2014 NZ Hi-Tech Award winners named

At last night's awards dinner in Christchurch, L-R: Vend CEO Vaughan Rowsell, Voyager chief executive Seeby Woodhouse and Xero boss Rod Drury

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Competition was tough at this year’s NZ Hi-Tech Awards. Winners were presented with their awards at the annual Gala Dinner in Christchurch last night, marking the 20th anniversary of the Awards.

Judges say the calibre of this year’s entrants was extremely high, making the job of selecting winners exceedingly challenging for the more than 50 local and international judges who assessed entrants across the 12 award categories.

The IBM Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award for companies under $5m was particularly hotly contested, and judges were so impressed with the entry from Animation Research that they took the unprecedented step of recommending a special award be made in recognition of Animation Research’s contribution to the industry.

Orion Health, Vend and Vmob were standout winners in this year, all winning two awards each, with Vmob also being singled out for a special commendation in a third category.

Orion Health won the big award of the night, the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award for 2014, and also took home the NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award for companies over $5m.

Judges were highly complimentary about Orion Health’s performance and future plans.

“Orion Health has demonstrated outstanding year-on-year growth, substantial business acumen in a terribly complex and competitive market, and amazing international diversification. It is no small achievement that Orion Health has obtained 49 of the 50 US States as customers. Orion Health is simply a standout example of a New Zealand company that has achieved global presence and financial scale through product and management excellence.”

Vend scooped up the Cisco Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year Award, and, for the second year running, the IBM Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award for companies under $5m.

Judges were particularly impressed by Vend’s history of meeting its forecast numbers every time, its mature approach to sales and marketing and how well the product and business story were presented to judges.

“With 10,000 customers located in 140 countries, Vend is clearly well on its way. It's also very pleasing to see they have been able to rebuff all approaches to locate offshore which is testament to their determination to remain a Kiwi company.”

Vmob was a big winner on the night, winning both the Grow Wellington Innovative Service Product Award and the UK Trade & Investment Innovative Mobile TechnologyAward, and receiving a commendation in the Duncan Cotterill Innovative Software Product Award - which was won by Mindscape.

Guy Horrocks, co-founder of Carnival Mobile - which last year won the Most Innovative Mobile Technology Award - was amongst the winners again, taking away the FrondeHi-Tech Young Achiever Award.

NZ Hi-Tech Trust Chair Wayne Norrie says with such tough competition across the categories, it was pleasing to see some new faces amongst the winners – companies such as Delta Strike International, Vigil Monitoring and Smart Water Technology.

The 2014 NZ Hi-Tech Award winners are:


Fronde Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award

Winner: Guy Horrocks – Co-founder of Carnival Mobile


New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Best Contribution to the New Zealand Hi-Tech Sector by an Internationally Headquartered Company

Winner: Microsoft


IBM Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award - Under $5million

Winner: Vend

Special Lifetime Achievement Award: Animation Research


NZMEA Hi-Tech Exporter of the Year Award - Over $5million

Winner: Orion Health


Duncan Cotterill Innovative Software Product Award

Winner: Mindscape

Highly Commended: VMob


Endace Innovative Hardware Product Award

Winner: Delta Strike International

Highly Commended: Dairy Automation


Grow Wellington Innovative Service Product Award

Winner: VMob

Highly Commended: Mindscape


UK Trade & Investment Innovative Mobile Technology Award

Winner: VMob


Callaghan Innovation Pre-commercialisation Company of the Year

Winner: Vigil Monitoring


New Zealand Venture Investment Fund Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year

Winner: Smart Water Technology

Highly Commended: Timely


Cisco Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year

Winner: Vend

Highly Commended: Movio


PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award

Winner: Orion Health


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