in 2008, Kiwi developers are launching mobile apps in all directions. Orsome let you watch the weather or track your TradeMe auctions, ideegeo will shortly launch a data management tool and Polar Bear Farm have already enjoyed huge success with their search app. It seems like New Zealand developers are rising to the challenge of this emerging market.

ION Member Profile – Tim de Jardine

Tim is a New Zealand based business consultant and technology entrepreneur who thinks outside the circle when it comes to management and innovation. Tim is also a director of Hirewall a start-up venture that offers online management of the employee recruitment process. You can check out his thought-provoking weblog here.

IONise Yourself

Starting a new tech venture? Want to promote your innovation event? Need to connect with innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors or investors? Post a reply on this blog, share about it on the ION forum or simply drop us a line.

ion [at} genius (dot| net {dot) nz

Please note that the ION forum is active but you need to be logged in to make the most recent posts visible.

UPstarts Enliven Capital ICT Scene

Unlimited PotentialAfter a period of quiescence, Wellington’s technology and business networking event scene is now undergoing somewhat of a renaissance.

On Thursday evening this week Unlimited Potential are throwing a launch party for Start-Up magazine and Silicon Welly whilst throughout July and August 7X7 are offering a thought provoking weekly think-fest on “economic transformation”. But wait there’s more!

Also in the pipeline @UP is the annual Geeks, Games and Gadgets technology showcase in August, Software Freedom Day in September for Open Sourcers, and a possible Town and Gown collaboration with Victoria University ICT researchers. With UP taking over managing the ICT Capital membership base it brings this collective community to over 1500 ICT sector professionals, business owners and technology managers.

After the wild successes of XMediaLab and  Webstock it is clear that Wellington is now emerging as a “go to” destination for technology and innovation related events in New Zealand. People are talking more and more about the value of community. Sponsors, opinion-makers and governmental agencies are now realising there is tremendous value in leveraging the interest groups that grow up around such events and Unlimited Potential is rapidly positioning as the event manager of choice for this sector.

In 2002 when GeniusNet set up the first virtual community for innovators and entrepreneurs, we did not have the resources to run live events as well. Back then, people struggled with the concept and of course the term “social network” was not widely in use in a web context. But our research found that the best ideas arise from the creativity found where community boundaries overlap. You can’t build a collaborative community by email, webforum or teleconference alone however. Trust is the bandwidth for the exchange of knowledge and one generally needs to meet people face-to-face to build that trust.

Virtual communities and social networking platforms do facilitate engagement to a certain extent, but real live meetings build much deeper foundations of trust. Jobs are located, deals transacted and relationships forged ultimately because people met together in person, eyeballed each other and learned trust. I know  this for a fact, because right now I’m developing a very cool business with some smart guys I originally met online. How Web 2.0 is that?!

ION e-Letter April/May 2008

GeniusNet is proud to host the ION e-Letter. ION is New Zealand’s leading virtual community of innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors.

The ION e-Letter is kindly supported by Revera
– High Integrity I.T. Infrastructure –

NZ Angels Reach for the Stars

Angel investing is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance in New Zealand as cashed up entrepreneurs look to the marketplace for their next project. has emerged as an informal discussion space and deal brokerage site whilst business incubators in both Auckland and Wellington have established their own angel networks.

Angel investors generally bring both cash and expertise to early stage ventures prior to the business trading profitably. The networks themselves are not investment funds or advisors and usually only admit experienced, high net worth individuals. Whilst many angel investors are looking for high technology business opportunities, this is not exclusively the case. The chief problem is finding quality deal flow for the investors. That is partly why we are developing the Tech ConnexION event.

TechConnexION Event for Wellington

New Zealand is rich with talent in the gaming, CGI and online /mobile business applications arena. ION and GeniusNet are currently in discussions with several parties around developing a live event  for Wellington later in the year, aiming to bring investors and entrepreneurs together. The proposed theme is “Connecting Through Virtuality” and the format will be along the lines of a half day of seminars on new venture development followed by a demo session and networking drinks for entrepreneurs and serious investors. Confidential expressions of interest from technology entrepreneurs, investors, speakers and potential sponsors are welcome at this time.

