Auckland, 22 March 2012. A record number of entries from companies across New Zealand have lifted the bar for this year's Hi-Tech Awards. Multiple finalists from Cambridge, Palmerston North and Dunedin join well over 30 finalists from the three main centres in what the NZ Hi-Tech Trust Chair, Wayne Norrie, describes as a true spread of New Zealand's high-technology industries.
“This year's finalists range from our rural roots, with a high-tech lettuce thinner from Oraka Developments in Cambridge, to some of New Zealand's largest technology companies such as Gen-i. New Zealand has a unique flavour of high-tech that extends well beyond the realms of traditional ICT and it is great to see such a range of entries in the mobile, agritech and startup categories," he says. “The new multinational category is also giving us the opportunity to recognise the contribution companies headquartered outside of New Zealand make to our high-tech industry. Some amazing new companies have come to light and we look forward to telling their stories this year."
Amongst those making their mark are Auckland-based Outpost Central, a finalist last year, and online foreign exchange specialist KlickEx, both of which are finalists in three categories. And with technologies ranging from those used in the marine industry, car-parking and remote robots to gaming, horticulture, broadcasting and a whole lot more, it is going to be an interesting time for the judges.
“This year's eight-strong international judging line-up includes original Facebook investor Peter Thiel, the Director of Engineering for Google in New York, Craig Nevill-Manning, and Senior Vice President for Cisco, Howard Charney," says Wayne Norrie. “We are rapidly gaining international credibility as a high-tech hotbed and these awards continue to be the primary showcase for our local talent."
Winners in each category will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner to be held at SkyCity in Auckland on 11th May 2012.
The finalists are as follows:
Over $5 million