Wellington the start up capital

Technology Spectator reports:

New Zealand’s capital city is fast shaping up as a world-class start-up hub, according to a group of Australian firms who won a trip across the Tasman.

Five Australian start-ups were selected to tour Wellington’s tech and start-up scene as part of the Wellington Adds up competition, a government drive to encourage wider business investment and attract strong ICT talent.

The businesses, from Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Canberra, met with business and industry leaders, and on their return have touted Wellington’s “very progressive” community and small business support by government.

The city, which is home to about 200,000 people, boasts no capital gains tax, no payroll tax, along with liberal laws around equity crowdfunding.

I’ve met a fair few of the start ups in Wellington. They’re doing great things, often operating from a two person office on teh fringes of the CBD.

Kate Raynes-Goldie, founder of gaming consultancy start-up Games We Play, said her feeling was that the Wellington local government was an extremely supportive one.

“The government support and enthusiasm for games and tech startups in Wellington is impressive”, she said. “The scene is vibrant, with innovative co-working spaces like BizDojo and a range of incubator and accelerator programmes such as CreativeHQ, as well as R&D and capacity funding, which all offer great opportunities for game and tech entrepreneurs. I can only imagine what we could do in Australia with the same level of support.” …

Local entrepreneur Melissa Clark-Reynolds told Technology Spectator businesses like Xero could thrive due to the community’s support and willingness to ‘sit down and have a chat’ whenever needed.

“It’s more a village than a city, and everyone knows everyone,” she said. “If you hit a wall and need help, people will just say come see me tomorrow and we’ll have a coffee.

“There’s no class system here really we have a very flat society. Everyone is a peer and everyone is happy to help everyone, it’s a Kiwi thing. We’re fiercely egalitarian.”

It is a village. And people are always meeting to chat over coffee. Some days I have four to five coffee dates in a row!

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