Hi-Tech Awards 2015 winners named

Another gong for Xero but also some new faces.

Fronde Hi-Tech Young Achiever Award

Winner: Ben O’Brien – CEO and Co-founder of StretchSense


Qual IT Best Technology Solution for the Public Sector Award

Winner: Foster Moore


IBM Most Innovative Initiative Award

Winner: Network for Learning

Highly Commended: The Mind Lab by Unitec


Callaghan Innovation Best Technology Solution for the Creative Sector Award

Winner: Umajin


Duncan Cotterill Innovative Software Product Award

Winner: Umajin


Endace Innovative Hardware Product Award

Winner: Phitek

Highly Commended: SnapitHD


Grow Wellington Innovative Service Product Award

Winner: Straker Translations


NZTE Most Innovative Agritech Product Award

Winner: SnapitHD


UK Trade & Investment Innovative Mobile Technology Award

Winner: Geozone


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

Winner: Mindscape

Highly Commended: Timely


Cisco Hi-Tech Emerging Company of the Year

Winner: Volpara Solutions

Highly Commended: Totara Learning


PwC NZ Hi-Tech Company of the Year Award

Winner: Xero

Competition was tough at this year’s NZ Hi-Tech Awards, with the winners presented with their awards at the annual Gala Dinner in Wellington attended by more than 700 guests last night.

Judges reported that the calibre of this year’s entrants was at 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 12 award categories.

The 2015 Awards saw a record number of entries with over 150 organisations entering, many of them for the first time.

“There has been a huge number of entries in the start-up and young achiever categories,” says Wayne Norrie, chairman of the Hi-Tech Trust. “The New Zealand technology sector is clearly in great shape for the future with so many awesome young companies embarking on their big journey”

Xero won the big award of the night, the PwC Hi-Tech Company of the Year award for 2015. A category judged solely by the international judging panel. In selecting Xero as the winner, the judges commented, “It takes continuity of performance over more than a single year to earn this award. The company evidences superb operational efficiency, planning a new version of its software each week, with 400 releases in 2014. Development of new features follows a tried and true winning behaviour: give your customers what they request. Lastly, the open API’s for go-to-market through the accountancy channel is brilliant,” says Mr Norrie.

Another big winner was Umajin, who won two awards taking out both the Callaghan Innovation Best Technology Solution for the Creative Sector and the Duncan Cotterill Hi-Tech Innovative Software Product category. The judges remarked, “Umajin has drawn on 20 years engineering, gaming design and app development expertise to create a globally unique platform for designing and publishing beautiful and user friendly apps without requirement for coding. Their editor tool has attracted an impressive list of customers and partners including Intel, IBM and leading global agency group WPP.”

NZ Hi-Tech Trust chair Wayne Norrie says with such tough competition across the categories, it was pleasing to see so many new faces among the winners, including companies such as Foster Moore, GeoZone, Network for Learning, Phitek, Snapit HD, Straker Translations and Volpara Solutions.

The NZ Hi-Tech Awards
Now in its 21st year, the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards celebrate the success of producers of goods and services from the software, electronics, telecommunications, mobile, agritech, creative and other hi-tech industries. The Awards are run by the NZ Hi-Tech Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that supports and promotes the wider industry. The board is made up of ten trustees: Victoria Crone, Bennett Medary, Al Monro and Ross Peat in Auckland, chair Wayne Norrie, John Fokerd, Neville Jordan and Jennifer Rutherford in Wellington and Christchurch-based Owen Scott and Andrew Plimmer.

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