KiwiStartup left looking for winners

KiwiStartup, the incentive programme for companies in the 'pre-venture capital phase' has awarded its latest annual prize, however only one company made the grade this year.

KiwiStartup, the incentive programme for companies in the "pre-venture capital phase" has awarded its latest annual prize, however only one company made the grade this year.

This is the fifth round of the awards, which offer an HP server, a Microsoft e-commerce software suite, high speed internet connection from TelstraClear and airtime from Vodafone for 90 days.

In previous rounds there have been three winners each year, but this year only Auckland-based Maxtiviti Solutions has been chosen. Maxtiviti has developed XTend, a document management system scalable from the home user through to enterprise level.

Todd Irving, head of innovation and new ventures at Hewlett-Packard and one of the judges of the KiwiStartup programme, says Maxtiviti was the only company to shine through this year.

"We ended up with a judgement call that there was one clear company and we just weren't that happy with the other ones. We made the call that we would just go with Maxtiviti."

Irving doesn't think it's a reflection on the quality of software development or innovation dropping, but that there is now a lot more competition to encourage such developments.

"We also need to recognise that maybe there are [fewer] people coming up with those on-the-edge ideas like this at the moment, or maybe they're working on them with other business units, like the Microsoft Developer Network for example."

Irving says there are more networks forming for developers than there have been in the past and that's influencing the number of entrants.

"If anything, there is more innovation going on this year than ever before."

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