I had the pleasure of assisting with the judging for two of the Incubator New Zealand awards this week. The standard of innovations and businesses was truly exceptional with some fantastic results being achieved for companies in the first years. Below is the full press release, with details of the short-listed businesses / individuals for each category. Note: from a personal perspective its great to see eBus in the list and also i wasn’t involved in judging this category!
Finalists named for Gen-i NZ Incubator Awards
Monday, 28 July 2008, 2:58 pm
Press Release: Incubators New Zealand
Ten of New Zealand’s most dynamic start-up companies, including companies developing GPS tracking systems and utilising robotic technologies, have today been named as finalists in the 2008 Gen-i New Zealand Incubator Awards.
The finalists will contest four categories, with the winners to be announced in Wellington on Tuesday, 5 August. An additional award will be made to a company that has graduated from the incubation environment and excelled in their recent business achievements.
The Awards were introduced by Incubators New Zealand in 2005 with the aim of celebrating the knowledge-based start-ups that business incubators are helping to grow.
Incubators New Zealand Chairman Jonathan Kirkpatrick congratulated the finalists and believed they should be applauded for their achievements.
“Creating an outstanding business requires more than a great idea. It takes an incredible amount of commitment and perseverance, particularly when you’re also taking on the world, and all of these companies deserve recognition for what they’ve achieved,” he said.
Principal sponsor Gen-i’s GM of Wellington Key Clients and Enterprise, Paul Wilson, congratulated the finalists and said that sponsoring the Awards is just one way Gen-i encourages emerging ICT businesses.
“The Gen-i Incubator Awards are all about recognising the innovation shown by emerging New Zealand businesses and entrepreneurs. We are committed to supporting these successful companies whose skills and ideas contribute to building a strong local ICT industry. Hopefully their achievements will provide the inspiration for other New Zealand entrepreneurs,” he said.
The finalists for the 2008 Gen-i New Zealand Incubator Awards are:
Start-Up of the Year
• Blackhawk Tracking Systems Limited (Auckland)
• INRO Technologies Limited (Auckland)
• TracPlus Global Limited (Dunedin)
Start-Up Exporter of the Year
• CropLogic (Christchurch)
• Hector’s World (Auckland)
• TracPlus Global Limited (Dunedin)
Innovation of the Year
• iMonitor Limited (Auckland)
• PowerbyProxi Limited (Auckland)
• TracMap NZ Limited (Dunedin)
Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year
• Carmine Masiello – eBUS Limited (Auckland)
• Chris Hinch – TracPlus Global Limited (Dunedin)
• Neil Fitzpatrick – Oh! Group Limited (Wellington)

About Incubators New Zealand
Incubators in New Zealand are organisations that give fledgling entrepreneurs an opportunity to develop their innovative ideas and set up new businesses in order to commercialise them. The entrepreneurs’ term of activity in the incubator considerably enhances their prospects of raising the financial investment they need, finding strategic partners, and emerging from the incubator with businesses that can stand on their own two feet.
Incubators New Zealand was established in 2003 as an industry body and charged with driving and guiding the development of incubation. The association is tasked with providing New Zealand’s regional incubators with the tools, capability and networks to significantly increase their chances of growing the next wave of Kiwi start-up entrepreneurs. For more information, please visit www.incubators.org.nz.
About Gen-i
Gen-i is at the forefront of helping customers take advantage of the convergence of technology and telecommunications, and the new opportunities this makes possible. Gen-i works alongside its 3,300 corporate, government and business customers to deliver seamless and integrated ICT solutions. A member of the Telecom New Zealand Group, Gen-i achieves this with the support of 3,300 highly skilled people in 17 locations across New Zealand and Australia. For more information on Gen-i, visit www.gen-i.co.nz
The following information relates to each of the finalists.
The text in brackets is the incubator that they are/were resident in.
