118 Co X 6 Mar2018
HI-TECH AWARDS FINALIST: David Hallett, top, with fellow Company-X co-founder and director Jeremy Hughes.

A Waikato technologist who, with his business partner, established a Silicon Valley level company in the region, is a finalist in the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards.

David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes founded software specialist Company-X in Hamilton in 2012. Hallett was named a finalist in the IBM Most Inspiring Individual Award at an entrants’ event in Auckland on March 27.

“I’m really very excited to be named a finalist in the Inspiring Individual category of the Hi-Tech Awards,” Hallett said. "I’m in very great company.”

The other finalists in the category are Rocket Lab chief executive and technology officer Peter Beck, Xero managing director Craig Hudson, OptimalBI managing director Victoria MacLennan, Spark managing director Simon Moutter, and ADInstruments product manager Sam Payton.

“It is really cool to see David from Company-X up there with such inspiring business leaders such as Peter from Rocket Lab, Simon from Spark and Craig from Xero,” said Hughes.

David and Jeremy have grown the team to about 50.

Company-X ranked on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 in the last two consecutive years and was named the fastest growing technology company in the Central North Island in the Deloitte Fast 50.

Hallett was nominated for the Most Inspiring Individual Award by his business partner, professional services manager Michael Hamid and communications manager Chris Gardner with the support of the Company-X team.

Nominations also came from the wider Waikato business community.

“David inspires because he’s a strategic thinker with great practical skills,” the Company-X nomination said.

“He has great client relationship skills backed with excellent broad technical knowledge. This leads to pragmatic client engagement upfront . . . He has an infectious enthusiasm for everything he does, evident in the business and on the many boards he serves and chairs.”

Hallett has an extensive, international, list of contacts.

“David is a great leader with exceptional people skills, treating everyone with kindness and respect regardless of their role.”

Hallett is co-founder of Cultivate IT nurturing the Waikato region as a technology powerhouse, chair of the Institute of IT Professionals Hamilton branch, ICT sector lead on Waikato Regional Labour Market Strategy Group, chair of the Bachelor of Information Technology Advisory Group of the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand, chair of the Good Collective helping the Waikato’s charitable and not for profit sectors, adviser for Wintec’s Centre for Business, IT and Enterprise, and a founder of the Innes48 Business Startup Competition, now the NZ Startup Bootcamp.

Hallett operates by Company-X’s founding values formulated with Jeremy. They are to do what you said you would do, make the customer look good and always offer options because the customer has the right to make informed choices.

Hi-Tech Trust chair Jen Rutherford says the standard of entries is the highest ever seen in the 25-year history of the awards.

“This year’s finalists span the full spectrum of the hi-tech sector and the country. For 2019 we have made been very conscious on building on the foundations of last year to ensure even greater diversity across our judging panels and amongst the entrants and finalists. It’s awesome to see so many areas of the country represented amongst the finalists with so many ethnic backgrounds and great female-led companies coming through. Our industry is truly in great shape,” Rutherford said.

The winners of the 2019 Hi-Tech Awards will be announced at Spark Arena, Auckland, on May 24.

The winner of this category will be an individual who is:

  • Making an outstanding contribution to a New Zealand hi-tech company as a director, senior executive, employee or contractor and/or to the hi-tech sector itself.
  • Demonstrating qualities that single them out as a leader and achiever.
  • Achieving way beyond what could be considered their “day job”.
  • A permanent resident (having legally resided in NZ for a minimum of five years) or a New Zealand citizen.”