Are you ready, Aotearoa?

Rob Vickery

Kia ora,

It seems like an age has passed since I was last in Aotearoa and hosting our first networking event and my gosh haven’t things changed since. The notion of organizing a large event or grabbing a coffee with an entrepreneur at Shakey Isles now sounds almost absurd.

It is clear that COVID-19 will change how the world behaves on a permanent basis. Many brands that were experimenting with e-commerce have now been forced to shift to wholly online businesses, commercial real estate will have to reassess how office space is designed in the future and the place of streaming platforms and online gaming as leaders in content has now been secured. Previous titans of offline and online industries, which were burdened with elaborate governance and too much legacy to pivot, will fall and create numerous opportunities for brave startup founders.

In this update I am not going to use the term “unprecedented”, or get political about lockdown measures, or be professorial about vaccine development (unlike half of Silicon Valley) but I am going to talk about the gauntlet that I have believe has landed at the feet of Aotearoa’s entrepreneurial community and how it could propel us into version 2.0 of our remarkable ecosystem.

The eyes of the world are on New Zealand right now. Whether that be out of respect for the government’s measures or because of the solidarity of the public when it came to fighting this pandemic, the globe is watching us for what we will do next. With this attention comes a lot of opportunity and responsibility for this nation. The question I have for all Kiwi entrepreneurs is; “are you ready”?

Are you ready to increase the audacity of your company vision that will help a global population, not just Australasia? Are you ready to create a business that can become self-sustainable as quickly as possible and create jobs for fellow New Zealanders? Are you ready to break down the barriers of existing technology and create new verticals and markets?

Speaking on behalf of Hillfarrance, we are delighted that we have already found one such company, Yabble, and led their first institutional capital round. We have capital to deploy into founders who will accept that gauntlet and will show the world what New Zealand is made of. 

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui

Rob Vickery
Managing Partner – Hillfarrance Venture Capital