Follow us

The Ultimate Guide to the Startup Community in New Zealand

January 17, 2017

Investment into New Zealand companies saw 9% growth year-on-year between 2014 and 2015, with $61.2 million invested into 94 companies across 132 deals in 2015.

Source: CB Insights

 

The inaugural Tech Pioneers Report prepared by H2 Ventures, one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms, identified online accounting software company Xero and cloud-based point-of-sale (POS) and retail platform Vend among the top ten Tech Pioneers that are taking advantage of technology and driving disruption across a range of industries.

The startup scene has been described as “tightly-networked”, and the culture as “laid back, creative, fun-loving and balanced”. Here, we give you the lowdown on New Zealand’s up-and-coming startup scene:

Also read: The Ultimate Guide to the Startup Community in Singapore

Communities

New Zealand Technology Industry Association
NZTech enables the growth of the tech industry in New Zealand by providing leadership in engaging government leaders, the media and other stakeholders. They support the New Zealand government’s quest to becoming a digital nation by acting as an information hub for investors and businesses.

Creative HQ
The startup base in New Zealand’s capital city Wellington aims to increase the number of high growth businesses in New Zealand through its incubation and accelerator programmes, as well as grassroots entrepreneur initiatives and innovation spaces.

Built in Wellington
This website describes itself as a “one -top poster board for what makes this city hum” and curates startup events in Wellington, as well as news, articles, blogs, and tips.

NZ Startup of the Week
This blog showcases a new startup in New Zealand every Monday and is a great way to keep yourself updated on the freshest startup on the scene! (Subscribe)

Facebook groups

NZ Tech Startups Eco-System
With more than 6,000 members, this group helps you stay up to date on the New Zealand startup scene, find information, meet investors and co-founders and find answers to your startup questions.  

Founder Finder NZ/AUS
This Facebook group helps you connect with other entrepreneurs, creative talent, venture capital and subject matter experts.

Co-working spaces

Biz-Dojo (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch)
This co-working and collaboration network has offices in several locations and becoming a member gives you access to all the locations.

Enspiral Space (Wellington)
Self-described as a “‘DIY’ social enterprise support network”, Enspiral regularly hosts public gatherings at its physical hub Enspiral Space. It targets entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers, and charities with an ethical focus.

YND Workshop (Wellington)
This co-working space describes itself as a “light-filled, open-plan space ideal for creatives and techies” and offers a number of flexible options for hiring space, from day-rate hot-desking to monthly fixed-desks.

Generator (Auckland)
Generator has many options for hiring space, including private suites, permanent desks, hot-desking and casual membership to their bar and lounge.

Movers & Shakers (Auckland)
Located on the top floor of one of Britomart’s most eccentric heritage buildings, it is ideal for those who want to be inspired by the place they work in.

Bridge Street Collective (Christchurch)
This co-working space is known for its inspiring community, and community events include meetups, morning tea every morning, after work drinks and more.

Events

For a summary of all the startup-related events going on in Wellington, check out the Built in Wellington calendar! Some cool events you should definitely check out include:-

Techweek
Techweek is a nationwide technology festival that showcases entrepreneurship and innovation. For Techweek’17 taking place in May 2017, you have the option of submitting an event if it falls within any of the following five themes: Next Generation, The Equality Gap, The Future of Food, Scaling Impact and Environmental Shift.

Startup Garage
This event series run by Creative HQ that is open to anyone and includes office visits, hosting visiting speakers with inspiring stories and conducting information expert sessions.

Startup Weekend
This global initiative is an intense 54 hour event that brings together developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts to share ideas, form teams and build products.

Resources

Dragon Law – affordable legal documents

Founded in Hong Kong in 2012, Dragon Law expanded into New Zealand in June 2016 with a total of 15 free legal documents that were localised for the New Zealand jurisdiction.

 

6 months following Dragon Law’s soft launch into New Zealand, we now offer a total of 33 documents as part of the Startup Plan – that provides New Zealand startups with all the legal documents they need through the phases of Pre-Startup, Startup, Growth, and Maturity. With an online legal service such as Dragon Law, Founders have the ability meet their legal needs at a fraction of the time, cost, and complexity.

Dragon Law’s DIY document builder now contains 33 documents for use in New Zealand.
Sign up for a completely free account to start creating your first two legal documents.

 

Also check out Dragon Law’s (FREE!) eBook library to learn more about basic legal fundamentals, owning your trade mark, doing business online, and fundraising.

