Serko was the big winner at the 2020 Hi-Tech Awards tonight, claiming the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year category. For the first time ever the Awards gathering took place virtually with a huge audience coming together remotely via a livestream to celebrate the successes of New Zealand hi-tech companies across 14 categories. In selecting Serko as the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year the international judges said, “This is a world-leading company in its sector, a consistent finalist in this category, and now carries the endorsement and investment of the world's largest online travel agency – booking.com. The judges love the team's ethos and culture, and admire its diversity." Another big winner tonight was Emergency Q, taking out two awards – The Callaghan Innovation Maori Company of the Year Award and the Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Service Award.
The Hi-Tech Awards judges said the calibre of this year’s entrants was at an all-time high, making the job of selecting winners exceedingly challenging for the more than 70 local and international judges. The judges assessed entrants across 14 award categories which for the first time also recognised the part that Deep Tech plays in the success of the industry. Commenting on the 2020 Awards, New Zealand Hi-Tech Trust chair Erin Wansbrough said it was great to hit so many highs this year despite the onset of Covid-19. "Clearly the Covid-19 situation has thrown us a few curve balls in regards to the Awards programme this year but tonight we've brought the Awards to the people. One change we have made is to hold off announcing our new Flying Kiwi, we feel that such a prestigious award is best celebrated in style when we can once more all come together as in industry," said Wansbrough.
In addition to announcing the Award winners tonight The Hi-Tech Trust announced this week the establishment of The Hi-Tech Foundation which is an initiative born out of the Trust and Perpetual Guardian, it exists to help Kiwis dream big and grow new ideas using technology. Its core focus is on building stronger technology leaders, teams, corporations, and role models in a rapidly changing, technology-centric world.
“The goal of the Hi-Tech Foundation is to provide a forum for the career development and advancement of technology professionals and students by reducing barriers to entry and inequity of opportunity within the sector. We’ve made great strides in the last 12 months to further encourage diversity and inclusiveness as an industry. The Hi-Tech Foundation will play a major part in accelerating further change, people with talent from any background will be empowered to find a pathway to flourish,” said Wansbrough.
The 2020 NZ Hi-Tech Award winners are:
Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award
Winner: Craig Piggott
Commended: Ian White
Visa Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Good Award
Winner: Precision Driven Health
IBM Most Inspiring Individual Award
Winner: Dr Michelle Dickinson
ATEED Hi-Tech Creative Technology Solution Award
Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Maori Company of the Year Award
Winner: Emergency Q
Commended: Kiwa Digital
Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Solution Award
Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product Award
Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Services Award
Winner: Emergency Q
NZTE Most Innovative Hi-Tech Solution for the Agritech Sector Award
Paymark Best Contribution to the NZ Hi-Tech Sector by an Internationally Headquartered Company
NZ Growth Capital Partners Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year
Winner: Dawn Aerospace
Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year
Tait Communications Most Innovative Deep Tech Solution
Winner: Mint Innovation
PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award
Tait Communications Flying Kiwi Award
Recipient: Will be announced at the next Gala Dinner
The NZ Hi-Tech Awards
The New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards celebrate the success of our producers of goods and services from the software, electronics, telecommunications, mobile, agritech, creative and other high-tech industries. The Awards are run by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, a not-for-profit organisation aimed at promoting and supporting the wider industry. The board is comprised of trustees: Erin Wansbrough (Chair), Vaughan Fergusson (Deputy Chair), Audrey Cheng, David Downs, Neil Hamilton, Michelle Sharp, Ian Taylor, Andy West and Kjesten Wiig. For more information go http://www.hitech.org.nz/