​Kiwi tech firms set for Dragons’ Den treatment as NZ Hi-Tech Awards unveils stellar judges line-up

“Any business awards, domestic or international, would be lucky to have such a line up of global stars.”

A sea of global heavyweights will be judging the 2016 NZ Hi-Tech Awards, headlined by business mogul James Caan of Dragons’ Den.

In what is arguably the greatest line-up of judges yet, Caan joins a stellar field of international participants, including Pascal Finette, Head of Entrepreneurship at Singularity University and Linda Jenkinson, Chair of LesConcierges.

Completing the international offering is Rohit Shukla, CEO of the Larta Institute; Savannah Peterson, Director of Innovation at Speck Design, and 2014 Flying Kiwi recipient Dr Catherine Mohr.

With entries set to close on March 7, the new line-up will join the existing judges Claudia Batten, Michael Boustridge, Katherine Corich, Pat Kenealy, Richard Keyse and Nick Lambert.

“Any business awards, domestic or international, would be lucky to have such a line up of global stars,” says Wayne Norrie, Chairman of the Hi-Tech Trust.

“We are delighted to have James, Pascal, Linda, Rohit, Savannah, and Catherine join our existing panel of international judges.

“These world class business leaders are busy people and it’s very encouraging that they are giving their own time to judge the Hi-Tech Awards.

“Their interest in New Zealand, our tech sector and the Awards is just amazing and a great reflection of the achievements of our tech companies on the global stage.”

Norrie says the fact that the Hi-Tech Awards can secure judges of this calibre is testimony to the increasing recognition of the NZ Hi-Tech Awards both domestically and internationally.

“As an industry we truly play on the global stage and contribute significantly to the New Zealand economy,” he adds.

“The Hi-Tech Awards present a great opportunity for New Zealand technology companies to gain recognition for their achievements and to get their company in front of a truly world class group of business leaders.”

Norrie says the international judges will be joined by a line up of over 40 New Zealand based local judges in judging the 13 categories.

Here’s a full rundown of the 2016 NZ Hi-Tech Awards judges:

Claudia Batten

Claudia Batten has spent over fifteen years in the technology sector as a founder, advisor, mentor, board member and enthusiast.

Batten was part of the founding team of Massive (sold to Microsoft in 2006), a first-of-its-kind network for advertising in video games.

In 2009, Batten co-founded Victors & Spoils, one of the first advertising agencies built on the principles of crowdsourcing.

Batten is Executive Chairperson of Star86.com and a co-founder of Broadli.com, companies that are at the forefront of looking for new ways to use digital tools. Batten is a regular speaker on digital innovation, digital media and building businesses of the future.

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