On the 4th of February 2011, we asked some of our SoT2010 interns to tell us what they’d been up to this summer.

Adam Bramley and Brendan Vercoelen spent Summer of 2010/11 working on a wide range of Open Source projects at Catalyst IT.

Here’s the video of their talk:

Intern Lightning Talk: Catalyst IT from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.

 


At our Xero Summer Seminar on Friday 28 January we heard from 3 local Wellington tech gurus talking on the topic of “unleashing APIs”: Richard Rowley from Trademe, Dan Lee from YouDo, and Owen Evans from Xero.

Here’s a video of the seminar. Part 1 is Richard & Dan:

Unleashing APIs – Part 1 from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.

Part 2 is Owen plus QandAs with our live studio audience:

Unleashing APIs – Part 2 from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On the 4th of February 2011, we asked some of our SoT2010 interns to tell us what they’d been up to this summer.

First up: Cameron Fowler spent Summer of 2010 working as a code intern for Able Technology.  His projects included streetsalive.org.nz and a customisable store locator tool. 

Here’s the video of Cameron’s talk:

Intern Lightning Talk – Able Technology from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On 14 January 2011, Paul Soong (founder of socially responsible design agency The Church, and mover & shaker behind Semi-Permanent) talked about authenticity in a socially networked, transformational world can come to define who you work for, how far you can go and if you actually enjoy the journey.

Here’s the video of his talk:

Your Authentic Brand with Paul Soong from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On 11 January 2011, successful Wellington tech entrepreneurs Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Dave Moskovitz shared wisdom and learning about how to execute a great idea, how to get it from the garage to the market, and what the key ingredients are to building a successful enterprise in Wellington, NZ.

(our notes from the talk are available here)

Here’s Part 2 of the session for your viewing pleasure:

Tech Entrepreneurship with Melissa Clark-Reynolds from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On 11 January 2011, successful Wellington tech entrepreneurs Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Dave Moskovitz shared wisdom and learning about how to execute a great idea, how to get it from the garage to the market, and what the key ingredients are to building a successful enterprise in Wellington, NZ.

(our notes from the talk are available here)

Here’s Part 1 of the session for your viewing pleasure:

Tech Entrepreneurship with Dave Moskovitz from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On Friday 3 December, Rowan Simpson explained why many of the things that you think you know about what it takes to start and grow a technology company are wrong, why most of the successful companies and entrepreneurs that you read about in the media can’t teach you much about your startup, and some of the counterintuitive lessons that you should be paying attention to as you try and get a new idea off the ground.

There’s this mythical startup model that involves a lone hero having a “eureka moment” in a shed. Next thing, they’re inundated with customers, the business grows, is sold to an investor for a gazillion $, and the inventor retires happily to the beach (with a boat & beemer parked nearby).  Time for some mythbusting:

Startup Lessons with Rowan Simpson from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On Friday 17 December, Nat Torkington talked about how to get a job, how to keep a job, when to get the next job, what a career path looks like, and what your choices are. And who said you *have* to grow up anyway?

WARNING: this is the uncut and unbleeped version.  Nat’s speaking style is direct and sweary.  We like it that way, but if you have sensitive ears… consider yourself warned!

No matter what stage of your IT professional development you’re at, for some straight talking insight & advice on career paths, watch this:

What do you want to do when you grow up? with Nat Torkington from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On Friday 10 December, Stu Sharpe, Technical Director at Sidhe Interactive wowed us with some demos, gave an update on the games industry in 2010 and set out a step-by-step pathway to becoming a great game developer.

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, if you want to know what makes a great game developer, watch this:

What Makes a Great Game Developer with Stu Sharpe from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.


On 21 January 2011, Francois Marier tackled the topic

Open Source – What? Why? How??

…as part of our Xero Summer Seminar Series.

Francois has kindly made his slides available for download, which is highly recommended for anyone wanting to get started on Open Source projects.  Here ya go:

Francois PDF (it’s approx 16MB of pdf)


Hope to see you at our final Xero Summer Seminar for SoT2010, lunch at Macs on 11 February! Please RSVP over here!