Please email: ion [at] genius [dot] net [dot] nz

Or call: +64 27 47 373 14

PlanHQ Hits Business Planning Sweet Spot

Tim Norton and the team at PlanHQ have developed a unique service offering that allows any business to easily create, action, track and achieve business planning objectives. The secure web-based application gets your entire team focused on execution, completing actions, achieving goals and tracking progress against financial projections. With Tim’s boundless energy driving the project, PlanHQ have moved mountains in a very short space of time. In 2007 they launched the product, began signing up dozens of paying customers, presented at DEMO, hired a US VP Marketing and connected to VC and business coaching client companies globally. They’ve also received $300K in angel funding to date and are currently engaged in a second funding round to assist with moving into the U.S. market. Business coaches and advisors are now being invited to become PlanHQ affiliates. 

Webfund Gets You Going

Speaking of innovative web-based businesses – have you ever had a brilliant idea for a web based business of your own, but didn’t know where to begin? Maybe Webfund can help. Established by Stefan Korn, himself an experienced serial e-commerce guru and entrepreneur, Webfund is like a one stop shop for virtual enterprises. The company evaluates and develops your business proposal, helps to find investors and then goes about setting up the technology.

Webfund chairman Dave Moskovitz says he’s thrilled to be working with and backing web-centric innovators in developing new and disruptive online technologies. Webfund has already launched an impressive array of clientele such as Bookhabit, and

SimDeck Motors Ahead

Auckland firm SimDeck is finding that its Formula One racing car simulator is a hit whenever it goes out for a spin in public. SimDeck deploys a huge digital daytime screen to project racetrack images to patrons who drive a real scale model, custom built Formula One car. The simulator is being marketed to global franchisees and as a corporate promotional events attraction. SimDeck is close to replicating its F1 success with a highly detailed F16 jet simulator that is sure to set pulses racing when it goes live.

Connecting with Cockatoo

Cockatoo is the mouthpiece for an international group of consultants, think-tanks and business advisors. The indefatigible, Canberra based Rod Brown edits this rich report that deals with global best practice in regional economic development, clusters and investment attraction.

April/May Events

The NZ Wireless and Broadband Forum have a couple of great events coming up later in April.

The Angel Connect Network across the ditch are holding their annual event on 17th of April in Melbourne.

Online games and simulation developers may be interested in this 21st April talk at Auckland University on developing software agents that play games as humans would.

24th April sees the Auckland ICT Cluster’s networking event at which Prof. Sylvie Chetty, will speak about innovation, internationalisation and the role of networks. 

The GCC Small and Medium Business Conference will be held in Dubai on 29-30 April.

Unlimited Potential and 9-20 are hosting the IT Rockstar final on May 21st, 5.30pm @ Top Floor of the Majestic Centre (Wellington Chamber of Commerce).

Singapore’s Wirelesss & Broadband Week and GovTech are both on 27-28 May.

AngelHQ has an investment evening planned for 5th of June. To enquire about registration as an investor contact Marie-claire Andrews.

And if you are interested in global conferences and expos featuring “clean-tech” or green technologies, you might like to check out this listing.

ION Forum Activities

Don’t forget there is a wealth of information and support for innovators and entrepreneurs still available on the ION Forum site. And if you need a place to hold a community forum discussion we’d be happy to make space on the forum available. Password controlled access can be made available if a private and secure area is required.

High Growth Hangs, Digital Forum Sprouts

Click here to read and contribute to an online discussION about the new ICT industry body. Can it implement the refreshed Digital Strategy and successfully build on the work of High Growth, despite industry politics? And now that the Digital Strategy v2.0 has been released, you can read about it and make submissions here.

More About ION

ION is a knowledge sharing community of New Zealand innovators, entrepreneurs, mentors and investors. Membership is FREE. If you want to find out more or to share your projects and events – click HERE.

ION is an Ecosynergy Project