Friday, May 2

Unlimited Potential Event: Tale of Four Cities

Trying to start up your own global web business isn't easy - trying to start it up from Wellington also has its challenges, but its inspiring to see young start up companies going global from the harbour city. There is a definite web startup culture in Wellington that differs from anywhere else I have been in the country. I often think it's comparable to the coffee culture that pervades the city. The good-hearted nature of the local coffee houses that means additions to the coffee community are often celebrated because it all helps to foster the culture.

Attracting highly skilled staff and making sure we educate young people about the benefits of getting into IT are all part of ensuring the creativity that's going on the capital continues to grow. What do current highly skilled immigrants of the IT variety think of living and working in New Zealand? What keeps them here? How can we attract more young ruby developers over to New Zealand? How can we attract young kiwis back from overseas?

Unlimited Potential and the Wellies (a group of 'expats' who have moved here from overseas and chosen to settle in Wellington) are hosting an event on Tuesday night next week - called the Tale of Four Cities. Its a relaxed panel discussion over pizza and beer about why ICT professionals from overseas are settling in Wellington, what brings them here, what they enjoy about living in the city, and what makes them want to stay?

Hosted by Colin Jackson the panelists include Adam Shand who was born in England but grew up moving back and forth between New Zealand and California. He spent three years in Alaska working for one of the largest ISPs in North America and while in Oregon he founded Personal Telco, a non-profit which worked with local communities to provide free wireless internet access to the public. Five years ago he chose to move back to Wellington undertaking a mixture of management and technical work, as current digital operations manager for Weta Digital.

Professor Mark J. Ahn, PhD. is Professor and Chair, Science & Technology Entrepreneurship with a joint appointment from the faculties of Commerce & Administration and Science, at Victoria University of Wellington. The role of the Chair is to focus efforts for research to build understanding of scientific entrepreneurship in international and national settings, and the processes required to enable successful commercialization of science and technology-based innovations. Would love to hear Professor Ahn's views about settling in New Zealand from a personal perspective as well as his views about the capital.

John Clegg CEO of ProjectX and co-founder of zoomin, was involved in the Google Summer of Code initiative, and has worked in on startups in London, Asia, India, and Australia. John is passionate about fostering local talent - in a ProjectX Press release he says - "We are totally committed to getting talented young people working in this city and we are dedicated to making this city a Mecca for technology graduates from all over New Zealand."

When: Tuesday, 6 May 2008 - 5.30pm - 8.30pm
Where: Syn Bar, 4 Bond Street, Wellington

You can RSVP here. Come along and enjoy the pizza and beer, join in audience discussion and mix and mingle with "the wellies".

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