BLACKHAWK Tracking Systems Limited (The ICEHOUSE, Auckland)
The only event-based telematics company in Australasia, BLACKHAWK’s products are designed for car finance companies, hire equipment firms, refrigerated container companies and personal vehicles. Combining internet mapping, GSM and GPS tracking, BLACKHAWK sends a text to a vehicle or asset owner when an event happens and the owner can then track its position using GPS viewed online or on a nominated mobile phone. This event could be when an asset moves from within a set perimeter or when a vehicle is in an accident. BLACKHAWK have already secured significant angel investment, and seen staff numbers grow to 10 employees.
CropLogic (Canterbury Innovation Incubator)
CropLogic, a start-up from the New Zealand Institute of Crop & Food Research, provides internet based supply management and forecasting services to food processors, the fresh produce supply chain and crop management advice to their suppliers. CropLogic services deliver improved quality and yield, better economic returns and a reduced environmental footprint. With their first Product, the Potato Calculator, CropLogic already has contracts with the world’s five largest potato processors and their major suppliers, with over 90% of revenue coming from export sales.
eBUS Limited (The ICEHOUSE, Auckland)
eBUS has developed cutting edge software that allows production teams, creatives and their clients to access and work on the same piece of video footage at the same time no matter where in the world they are. It is little surprise that the original TradeMe angel investment company Movac and TradeMe founder Sam Morgan have recently invested $1.25m in eBUS when you consider that it has over 50% market share in New Zealand and promising signs from international markets in South East Asia and India.
Hector’s World (The ICEHOUSE, Auckland)
Hector’s World offers high quality and reliable products that help children become wise and confident users of information and communication technologies. A charitable subsidiary of New Zealand’s internet safety group, NetSafe, Hector’s World is a social entrepreneurship venture. Their products are designed to work well alongside existing cyber-safety programs in a country and already it has been launched across Britain, through UK primary schools, by a UK Governmental organisation.
iMonitor Limited (AUT Technology Park, Auckland)
iMonitor is an Auckland company that has developed wireless technology that enables people to monitor and control situations at remote locations, in real time, from practically anywhere on the planet. Having grown in eighteen months from 2 to 12 staff, iMonitor is now installing their technology into food cool stores which can not only save the operator energy costs but will reduce cool store product losses worth millions of dollars annually.
INRO Technologies (The ICEHOUSE, Auckland)
INRO Technologies uses robotics to automate customers’ existing vehicles, autonomously moving products within warehouses and cold stores. In the past year the company has grown from volunteer staff to over 20 full-time staff and received one of the largest angel investments ever in New Zealand.
Oh! Group Limited (Creative HQ, Wellington)
Oh! Group is an independent drinks innovation and marketing company based in Wellington. Their first product, Loud&Lola Cocktails, was launched in late 2007 in conjunction with DB Breweries and is now distributed to over 150 liquor stores nationally. This is only the first step for a company that is actively creating new products and entering new markets.
PowerbyProxi Limited (The ICEHOUSE, Auckland)
A spin-out from the University of Auckland, PowerbyProxi is a pioneer in the design and development of turnkey wireless power solutions, which eliminate the need for a physical or frictional power connection to electronic devices. Their first product, Proxi-Ring a completely contactless slip ring, is ready to be launched after a 12 month development effort with John Deere.
TracPlus Global Limited (Upstart Business Incubator, Dunedin)
Recent winners of the Global Technium Challenge, this Dunedin company has developed a revolutionary tracking service for commercial, government and non government agencies that is now operating in 14 countries and areas, including the Antarctic. TracPlus allows users to not only monitor the status and location of their assets, but also to securely share that information with other users, regardless of tracking hardware and network chosen.
TracMap NZ Limited (Upstart Business Incubator, Dunedin)
TracMap provides a complete agricultural and horticultural GPS guidance and proof of placement mapping package for vehicles operating in demanding outdoor environments. For fertiliser spreading contractors it can achieve a 15% productivity gain and reduce environmental impact from fertiliser application. In less than two years TracMap has grown from 2 to 14 staff, sold over 300 units nationally and developed a product variant for the aviation industry.