MORGO STORIES

Read some of our fabulous stories from the Morgo community.

STEVE OUTTRIM

Wellington-born Steve Outtrim was one of the internet’s earliest entrepreneurs. Identifying shortcomings with early versions of web software, he established Sausage Software, and wrote the massively successful web authoring tool, HotDog. He was competing with the world’s largest software houses, but almost immediately on launching, HotDog was adopted by customers in more than 200 countries. In 1997, Wired Magazine named HotDog the No 3 most popular program on the Internet after Netscape (browser) and Eudora (mail client).

Sir Ken Stevens

GLIDEPATH

Glidepath’s airport baggage and cargo handling systems are used in over 700 airports in 67 countries. Revenue was around $50 million for 2015 and is on track to reach $65 million this financial year. Sir Ken Stevens has transformed the once small domestically-oriented engineering firm he bought in 1972 into a significant global exporter.

90 Seconds

90 SECONDS

Digital video production company 90 Seconds is truly going global. It now has 3,700 freelance videographers around the world to draw from, and production centres in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the UK, and Singapore. Staff numbers have trebled in the past nine months to 52.

Martin Brown at Morgo 2015

WINE SEARCHER

“It’s like Google for wine,” says Martin Brown. His Wine-Searcher.com website lists and tracks hundreds of thousands of wines, beers and spirits around the world. This enables consumers to identify immediately where they can buy their favourite wines and how much they should expect to pay. With an average of five million visits per month, Wine-Searcher is the most visited wine site in the world.

Guy Horrocks at Morgo 2012

CARNIVAL MOBILE

With consumers now spending more time in mobile apps than watching TV, big brands are realising they need to work with technology companies to reach their customers or be left behind. Carnival is a mobile marketing automation platform that increases the efficacy of apps as business tools. “We’re giving brands the opportunity to manage their communities. It’s about triggering the right message at the right time to the right user,” explains co-founder and CEO, Guy Horrocks.

Daniel Radcliffe

INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEER HQ

Daniel Radcliffe established International Volunteer HQ in 2007 because of frustration with his own experience volunteering abroad. Since then, the company has placed more than 50,000 volunteers of all ages into community projects across 30 countries. It is now the world’s largest volunteer travel provider, having a huge social impact every year and shaping the future of this rapidly growing field.

Guy Haddleton

GUY HADLETON

“Recruit outstanding talent; share the vision; let them fly.” This is the advice of Guy Haddleton. He’s an entrepreneur with several successes under his belt, including TV Direct and business forecasting software company Adaytum, who is now intent on building enterprise software company Anaplan into a billion dollar ‘Unicorn’. Guy now divides his time across several locations, including his home town of Takapuna in Auckland, New Zealand.

KuangChi co-founder Dr Ruopeng Liu at Morgo 2015

METAMATERIALS – DR RUOPENG LIU

When asked his response to being called the Elon Musk of China, Dr Ruopeng Liu smiles and says they are similar in that they both want to use technology to make life better. “There are a few people like us in the world who want to use powerful technology to improve what most people are satisfied with. We aren’t satisfied. The hard work to drive the future is where we share our philosophy.”

David Hanson with Diego San

HANSON ROBOTICS

David Hanson has embarked on a quest to create Genius Machines: machines with superhuman capabilities that will help mankind solve problems we can’t. His robots will be highly intelligent, creative, and … endearing. This is not simply about algorithms; it is about compassionate characters who will live amongst people to become trusted partners.

Andy Lark

AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDY LARK

Marketing guru, Andy Lark, has been part of Morgo from the beginning. Rod Drury, founder and CEO of Xero, got his start in internet marketing during a three-hour workshop Andy ran after Morgo on a Saturday morning back in 2007. Rod now refers to Xero as a Morgo baby … and Andy has been recruited into Xero as Chief Marketing Officer.

Sir William Gallagher

GALLAGHER GROUP

The origin of Gallagher’s electric fence is a local legend: Bill Gallagher Senior wanted to dissuade his horse, Joe, from constantly scratching himself against the car – so he built an electrical circuit that would fire when the car rocked! Although Bill never saw his invention in action, it was soon impossible to coax Joe anywhere near the car. Through clever thinking, the problem was solved.

