The Waikato is the Silicon Valley of New Zealand, writes Company-X director David Hallett, and Techweek 2019 Waikato proves it.

Techweek is an annual opportunity organised by CultivateIT and Te Waka to showcase the Waikato’s technology and innovation capabilities and facilitate regional and business growth objectives.

CultivateIT exists to advance the Waikato as a regional technology powerhouse.

Its focus is raising the profile of Waikato’s innovation and growth in IT to attract talent and investment, forging opportunities to connect IT businesses and to partner with key stakeholders, bringing together IT talent, industry and community and promoting the Waikato as a smart choice.

Te Waka is the Waikato’s economic development agency.

Techweek 2019 Waikato is all about the region’s technology sector standing up to be counted.

The 2018 Technology Innovation Network Report said Hamilton region recorded the largest revenue growth rate for the year at 16.3 per cent, a $119 million increase.

We’ve certainly had our piece of the action at Company-X. Last year Deloitte named Company-X the fastest growing technology company in the Central North Island in the Deloitte Fast 50.
Company-X also ranked on the Deloitte Technolgy Fast 500 register for Asia Pacific for the second consecutive year.

Highlights of the Techweek 2019 Waikato programme include the Maori tech showcase and the Small and medium enterprise digital retreat.

The Maori showcase will allow attendees to see, learn about, touch and try emerging technology initiatives from leading Maori technology entrepreneurs.

The digital retreat will offer information, inspiration and opportunities to get hands on with technology to support small businesses on their digital journey.

The Techweek Waikato 2019 festival also includes:

• Agritech innovation
• Community focussed drop-in sessions
• Data visualisation workshop
• Deep dive into tech
• Design thinking workshop
• Engaging with open data
• Future of tech in accounting
• LinkedIn Local
• Live local, work global expo
• Millennial awards
• Regional technology breakfasts
• Regional technology summit
• Smart cities experience

CultivateIT operations manager and TechWeek 2019 Waikato coordinator Jannat Maqbool said the range of events reflected the opportunity Techweek presented to showcase the uptake of digital technologies across young people, business and the wider regional community.

“Feedback from our 2018 festival was encouraging and this year we are again working on and supporting events that will engage, inspire and connect, fostering a collaborative approach to building regional capacity focused on sustainable initiatives supporting economic growth and community wellbeing,” she says.

Techweek 2019 Waikato starts Monday, May 20.

Organisers are looking for speakers, exhibitors, volunteers and sponsors. Email hello@cultivateit.nz for more information.