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Kiwis should stop thinking small with technology, says industry expert

By Sam Worthington, Mon 10 Oct 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

NZTech is the voice of the New Zealand technology industry with a main goal in mind - to stimulate an environment where technology provides important productivity and economic benefits to New Zealand’s major industries.

One of the newest members to the organisations board believes that just because New Zealand is a tiny country, there is no reason why the Kiwi tech impact on the world has to be small.

At 31, Robett Hollis is a founder of the inaugural New Zealand Entrepreneurs Festival a head judge at Innes 48, New Zealand’s largest 48-hour business startup competition and has been named on the Uber Pitch Panel.

The Auckland Maori tech leader says New Zealand needs to raise the bar and celebrate more of our successes as rapidly changing technology is now transforming the world.

 “We need to stop thinking small with technology. As soon as you say tech or digital you are literally playing on a global level. New Zealand is not our market - the world is our market,” explains Hollis.

“Technology has been the best equaliser for any Kiwi start up or young tech company to have a shot. It’s now up to us to raise our own bar to start punching higher, winning globally and then being truly proud of it,” he says.

“There are so many amazing companies doing well here that I feel we need to do a better job to identify, embrace and celebrate more of these successes. We already have some winners - Let’s win more.”

Hollis grew up out east in Aranui, Christchurch, and failed high school. He says his grades were so bad he couldn’t even get into university – but that hasn’t stopped him.

“I was never book-smart but realised if I turned my energy into things that I was truly passionate about I would eventually be able to convert and commercialise. I'm extremely driven to help support the NZ entrepreneurial ecosystem wherever I can,” he explains.

 “I now run Aranui Ventures, a media, tech and commercial real estate company which has several interests including Airtime, NZ’s largest Action Sports Community,” adds Hollis.

“I also created and expanded ColabNZ which is now New Zealand's largest network of creative shared workspaces which have expanded into 10 floors in seven Auckland buildings and about to rollout nationwide.”

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