YOU are invited, yes, that means YOU! SoT2010 Interns, Mentors, Colleagues, members of UP, the wider Wellington Tech community & CloudCamp Wellington Attendees!

The final seminar in the series, and this one’s a little bit different – we’re partnering up with CloudCamp and the Summer of Tech Seminar doubles as the warm-up act for the main event!  CloudCamp Wellington is an “unconference” for all things Cloud Computing.  If you want to stay on for CloudCamp proper (1pm-5pm+), please make sure you register over here.

Thanks to everyone who’s attended our seminars this year, it’s been a great opportunity to develop & connect the top talent of and the top employers of Wellington.

Here’s the details for our 11 February #xsss:

CloudCamp Kickoff
2011 is set to be a landmark year for cloud computing, and a local Wellington company (with customers in 70 countries) is delivering game-changing productivity: the kind of performance that can potentially match traditional grid computing, all at the push of a button.

Intergrid’s Chris Teeling (COO) and Dave Fellows (Head of Development) will reveal how their company is leveraging cloud computing, in a way that allows the common software user to easily access super-computing power whenever they need it. InterGrids’ GreenButton is the user-friendly front end for high performance Cloud Computing. The GreenButton, simply allows your system to access massive computer processing power, large storage and high speed network infrastructure that would normally be outside the budget of all but the wealthiest institutions. This is what the internet and on-demand computing is all about!
When… 12pm-1pm, Friday 11 February 2011
Where… Upstairs, Macs Brewbar, 4 Taranaki Street, Wellington (here’s a map)
Rsvp… is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
What…
are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! lunch! awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

HUGE thank-yous to Xero for being our fantastic sponsor of the seminar series.

Thanks for making these events possible.


Hope to see you at our Xero Summer Seminar on the EVENING of Tuesday 8th February! Please RSVP over here!

YOU are invited, yes, that means YOU! SoT2010 Interns, Mentors, Colleagues, members of the UP and wider Wellington Tech community!

We’d love to see you at our summer seminars, supporting & developing & connecting the top talent of Wellington and the top employers of Wellington.

STOP PRESS! Yes, we know there’s another awesome event on in Wellington on the 8th Feb.  Sorry for the double up… February is a scarily busy month.  We will make sure that our presenters wrap up by 7.30pm, so that you have time to get some pizza in you before you hot-foot it down to The Paramount Theatre to hear the Ignite Wellington speakers at 8pm.  Sound fair to you?  Haven’t heard about Ignite Wellington?  Check it out over here!

Here’s the details for our 8 February #xsss:

Mobile Developers’ Panel
Seems like there’s a mobile app for just about everything these days, and we know a bunch of SoT interns scoping out opportunities for app development roles, teaching their grandmas how to use their smartphones, or dreaming of following in the footsteps of @majicdave

This seminar brings together some gurus who have built mobile apps, and they’ll share their experience across different platforms.  There will be plenty of time for discussion & networking, too!

Chris Klug is a senior developer at Intergen. Originally from Sweden, Chris has been working as a developer for almost a decade, and has worked with a wide variety of companies in a lot of different areas, such as on-line sports betting, professional sail racing and charity organisations. Chris is a Microsoft Trainer and has recently run sessions for people on building applications for the Windows Phone 7 platform.
Nick Parfene is a developer at Trademe by day, and spends most of his spare time building mobile solutions for a small start-up called Tmro.  Born in Romania and emigrated to NZ in 2005, Nick is the creator of popular Wellington bus schedule app WelliBUS, and will be representing iOS on our panel this evening.
Sam Stephens is a senior developer at Kiwibank.  He currently codes C# and ASP.NET by day and Ruby on Rails for his personal sites.  He has been investigating the Android platform for Kiwibank and for his own interest, and blogs at http://blog.samstephens.co.nz.
When… 5.30pm (for a 6pm start) – 7.30pm, Tuesday 8 February 2011
Where…
level 3, NZ Post House, 7 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington (here’s a map)
Rsvp… is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
What…
are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! lunch! awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

HUGE thank-yous to Xero for being our fantastic sponsor of the seminar series. And to Kiwibank for being our venue partner.

