2017 NZ Hi-Tech Awards: Pushpay big winner, Valintine enters Hall of Fame

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2017 Flying Kiwi and inductee into the Tait Communications Hi-Tech Hall of Fame

Xero Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award

  • Winner: Aliesha Staples
  • Highly commended: Kendall Flutey
     

Qual IT Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Public Sector Award

IBM Innovative Company of the year Award

ATEED Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Creative Sector Award

Callaghan Innovation Hi-Tech Maori Innovation Award

Duncan Cotterill Most Innovative Hi-Tech Software Product Award

Endace Most Innovative Hi-Tech Hardware Product Award

Kiwibank Most Innovative Hi-Tech Services Award

NZTE Best Hi-Tech Solution for the Agritech Sector Award

Quick Circuit Most Innovative Hi-Tech Mobile Award

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

Coretex Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year

PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award


Pushpay was the big winner at the 2017 Hi-Tech Awards gala dinner in Auckland tonight, claiming the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year category and the IBM Innovative Company Award. A record breaking 910 people attended the awards dinner, held to celebrate the successes of New Zealand hi-tech companies across 13 categories and to recognise the 2017 Flying Kiwi, Frances Valintine.

In selecting Pushpay as the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year, the international judges said, “Pushpay was first to recognise a worldwide unserved market need: credit and collections help for churches and charities. They have combined hi-tech with an innovative business model and quickly gained impressive traction both locally and in America; as a result they are now in a strong position to dominate those markets even as they diversify their product line towards more conventional commercial customers. Pushpay is solidly profitable and a truly great example of nimble, fast-moving Kiwi innovation."

Wastewater sewage treatment technology company Biolytix won the Callaghan Innovation-sponsored Māori Innovation Award, and new Callaghan chief executive Vic Crone made a cultural and public relations mark by only speaking in Maori during her stint on stage.

Another big winner tonight was RedShield Security, garnering two awards – the Duncan Cotterill Innovative Software Product Award and the Kiwibank Innovative Services Award.

The judges remarked, “We were impressed with RedShield’s proprietary, patent-pending technology. RedShield uses a clever combination of security shields and consulting services to protect and mask clients’ security vulnerabilities and extend the life of their complex, high-value web applications.  This approach allows fast, secure deployment, whilst the underlying security flaws in clients' core applications can be addressed over time.  RedShield's IP is a complex set of algorithms and processes, which scan and shield web-apps to address both technical and business logic vulnerabilities.”

The Hi-Tech Awards judges say 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 50 local and international judges who assessed entrants across the 13 award categories.

Tonight also marked the unveiling of the 2017 Flying Kiwi, Frances Valintine, founder and chairwoman of the MindLab by Unitec and recent founder of the Tech Futures Lab.

New Zealand Hi-Tech Trust chair Wayne Norrie says it’s great to be able to recognise Ms Valintine's achievements

“Frances has achieved so much and is truly an inspiring and passionate individual. She is changing the way people think about technology and the pivotal role that it plays in our lives, not only today but, critically, how important it is to our future as a country. Frances is just an awesome person and a true role model for us all. It’s great that her peers recognise the contribution that Frances is making to New Zealand.” he says.

Earlier, the awards drew a degree of controversy after PledgeMe founder Anna Geunther criticised what she saw a reflection of industry sexism in the nominee list and the nominee announcement function.

RELATED AUDIO: Pushpay Pay chief executive Chris Heaslip talks about keeping the startup faith on Sunday Business with Andrew Patterson.

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