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A successful new start up showcase event this year was Caffeination. A celebration of all things coffee in New Zealand’s Coffee Capital.
“It’s typically around 20-30% cheaper than doing operations in Australia.”
Catalyst IT began outsourced services in Wellington in 1997 with an application hosted on two servers.
From these small beginnings, Catalyst has grown consistently year by year to the point where they are now New Zealand's largest open source service provider with offices all over the world.
“Wellington embraces innovation from a technology sector perspective. It provides us with an opportunity to be able to grow and really engage with a diverse bunch of organisations,” says Jo Healey, managing director of Fujitsu New Zealand, which has been headquartered in Wellington for 40 years.
“Wellington is a great place to do business because of the size and scale of the market.
“You have easy access to people at a very senior level and a good breadth of organisations are represented here to provide the right solutions for businesses.”
Jo finds the city also presents many easy options for commuting to work even for those living out of the city. “I live over the other side of the harbour so I can take the ferry to work or the bus.”
Living in Wellington with her three children also works well for Jo. “Wellington has a real heart, you can come into middle of town where you work and still be close to the great outdoors. It’s great to have the immediacy of getting out to the beach or the bush.”
In her spare time Jo enjoys being able to engage with the arts and the entertainment environment that Wellington offers, as well as the cafe culture and restaurants which she finds amazing. “Good food and wine are at the centre of everything.”
Visual effects whiz Seb Marino came to Wellington to make James Cameron’s blockbuster Avatar and has since founded a number of his own companies in the city.
“My favourite thing about being in Wellington is that it’s the kind of place that lets you write your own story.”
Seb, an Academy Award-winner for the visual effects in the Star Wars prequels, says Wellington has an exciting mix of people that makes things happen.
“You have this amalgamation of interesting people – artists, engineers, some from the film industry, some from other sectors – all coming together in this place and doing cool stuff, and not being afraid to swing for the fences.
“If you look at what Weta Digital has done, I mean they are absolutely the world class visual effects company. And it’s staffed by the best computer graphics researchers in the world. So to say that some of them have left and are doing other interesting things in town should not be a surprise to anyone.”
“In Wellington, things are fast because it’s small and very well connected.”
Mario Wynands and a couple of friends wanted to make video games for a living so started their own business in Wellington 17 years ago.
“There’s just a lot of creative and technical talent that’s able to come together and get things off the ground.”
“Now, with the opening up of the digital age, it’s just becoming easier and easier for us to get our product into every market in the world.”
Wellington born and bred, Mario says Wellington is a perfect place to set up a high tech business.
“It’s a great city to collaborate and to build on ideas, to find great people – we have lots of great learning institutions here – so there’s just a lot of creative and technical talent that’s able to come together and get things off the ground.
And for Mario and the staff at Pik Pok, getting to work to make games couldn’t be easier.
“To get to work in the morning is 12 minutes walk for me. Most of the studio actually has less than 15 min commute whether that’s walking, cycling bus train or by car. It’s just very, very accessible.”
Philip Fierlinger is the Head of Design and Co-founder of Xero Accounting Software in Wellington.
The company was recently named the most innovative growth company in the world by Forbes.com. "Xero raising nearly $325 million in capital – it's proven that you can build a globally viable business here."
"Kiwis have a great entrepreneurial spirit and immense talent that is out of proportion and doesn’t make sense – they’re always thinking of the bigger picture and broader community".
"I still cannot understand and reconcile how much amazing talent is here, it’s phenomenal".
"Wellington is a fantastic place to build a global business with the talent, creativity, passion and diversity the city attracts." - Rod Drury, CEO, Xero.
Previous Did you know... Next
Wellington has the most educated workforce in New Zealand
No. 1Wellington is ranked first for its labour environment
FDI Asia Pacific Cities of the Future 14
Wellington is one of the top 20 most innovative cities
Innovation Cities Asia Index
Previous Did you know... Next
Wellington has 363km of mountain biking and walking tracks
Wellington has around 750 cafes and restaurants
Wellington has 2,110hrs of sunshine per year
Wellington region has a population of 492,500
Wellington's median house price is $455,899
Wellingtonians have an average commute to work of only 5km