Thanks for making these events possible.


Hope to see you at our Xero Summer Seminar on Friday 4th February! Please RSVP over here!

YOU are invited, yes, that means YOU! SoT2010 Interns, Mentors, Colleagues, members of the UP and wider Wellington Tech community!

We’d love to see you at our summer seminars, supporting & developing & connecting the top talent of Wellington and the top employers of Wellington. Here’s the details for our 4 February #xsss:

Intern Lightning Talks
So what did YOU do this summer?
This week we’ll hear quickfire presentations from a bunch of our Summer of Tech 2010 interns about what they’ve been up to during their internships.  While their contemporaries & classmates were at the beach, 70 highly skilled & passionate young professionals have been honing their skills working for some of Wellington’s most innovative companies.  Some of them have stepped up for “show & tell”, to talk about their projects, products & services they’ve been contributing to, and what’s next for their careers!

The lineup:

Janella‘s been coding up a storm at Xero, working as part of the world-class development team that keeps the accounting engine of the internet humming.

Nick and Amanda have been hanging out at Southgate Labs this summer.  They’ll talk about their award-winning Mix & Mash project.

Liam‘s been working at Run the Red, brewing up technology, creativity and big ideas in mobile marketing.

Mridul has been part of fast-growing startup MyInfoSafe, a personal information management service on a fast-track to global markets with the help of CreativeHQ.

Koshy and Jonathan spent their summer at Kiwibank.  It’s been a HUGE summer for these guys, in between helping host the summer seminars, they’ve been part of a team who are finalists in the Imagine Cup.  Oh, and working hard as interns on the Kiwibank IT team, too!

Cameron‘s been working with Abletech, and his intern project has contributed the Streets Alive website (which went live on 31 January).

 
When… 12.15-1.30pm, Friday 4 February 2011
Where…
Kiwibank, level 6, Radio NZ House, 155 The Terrace (here’s a map)
Rsvp…
is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
What…
are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! lunch! awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

HUGE thank-yous to Xero for being our fantastic sponsor of the seminar series. And to Kiwibank for being our venue partner.

Thanks for making these events possible.


Hope to see you at our Xero Summer Seminar on Friday 28th January! Please RSVP over here!

YOU are invited, yes, that means YOU! SoT2010 Interns, Mentors, Colleagues, members of the UP and wider Wellington Tech community!

We’d love to see you at our summer seminars, supporting & developing & connecting the top talent of Wellington and the top employers of Wellington. Here’s the details for our 28 January #xsss:

Unleashing API’s
2010 saw a remarkable number of API’s unleashed by Wellington ICT companies, opening up all sorts of opportunities for developers to add and enhance functionality, and for new services & partnerships to bloom.  What are the risks & opportunities around launching an API?  How does it work from a technical and community perspective?  Lets hear it from some who’ve been there, done that:

Richard Rowley is a Developer at Trademe who, following considerable in-house philosophical debate, unleashed their API on 30 Sept 2010. 
Dan Lee is Managing Director at YouDo, and has recently been involved in the Powershop and Beetil API’s. 
Owen Evans is a Developer at Xero.  The Xero API launch has already enabled a deluge of opportunities & wish-lists to be fulfilled. 
 
When… 12.15-1.30pm, Friday 28 January 2011
Where…
level 3, NZ Post House, 7 Waterloo Quay, Pipitea, Wellington (here’s a map)
Rsvp…
is essential!! please do this over here on the groovy lil’ regie platform.
What…
are you waiting for? inspiring & informative speakers! lunch! awesome networking with the Wellington IT community!

HUGE thank-yous to Xero for being our fantastic sponsor of the seminar series. And to Kiwibank for being our venue partner.