Claim your first two FREE legal docs →

 

Xero – cloud accounting software
New Zealand pride Xero offers a cloud-based accounting software for small and medium-sized businesses simplifies paperwork and allows you to focus on building your business. Similar to Dragon Law, Xero also maintains a comprehensive library of handy small business guides.

Accelerators & Incubators

Lightning Lab
With the aim of creating great businesses at lightning speeds, this accelerator programme launched in Wellington in 2012 offers a 12-week mentor-intensive programme that provides startups with structure, business skills and access to a global network of more than 100 mentors and advisors

R9 Accelerator
This accelerator is a partnership between Creative HQ and New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. It bring together entrepreneurs, developers, private sector specialists and government to work on projects that tackle major pain points for New Zealand businesses. This in-residence accelerator gives startups the opportunity to dive deep into their opportunity areas over the period of three months.

Did we miss anything?

What other communities form the cornerstone of New Zealand’s startup community?

Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to sign up for your free Dragon Law account for New Zealand!

Why should you track website ranking in 2017?

January 10, 2017

Search engine optimisation (SEO) plays a highly essential role when it comes to your website’s rankings. SEO is a game to stay one step ahead of your component. The world of SEO continues to change at lightning speed and stays moving. The prominent SEO trends of 2016 will transit into 2017 and continue to evolve.

In the SEO industry, plenty of rules and processes have stayed the same (e.g. mobile optimisation is still significant, responsive web design is still crucial in enhancing the ranking, keyword ranking is still as imperative as earlier…) but much have changed too.

In this modern era of SEO, people have been in lots of discussions over the past couple of years on the value of tracking your website rankings. This is high time when companies will look at their marketing efforts over the past year and make plans for 2017. Marketing leaders are keen to start preparing the digital strategies in 2017. One of the best ways to achieve the competitive dominance of SEO trends in 2017 is to be aware of how search engines are changing. By knowing all the strategies, you can adjust your content and SEO strategy before your competitors have a chance to catch up and you need to be aware of SEO revolutions.

One of the most significant ways to gain and keep a competitive advantage within your SEO industry is to carefully watch the subtle changes in SEO trends and modify your campaigns to match the new realities of the online world.

What is on horizon for search engine optimisation (SEO) practitioners in 2017?

2017 is going to bring rank tracking back to the front position. Tracking of website ranking is as old as the world’s first search engine. It tracks the impact of your on-site and off-site changes via your ranking which is a good business at this point. Google’s algorithm has been improved and also the ability to track the website rankings.

Tracking website ranking may not be new but it is as important as ever. We only need to change with the times and build smarter tools that can cope with Google’s emphasis on semantic research.

It’s all about related keywords

Be sure to research your keywords. You may think you have a good keyword, but a better one may be lurking around the corner. Use Google AdWords Keyword Planner possibly to get estimate based on your AdWords page. Don’t repeat a single keyword phrase throughout a post or page anymore.

Related reading: 8 Powerful Linkbuilding Strategies for Law Firm Websites

How will your SEO efforts translate into rankings?

Properly optimising a website is a crucial SEO success factor for 2017. Google wants webmasters to SEO their website so that it provides an engaging user experience for the user. The user experience (UX) of your website will become an increasingly important organic ranking factor in 2017.    Tweet this

Website owners always need to track the impact of changes you make (on-page and off-page) on your rankings. That includes changes of all kinds, from switching to HTTPs and going mobile to tweaking your titles and descriptions. After these changes you can see the correlation between your rankings and SEO efforts and which changes may have a positive effect and which may have a negative effect.

Invest in Speed

Slow websites are not good for users or search engines. Slow speed won’t do your website rankings any favour. Website speed can be a complex issue to troubleshoot as it is affected by three separate layers:

  1. Backend (databases and server side scripting)
  2. Frontend (HTML, client-side scripting)
  3. Network (connection speed, DNS)

Search engine optimisation companies enhance your strategy and will explain key factors for ranking high in search engine result pages. These are few of the factors that will affect your SEO ranking in 2017:

  • Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP)
  • Domain authority vs page authority
  • Poor coding
  • Poor hosting
  • Micro-formats for your content
  • Low quality links
  • Incorrect robot.txt
  • Compression
  • Content readability
  • Content keywords
  • High bounce rates
  • Render blocking
  • Content- relevant topics
  • Low text to HTML ratio
  • Browser caching

2016 has only just ended and SEO consultants are already debating over the strategies and tactics that need to be followed in 2017. Know about the SEO trends in 2017 to stay ahead of your competitors in the SEO game. Know about the effectual and valuable SEO trends to survive in the modern marketing industry.

