It only takes a glance at the list of 2014 Gold Award finalists to dispel the myth that Wellington is a dying city, says event director John Dow.
The finalists in 10 award categories were announced on Thursday night in a special function at the Australian High Commission.
Dow said a defining feature of the finalists were that they had high-quality marketable ideas.
"Business owners and managers with initiative and commitment, alongside focused effective teams are achieving commercial success throughout the world.’’
A prime example was Wishbone Design Studio, finalists in the Emerging Gold category, who are selling classic children’s products through 400 retailers in 40 countries.
‘‘And it’s just three people in Newtown.’’
Dow said the Wellington business community was inspired by the international recognition and financial success of local industry leaders such as Rod Drury with Xero, Sir Peter Jackson and Sir Richard Taylor in the film world, and Scott Houston with the recent sale of GreenButton to Microsoft.
"Many Wellington business people are now applying this same type of entrepreneurial spirit.
‘‘Their ability to transform ideas into marketable outputs, and the clever, often ground-breaking use of technology for a wide range of business opportunities, is very evident across this year's finalists.’’
A diverse range of finalists includes mobile game developers PikPok, brewers ParrotDog, renewable electricity generator Meridian Energy and Massey University: College of Creative Arts.
The 16th Wellington Gold Awards, sponsored by The Dominion Post, will be held at TSB Bank Arena on 19 June where the winners will be announced, as well as several tributes presented to iconic Wellington achievers.
THE WELLINGTON GOLD AWARDS
In association with The Dominion Post
Film, media & creative content
ACG YOOBEE SCHOOL of DESIGN: Leaders in digital design education with 964 graduates from 3 campuses in 2013.
DNA: Leading Wellington design for 23 years by providing Customer Experience Design (CXD) for some of NZ's top Brands.
PIKPOK: Prolific developers of blockbuster mobile games. Their hit "Turbo Fast" has passed 40 million downloads.
SPRINGLOAD: An internet lovin, fun lovin team creating highly effective online gems for very happy clients.
ALPHERO: Delivering beautiful mobile and digital experiences for customers on mobile, tablet and desktops, and growing by 1,176% in 3 years.
MALAGHAN INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL RESEARCH: Using super high-tech Flow Cyctonomy to advance cancer immunology research, named as the Worldwide Scientific Breakthrough for 2013 in the prestigious “Science” publication.
PROVOKE SOLUTIONS: Providing a distinctly Wellington design-led, world class software solution formula, now with offices in Seattle, Singapore and Manila.
SNAPPER SOLUTIONS: Generating195 million transactions from more than 400 buses, 240 retailers, 3,000 parking spaces in Wellington and 3,000 taxis across New Zealand.
Recent research & development projects
“CONDUCTOR” by Eight Wire: Ingenious plug-n-play data management that saves vast amounts over the old bespoke solutions.
“HOME HUNTER” by Kiwibank, Sush & Springload: This wonder app matches buyers with properties, prices and loan approvals seamlessly.
“HONEVO” by HoneyLab: Kanuka is the new Superhoney, Honeyvo taps that natural power for treating acne, nappy rash, rosacea and more.
“QUAKEFLEX” by Disaster Prepare: A nifty system of seismic restraints to keep people safe indoors in earthquakes.
Smaller enterprises (fewer than 10 staff)
ECOPOINT: Developers of super-efficient LED lights with up to 90% energy saving, and five times the life.
GOFI8URE: This accounting "superhero team" for small business won of the Xero Best Bookkeeper of the Year in 2013.
PARROTDOG: Brewing 1 million bottles a year of quality craft beer for local and international markets right here in Vivian Street.
SOCIAL CODE: An online patient engagement platform for managing chronic disease. Listed in Entrepreneur Magazine’s 100 “Brilliant Companies” for 2013.
STQRY: A mobile app visitor guide for New Zealand, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles - with over 160,000 active users every month.
WISHBONE DESIGN STUDIO: A new generation of classic children’s products, sold through 400 retailers in 40 countries worldwide - all from Newtown.