WENDY PYE PUBLISHING

With over 2500 titles published in 15 languages, Wendy Pye Publishing is a significant player in the realm of children’s publishing. Once described in the LA Times as a woman who “shoots from the lips and the hips at the same time,” Dame Wendy Pye has combined innovative thinking and boundless energy to build a multi-million dollar international company.

BUCKLEY SYSTEMS

Buckley Systems is a champion among New Zealand high-tech manufacturing companies.  It is a world leader in large precision electromagnets, supplying 80% of the global market for ion implantation.  Numerous accolades for innovation and export success have been given to Buckley Systems over the years, and the same is true for founder, Bill Buckley, who was named a Flying Kiwi at the Hi Tech Awards in 2013.

LES MILLS

Every week 5.5 million people attend a Les Mills class in 17,000 licenced health clubs throughout 105 countries.  Going to the gym is now the biggest sport in the world, and it’s growing due to convenience, changing lifestyles, and mounting concerns about health.

MEA

MEA, a creative agency headquartered in New Zealand, is responsible for nine No. 1 apps globally. iSupr8, a MEA app which creates a vintage effect for videos, reached the top #20 in 40 countries and has been used in marketing campaigns for iconic brands Levi’s and Ripcurl.

FOSTER MOORE

The New Zealand Companies Office was the first Companies Registry in the world to allow the public to reserve company names via the internet. That was in 1992, and Joel Foster joined the team of experts responsible soon after.

MERLOT AERO

Merlot Aero is founder and CEO Mark McCaughan’s second airline-focused technology company.  Starting with limited capital, Mark opted to use crowdsourcing for the underlying code development.  “There was quite a lot of co-ordination and management required.  But if you look at what we created in essentially two and a half years, we couldn’t have done it any other way,” he explains.  It is a strategy slowly growing in popularity, and one that avoids the high cost of establishing a large development shop in-house.

ARANZ MEDICAL

Christchurch 3D scanning technology company ARANZ has now given birth to two new companies: ARANZ Geo, profiled in The Morgo Book 2014, and health informatics company, ARANZ Medical. The latter was set up to use ARANZ’s 3D scanning technology for medical applications. Although still small, the company is growing rapidly, particularly in the US market. ARANZ Medical won Exporter of the Year at the 2015 AmCham-DHL Express Success and Innovation Awards.

Ray Avery

SIR RAY AVERY

“There’s not one person in this room that’s as clever as all of us put together,” Sir Ray Avery recently told a classroom full of 12 year old students.  His cooperative approach has seen him collaborate with scientists and engineers around the world to refine his charity’s growing stable of life-saving inventions.

Datacom

DATACOM

Datacom’s estimated revenue for 2014 is $880 million, making it a mammoth amongst New Zealand’s technology companies.  Group CEO, Jonathan Ladd, explains that a key to the company’s success has been the small group of stable, united shareholders.

Xero

XERO

Zero to 100 in eight seconds is certainly not remarkable if you’re talking cars.  But Xero to NZ$100million in recurring revenue in eight years is quite something for a company, especially if small businesses are the target market.  This is exactly what Xero has achieved in 2014.

Vend

VEND HQ

Working at Vend HQ must be a Gen Y’s waking dream.  The office is a large open plan affair that features a delicious-smelling café coffee machine, a ping pong table, raised work benches, low-ball desks, couches, and a hotchpotch of casually dressed 20-somethings chatting in small groups or working independently on laptops.  “Forty-somethings,” says CEO Vaughan Rowsell, “are a very exclusive club here.”

Powerbyproxi

POWERBYPROXI

Wireless power company PowerbyProxi is on a mission: to unplug the last cable in your home and workplace.

It may be one of the oldest ‘new’ technologies around; Tesla first demonstrated wireless energy transmission more than 120 years ago.

But finally, it seems, wireless power’s time has come.

Wynyard Group

WYNYARD GROUP – CRIME BUSTERS

Crime fighters harnessing the power of complex algorithms to halt human trafficking or crack down on corruption might sound like the stuff of a primetime TV show.