This a guest contribution submitted by Mike Hall of Clap Creative. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view! Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.

Clap Creative is a highly committed SEO company to put the right SEO strategy on place with advanced marketing tools to increase your leads, calls and sales and bring you the highest ROI. Follow Clap Creative on Twitter and Google+.

The True Value of HR

The rapid advent of technology over the past few decades has completely revolutionised traditional HR roles today. Excel spreadsheets, manual payroll calculations, attendance tracking – these HR paperwork have been made obsolete. Instead, fancy terms such as HRIS, HRMS, and cloud computing have replaced traditional HR processes. Additionally, the number of shared services or third-party organisations, handling classic HR roles such as recruitment and payroll, have been stealthily increasing over the years.

Also read: The 4 Things You Must Consider Before Outsourcing Payroll

With the automation of HR jobs on the rise, are HR professionals fast becoming archaic? What is the true value of HR in our business place today?

Take this for example:

John was recently promoted to a Human Resources management position at AZ company, an eCommerce and technology startup. John did not have much experience in a HR role and figured tasks and processes out as he went along. When AZ company started seeing rapid growth, he hired twenty people within a one-month time frame in order to meet the company’s talent demand.

Pleased with his feat, he spent long hours brainstorming recruitment and retention strategies, sieving through hundreds of resumes and interviewing candidates as well as planning excellent employee compensation packages. Now, AZ company has sufficient employees to carry out its project demands.

Fast forward a year later, John was told that AZ company is unable to sustain the rapid growth and was making losses. The current projects were almost done and new projects were not coming in. In order to cut losses, some people had to be let go. John felt extremely frustrated that he had gone through so much effort to hire people and now, they were going to be laid off. He also felt bad for those who had given up other jobs only to have worked for less than a year with AZ company. 

Learn more: Dismissing Employees

On hindsight, John reflected that if he had spoken with the top management earlier – find out the duration of the projects, determine the estimated capital and resources that the company is willing to fork out – he would have been able to plan his manpower resources differently. For instance, hire people on a contractual rather than permanent basis. Additionally, the company could have hired the help of an external agency to recruit workers for him. John learnt that he had to work closely with the company’s top management to be aligned with the business strategy and develop an appropriate human resource management strategy to ensure that AZ company has the right number of workers, with the right skills at the right time.

 

Download our free eBook on Employment:

Singapore version      Hong Kong version

 

This is but one of many anecdotes to illustrate how strategic HR is imperative towards the success of your business to succeed. The key to supporting business functions lies in making use of basic HR tools such as organisational redesign, job redesign and business process redesign to contribute to the organisation’s overall business strategy. However, this does not necessarily mean that traditional HR functions such as payroll, benefits administrations etc. can be ignored. Forward-thinking organisations must adapt to new technological advancements and automate (or partially-automate) such functions so they can focus on supporting and executing the strategic aspect of building up their organisation’s capability.

Such a role is one that cannot be automated or outsourced. This is where the true value of HR lies.

This a guest contribution submitted by Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll. Follow on Facebook

Want to read more articles related to payroll, HR & technology? Visit www.gpayroll.com

4 Cloud Computing Predictions for 2017 – What You Can Look Forward to

January 9, 2017

As the curtains close on 2016, there is a lot of anticipation for the upcoming year. What does it have to offer? The age-old tradition of predicting changes in the world of business is not about to die and so, here you are trying to figure out what you can look forward to in 2017 in terms of IT. Cloud computing is one of the areas that are going to see significant change in 2017. The year 2016 has dealt quite bountifully with cloud hosting. There have been a lot of improvements in security and functionality. It is only to be hoped that 2017 is going to bring with it some even better features.

It cannot be claimed that the future of IT is still hidden behind a misty curtain. Now, it is quite clear that technological developments are not about to slow down. It can only get better from where it is right now. There are a number of things that you can expect from cloud hosting in 2017. Here are some 4 predictions of what you can anticipate:

1) Growth of hybrid clouds

If you thought that you have seen enough of the hybrid clouds, they are about to become even more popular. They are costly, but are very beneficial to businesses. There is a growing demand for these clouds, but 2017 is going to see an even bigger demand. This is happening in the wake of the slow demise of enterprise public clouds. Soon, the enterprise public clouds will be no more and hybrid clouds will be the hottest thing.

