Wellington 'UPstarts' present to the world

Four new Wellington companies to present their innovations

Four Wellington-based ICT startup companies — or “UPstarts” as they prefer to call themselves — are hoping to attract investors through an event organised by the networking group Unlimited Potential (UP) with the help of NZ Trade and Enterprise and KEA, the global online community for expatriate Kiwis.

The event called "Wellington to the World" (W2W) is scheduled for Election Eve [Friday November 7] — after Computerworld’s deadline. It is to be webcast and a number of overseas entrepreneurs, potential investors and mentors were expected to view the seven-minute presentations. The companies also expect to grab the attention of people who can help set up channels for overseas marketing of the innovations.

Perhaps the best known of the ventures taking part, in view of the electoral timing, is iPredict (www.ipredict.co.nz ), the local online prediction market site. Participants buy stock in an uncertain event at a price that represents the cumulative view of investors as to the likelihood of it happening. If it happens, stockholders get back $1 for each unit of stock purchased; if it doesn’t happen they get nothing.

Fingertapps (www.fingertapps.com) has developed multi-touch and gestural user interfaces, to be used both in consumer devices and for in-store interactive marketing.

Futrix (www.futrix.com) offers a web-based business intelligence tool. The product drills down into corporate business data and “provides snappy reporting for over-worked executives”, says the company.

Aptimize will air its Runtime Page Optimiser (www.getrpo.com) for the first time. It is designed to speed the loading of web pages and reduce bandwidth consumption.

Preceding the presentations will be a series of talks by members of VictoriaLink, the commercial arm of Victoria University of Wellington on internet search, security (searching for and blacklisting phishing websites and sites distributing malware), robotics and a project for design students to channel their ideas to corporations.

KEA will distribute links to the recorded presentations to interested parties. “We don’t know of anyone specific at this stage who plans to view it,” says organiser Paul Spence. However, they will be generally available, probably through publication on the UP website.

A live webcast is not practical because of time-zone differences between New Zealand and expected audiences, Spence says.

UP hopes to make W2W an annual event and perhaps spark a national equivalent.

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