ASPEQ: Global providers of “high stakes” training and assessment programmes - in the aviation, construction and financial sectors.
MATAHIWI VINEYARD: Helmed by Alastair Scott, this family-owned Wairarapa winery exports 80% of their award-winning production.
MATAKINA TECHNOLOGY: Developers of Volpara Solutions, a high-tech suite of tools revolutionizing breast cancer screening.
STARNOW: One of the world’s largest talent communities with almost 3 million members in over 150 countries.
THE PROTEIN BAKERY: Justine Muollo’s high-protein, low-carb biscuit for diabetics and gym bunnies, now manufacturing 100,000 units per week for the world.
Professional services & infrastructure
LABEL & LITHO: Specialising in high quality food, wine/beverage and pharmaceutical labelling, winning recent “Sustainability” and “Excellence in Manufacturing” Awards.
MASSEY UNIVERSITY - COLLEGE OF CREATIVE ARTS: Established in 1886, this world class art and design school contributes over $230 million and 416 full time equivalent jobs to the local economy annually.
TRANZIT GROUP: Founded in 1924 and still family owned, operating around 600 vehicles with over 600 staff working nationwide, HQ - Masterton.
WHITIREIA - FACULTY OF HEALTH: With over 1,600 students studying at every level through to post graduate achieving an average programme success rate of 88%.
Events, hospitality & visitor facilities
AMI ROUND THE BAYS: An iconic Wellington event that attracted 13,733 participants in 2013, a second consecutive “sell-out” field.
BEERVANA: New Zealand’s Premier Craft Beer celebration with nearly 10,000 attendees being offered over 200 craft beers.
CAPITAL E - ARTS FESTIVAL: Over 50,000 experienced dynamic performances such as “The Man and the Sea Saw” and “Like it or Loop it”.
NEWTOWN FESTIVAL: The month long celebration of events attended by over 75,000 people, with 76 performance groups on 10 stages and 360 stalls.
WINGS OVER WAIRARAPA: A significant event on the Australasian aviation events calendar attracting over 24,000 visitors in 2013.
BEST PRACTICE AWARDS:
ACC WORKPLACE SAFETY AWARD
Workplace safety practices
ADRENALIN FOREST: Three high-wire adventure parks set in beautiful forest attracting 43,000 visitors last year.
AURECON: A massive global engineering team of 7,500 across 26 countries in 11 industry groups.
CONTACT ENERGY: Powering NZ with electricity, natural gas and LPG, their team of around 1,100 serve 566,000 customers.
GREATER WELLINGTON REGIONAL COUNCIL: This team of 465 oversee our region’s natural resources and much of the infrastructure.
Positive sustainability practices & products
EARTHLINK: Recycling 500 tonnes of waste annually, including 4,200 CRT televisions and using “Zero Waste” policies. Their Recycling to Retail programme employs 20.
FLIGHT PLASTICS: Their huge investment in state of the art European equipment now produces high quality food grade packaging from recycled drink bottles - a New Zealand first!
MERIDIAN: New Zealand’s largest generator of electricity using 100% renewable sources - a sustainable company that remains profitable too.
SILICA GLASS CRUSHERS: Both selling their massive machines, and annually producing 1,000 tonnes of recycled crushed glass to make into beautiful pavers and other construction materials.
HR & wellness programmes
CQ HOTELS WELLINGTON: The original “People’s Palace Hotel” in 1904, this happy hospo team serve guests in the cool and chic heart of Cuba Street.
SPRINGLOAD: Determined to create an environment where everyone loves coming to work and also believes they are making a real difference.
THE IMPROVISORS: Developing, then implementing fun HR roadshows to train teams across multiple sites for some of New Zealand’s largest employers.
TRANSPOWER: Champions of the Activate 2.0, an holistic health programme that encompasses exercise, injury prevention, nutrition and emotional wellbeing.
WELLINGTON CITY COUNCIL: Led by a Well-Being Group promoting 4 strategy themes: heart health, emotional & social wellbeing, musculoskeletal, and drug, Smokefree & alcohol awareness.
- The Dominion Post
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