Learn more about moving your business to the Cloud:

Download free eBook

 

2) Battle of the applications

The war of infrastructure is just about to conclude, but the battle of the applications is about to kick off in full swing. Businesses all over the world want to develop strong applications that can get even better with time. With platforms like Salesforce Github, it is possible to keep your applications up-to-date in terms of performance. Github has grown to become the finest version control systems that are available in the market. You can develop even better versions of all your application each time. You will need it if you are to improve the performance and operations of your business.

3) Data security upgrades

It is sad that the world is still talking about data insecurity. Well, as clouds become seemingly more secure, cyber terrorists continue to grow their skills as well. They are always open for business. Public clouds are their playgrounds and that is part of the reason why these clouds are leaving the scene. Either way, there are going to be some impressive upgrades in terms of data security as time passes. You can now sleep peacefully.

4) Effortless data migration

Have you ever tried to move data from a hard drive to another one? It is not easy work, right? You can now imagine migration of big data from a cloud server. It is not even funny. It is like moving houses. The delicateness of data makes it really hard to migrate but with development of data migrators that are compatible with a variety of cloud types, moving data will be so much easier.

About the author

This a guest contribution submitted by David Wicks. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view! Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.
David is a data analyst and blogger on data IT solutions. He has also been studying data migration tools available in the market, such as flosum.com with the aim of expanding his skills in data analysis and processing.

Planning your holidays in 2017 – Hong Kong

January 4, 2017

Startups could be heaven or hell: You enjoyed every moment working here, you allowed it to immerse completely into your life, and eventually find yourself at work endlessly. On the first official working day in 2017, if ‘making breakthroughs in my business’ is on your New Year’s resolution, you may want to add ‘having holidays’ on top of that, because this is how you reboot yourself to lead your company to higher productivity.

Here are some tips to assist you in planning for long holidays ahead!

BAD NEWS BEFORE THE GOOD NEWS

There is no public holiday in February, March, June, August, September and November. Yep, six tough months… and six to work out your holiday plans. Half empty, or half full?

WEEKEND GETAWAYS

There are opportunities to get 4 days off with only a day’s annual leave in the months of April and May. Public holiday for Ching Ming Festival is scheduled on April 4 (Tuesday), which means you can enjoy a short trip simply by applying for leave on April 3 (Monday). Going to Japan to experience the season of Sakura may be a good choice to get your mind refreshed! Another public holiday on Tuesday is the Dragon Boat Festival on May 30, the same mechanism applies as you only have to take leave on May 29 (Monday). Thailand, Taiwan, and Singapore are places you can reach within 2-3 hours.

LONGER VACATIONS

If you are looking for longer vacations to recharge fully, have a look at the public holidays in January, April, May, September, October and December. Connecting the 4 consecutive Chinese New Year holidays (January 28-31) with 3 days of leave (February 1-3), you can plan a 9-day-8-night trip. April and May are definitely the perfect periods to escape from work for a mid-year personal review. You can choose to apply for leave on April 10-13, to link the previous weekend and Easter holidays for 10 day-offs. Another option is to join the weekends, Labor Day and the Buddha’s birthday together for 9 day-offs, by taking leave on May 2, 4-5. Heading to the end of 2017, you have two last chances to reward yourself in September, October and December. Applying for 3 days of leave (October 3-4, 6), you can enjoy a vacation from September 30 to October 8 with the National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival. For those who are working abroad in Hong Kong, you only have to spend 3 days from your annual leave (December 27-29) to go home to celebrate Christmas with your family for 10 days!

Holiday tips for employers 

If the peak season for your business happens during the holiday season, and your employees apply the planner above, this could cause operational troubles to your company. An immediate question you may want to ask:

Is imposing a holiday blackout legal?

Technically, the Labour Department of the HKSAR provides that employers have the ultimate say with the approval of annual leave. However, for better staff management, it is recommended that you communicate leave entitlements and the rationale behind with an Employment Policy Handbook. This can help setting the right expectations for your employees and avoiding conflicts.

Download our free eBook on Employment in Hong Kong

“TO REST IS TO PREPARE FOR A LONGER JOURNEY AHEAD”

Leave entitlement is an important management issue. The way you handle it will have a direct effect on the employer-employee relationship, thus the company performance. Seeds of resentment may be sowed into your team if you can enjoy long holidays while imposing vacation blackouts on them. A possible way out is to actively generate a long weekend to your employees with a special company holiday (you have some choices above that do not clash with your business peak). This would demonstrate your respect to the team by treating you and your employees equally.

Don’t worry about a day or two your company loses for work, re-plan your company calendar and employees’ leave entitlements now for high business growth in 2017!

Read more about other important workplace policies