Where IT’s at: Making Hamilton the Silicon Valley of New Zealand

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KELLY HODEL / STUFF The Techweek19 series of events will mostly be taking place at Claudelands Arena from Monday until Sunday, May 26.

19 May, 2019. By Mike Mather. Information technology specialists from around the country will be gathering at Hamilton’s Claudelands Arena this week to discuss and share ideas and explore the potential for growing business ideas in the Waikato.

Techweek19 Waikato is part of a nationwide series of networking events designed to foster development in the industry.

The Hamilton component of those events is being masterminded by industry group CultivateIT and regional economic development agency Te Waka, with both organisations aiming to raise the profile of Waikato’s innovation and growth in IT to attract talent and investment – effectively making the region New Zealand’s answer to Silicon Valley in the United States.

Highlights of the Techweek 2019 Waikato programme include the Māori tech showcase, which will allow attendees to see, learn about, touch and try emerging technology initiatives from leading Māori technology entrepreneurs.

A “small and medium enterprise digital retreat” will offer information, inspiration and opportunities to get hands on with technology to support small businesses.

Hamilton-based software specialist Company-X is another of the organisations participating. Last year Deloitte named Company-X the fastest growing technology company in the central North Island.

Another Techweek event is the Smart Cities Lunch. Staged by the Hamilton City Council and the Hamilton Central Business Association, it will feature guest speakers in the form of Adam Beck, the executive director of the Smart Cities Council Australia New Zealand; Smart Parking chief technology officer John Heard; and Chelsey Stewart, who leads the council’s Smart Hamilton programme.

Smart Hamilton programme at Hamilton City Council, which has delivered initiatives such as the city’s conversion to LED streetlights and contributed to the launch of the Waikato Data Portal.

“Hamilton and the Waikato are currently the fastest-growing tech industry in New Zealand and have a growing reputation as leaders in innovation and technological advances,” Stewart said.

“Improving the wellbeing of the community is at the heart of our Smart Hamilton approach, and participation and collaboration are a key part of the process.”

Heard will share the potential of emerging technologies, and innovations in the pipeline of the parking industry. Beck has more than 20 years’ experience influencing infrastructure and urban regeneration projects across the world.

The Smart Cities Lunch is on Thursday, May 23 from 12pm to 2pm at Waikato Innovation Park’s conference centre in Ruakura.

The event is free and attendees can arrive at any time.

More information about the events and what’s happening can be found at techweek.co.nz.

Source: https://www.stuff.co.nz