Monthly Archives: June, 2009

Amcham Awards for NZ Companies

Companies trading with the United States are invited to enter the 2009 American Chamber of Commerce – DHL Express Success & Innovation Awards, held in conjunction with Qantas Airways.  Over the last nine years prizes valued at more than $300,000 have been collected by winners.

The awards celebrate business achievement between New Zealand and its second largest trading partner, the United States.  Award winners receive a travel voucher worth NZ$2,500 to be spent through Business World Travel, on air travel to the USA on Qantas Airways.

Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner at the Hyatt Regency Auckland on 3 September.

Awards categories are:

  • Exporter of the Year to the USA – with export revenues to the USA up to $500,000
  • Exporter of the Year to the USA – revenues from $501,000 to $5 million and
  • Exporter of the Year to the USA – revenues over $5 million
  • Importer of the Year from the USA
  • Investor of the Year for New Zealand companies investing in the US, as well as US companies investing in New Zealand

A Supreme Award winner is selected from winners of each of these awards.  AmCham also makes an award to the Supporter of the Year.

NZ Companies interested in entering the 2009 awards can find further information at or by contacting me on email or phone 09 309 9140.

Entries close at 5.00 pm on 30 June. Finalists will be announced on 31 July and the winners announced at the black tie awards dinner on 3 September.

We have changed the criteria and previous winners are now eligible to re-enter the awards.

Previous winners of the Supreme Award have included ZESPRI International, Peace Software, Airways Corporation, HumanWare, Tenon, Orion Systems International, Zeacom, Specialist Marine Interiors & Fonterra.

In addition to AmCham, DHL Express and Qantas Airways, the awards are supported by: Baldwins, Ernst & Young, and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise.


High Growth Focus Needed

New Zealand should focus on increasing the number of small, early-stage, high-growth companies fourfold by 2015 rather than aspiring to have five Fonterras in place by the same deadline.

“It (Metro Innovation Project) isolates early stage investing as critical to New Zealand’s goal of getting back into the top half of the OECD’s economic rankings. “Achieving this requires five companies of an equivalent size to Fonterra or 3000 ‘globally capable & competitive’ firms – four times the current number.

Five Fonterras is unlikely and unrealistic, therefore four times the number of ‘globally capable & competitive’ firms by 2015 needs to be the goal.”

That’s the thrust of the Metro Innovation Project chaired by Andy Hamilton.

The investment culture in NZ is different to overseas in that most early-stage companies attracted angel funding first, and then venture capital came later.

Hamilton: “The reality is that the venture capital model is much challenged internationally and in NZ it’s no different. They’re struggling to get the returns and the support from the institutional investors, whereas there’s a lot of angel money and people with angel money out there.”

“It’s easier to get angel money for start-ups: the problem though is that a lot of these angel companies will go on and need a lot of capital, which is where VC comes in and why that is actually very important.”

View full article on NZ Herald site