A free online platform connecting New Zealand businesses with funders, incubators, multinationals and other collaborators launches today.
Scale-Up NZ, from Callaghan Innovation, embodies the vision of the late physicist and entrepreneur Sir Paul Callaghan, who urged New Zealand to build nationwide communities of innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses.
Callaghan said Scale-Up NZ delivers accurate insights on ambitious, innovative New Zealand companies, removing information gaps that often prevent businesses from achieving their potential.
The platform crowd sources information from the companies themselves and Callaghan Innovation data analysts verify that data.
“We’ve worked with over 2,800 companies in the last year, but we continue to find that many of them are struggling to locate the partners or funders that could help take their business to the next level,” said Callaghan Innovation chief executive Vic Crone.
“We will do most of the work curating the platform as a trusted, secure and high-quality source of intelligence so our innovative businesses are more visible and the potential for collaboration is more obvious.
"Companies on Scale-Up NZ will be able to showcase their innovations so that potential investors and collaborators here and globally can more easily discover and connect with them," she said.
While the platform may have been inspired by Sir Paul Callaghan, it is based on Israel's hugely successful Start-Up Nation Finder, which provides information on over 7,000 companies.
Thousands of people use Start-Up Nation Finder every day to search for Israeli start-ups, potential partners and investors.
“By having Scale-Up NZ based on the same basic platform as Start-Up Nation Finder, over time we’ll be able to benchmark ourselves against, and learn from, Israel, Ireland and other small advanced economies that are on this or similar platforms," Crone said.
The platform groups together companies in similar areas of innovation based on an advanced tagging system.
With My Collections, registered users can follow and analyse companies, investors, hubs, and multinationals in one easy to manage interface.
Users can request mediated introductions, which also has potential to help job seekers connect with possible employers.
Erica Lloyd, general manager market and sectors at Callaghan Innovation, said Scale-Up NZ draws on research here and overseas that shows highly-networked and collaborative innovation ecosystems produce more intellectual property, commercialise more science and attract more capital.
“We’ve launched now so the innovation ecosystem can see the power of the platform and help us build out the data faster," she said.
"We expect the hundreds of profiles on the platform today will become thousands within a year or so as more New Zealand businesses realise the value of the connections and collaboration it enables.”