Thanks for making these events possible.


So… what does it take to start, run & grow a technology company in Wellington?

The Xero Summer Seminar Series had a relaxing start to 2011 with an evening event at a new venue, NZPost House.

We heard from 2 successful Wellington tech entrepreneurs, sharing wisdom and learning about how to execute a great idea, how to get it from the garage to the market, and what the key ingredients are to building a successful enterprise in Wellington, NZ.  Here’s what our first speaker, Dave Moskovitz from Webfund shared.  (Notes from Melissa’s talk are in part 2, over here)

Dave Moskovitz talked about starting a business in Wellington, and his advice to entrepreneurs is to Think Big, Start Small & Scale Fast!  There’s a great series of videos on Dave’s NZAngels blog, entitled “Advice for Entrepreneurs” if you’re after more of his great tips, too!

Here’s some of what he shared on Tuesday:

Wellington (and NZ) = Great place to start a business!
Dave rattled off an astounding number of GREAT reasons why Wellington (ok, and the rest of NZ, to be fair) is an awesome place to start a business, first up, the business Environment: including the ease of doing business (3rd in OECD), registering a company, protecting investments, access to capital, being in good company (is it true “Company Director” is the most common occupation declaration for NZers??)… and we’re one of the least corrupt places in the world, according to “Transparency International“.

We have a world class Talent pool, including a large number of skilled migrants, and fantastic education system.  The raw talent coming out of our computer science programmes is astounding (just look at our Summer of Tech interns, for starters!)  It’s a great place to have bright ideas, to test them, and to make the first steps of turning them into a successful business.

The business Community in Wellington is very active, with networks such as Summer of Tech of course, but also the Chamber, Grow Wellington, Unlimited Potential, Lean StartupWebstock, Ignite, Nerd Nite (not to mention all the user groups & virtual communities mentioned in our first Xero Seminar for 2010)

There is LOADS of Support available for Startups in Wellington. business incubators like Creative HQ and Webfund, Co-working spaces, the investment community, and TechNZ, to name a few…

Start with the end in mind
Think big!  And make sure you have an exit strategy from day 1.  Investors want to know what the end-game is, but it’s a valuable conversation to have with partners and collaborators, to make sure you’re on the same page.  The most common exit is a trade sale, so keep your eye on potential customers from the get-go.  The key to a trade sale is to build an asset that’s greater than the sum of its parts.  Your value might be in your product, in which case look for someone who would find it easier to buy you than reinvent you.  Your value might be in your customer base, so your acquirer might be interested in buying your database?

As a balance to his first topic (Wellington = Great place for Startups), Dave talked about growing a business and international scale.  There’s no getting away from the fact that NZ is a small market, conveniently located about 36 hours away from a big customer base.  Growing globally might entail a lot of time on aeroplanes, or offshore partners/offices.

People are your greatest asset
The team is the most important factor in a startup business. It takes a bunch of different talents & skills to execute a great idea, and the acceleration from idea to product to successful business is all about people.  Your first team does not have to be people who think like you.  In fact complementary skills are more important, and passion and infatuation about a new idea can cloud decision-making.  Make sure you do due diligence on your partners (in a tight community like Wellington, that’s easy).  Remembers that investors will back the jockey rather than the horse, so you & your team are crucial to ongoing success.

If you’re a technical founder, be aware that your venture might outgrow you.  Match your talents to the role (maybe you’d be best as a CTO rather than CEO?)  Beware “founderitis“!  One of the first skills to invest in for your startup is sales.  Find or train an outstanding sales team and your business will thrive.

HUGE thanks to Dave sharing his tips!  Check out what our 2nd speaker talked about over here.  More information about our speakers can be found here.

(You might also be interested in the writeup from Rowan Simpson’s Xero Summer Seminar focused on Startup Lessons, held back in December)

HUGE thank-yous to Xero for being our fantastic sponsor of the seminar series. And to Kiwibank for being our venue partner.

Thanks for making these events possible.