But arming government agencies and companies around the world with high-tech tools to fight threats, crime and corruption is very much a reality for Kiwi firm Wynyard Group.

Claudia Batten

CLAUDIA BATTEN – THE SQUIGGLY LINE

Claudia Batten reckons there are a couple of paths you can take in life: the straight or the squiggly.

She’s followed the latter, full of unexpected twists, turns and downright uncomfortable moments.  But taking the road less travelled has led the technology entrepreneur to some truly exceptional places.

Super Shopper

GOWER SMITH – SUPER SHOPPER

Serial entrepreneur Gower Smith has learnt a bundle in a career that has spanned starting five companies. But his latest venture, ZoomSystems, combines much of what he’s learnt into one big disruptive idea.

San Francisco-based ZoomSystems makes ZoomShops — self-service stores that completely automate the retail process, from product manufacturer to consumer. Last year a billion people walked past ZoomShops, which collectively sold $100 million worth of product.

Screen Life

DR MARK SAGAR – SCREEN LIFE

When Dr Mark Sagar came to Morgo in 2012, he brought an unusual companion — a baby.

But this was no ordinary offspring.

Although it could cry, laugh and interact with those around it, the ‘baby’ was actually computer generated and borne out of the cutting-edge Laboratory for Animate technologies, based at Auckland University’s Bioengineering Institute.

SLI Systems

SLI SYSTEMS – SEARCHING AND FINDING

Say you’re after a new laptop. So, you type ‘laptop’ into the product search field on the website of a big-box gadget retailer.

Hit enter and your search brings up a laptop charger, a laptop bag, a laptop battery … everything, it seems, except an actual laptop. It all leads to, well, a big grrr…

ikeGPS

IKEGPS – MEASURING UP

Here’s a bit of trivia: did you know there are 160 million power poles in the US?

That’s a lot of poles – especially when you consider every one of them needs to be checked and measured every year, and the incumbent technology to do that largely involves a bloke with a stick calling out the measurements to another bloke who enters the details into a computer.

Vista Entertainment Solutions

VISTA ENTERTAINMENT SOLUTIONS – MOVIE STARS

If you’re looking for the heart of the movie business, you’ll undoubtedly find it in the US.

There’s Hollywood, of course, but the US also accounts for around 45% of the world’s total box office revenue.

What might surprise you, then, is it’s actually a Kiwi company’s software increasingly running the show in the world’s biggest movie market.

Orion Health

ORION HEALTH – RIDING THE TSUNAMI OF CHANGE

Orion Health is something of an elder statesman in New Zealand’s IT scene. But the country’s largest software exporter is sure there’s still plenty more room to grow.

Orion Health, which celebrated its 20th birthday in 2013, has annual revenue of more than $100 million and around 760 employees in 18 offices worldwide.

Pik Pok

PIKPOK – BIG GAME HUNTERS

You might not think being hounded by zombies across an apocalyptic landscape would appeal to many.

Turns out more than 10 million are enjoying the gruesome experience — thanks to Wellington game developer PikPok.

THE FUTURE OF 3D PRINTING – ROSS STEVENS

If you’ve ever broken a limb you’ll be all too familiar with the itchy, grubby, smelly, bulky hassle of being stuck in a cast.

The future, however, could hold something quite different: a biometrically designed, lightweight, ventilated, washable cast, that’s recyclable and thin enough to wear under a shirt sleeve — oh, and looks pretty damn cool, too.

THE MATHEMATICS OF WAR – SEAN GOURLEY

On the surface, war seems defined by chaos and every conflict motivated by its own complex interplay of factors ranging from the political to the religious, the cultural to the economic. But what if you could use data and mathematics to delve beneath the chaotic surface? Kiwi Sean Gourley, a Rhodes Scholar studying physics at Oxford University, was determined to look at war in this new way — and to see if there were underlying patterns to conflict that could offer new insights.

ALTITUDE AEROSPACE INTERIORS

Keep looking skywards and you’ll notice things getting increasingly busy. Over the next 20 years the number of big jets flying the world’s skies is set to double, from 20,000 to 40,000.  And during that time around 18,000 of the current 20,000 planes, will also be replaced with niftier, more fuel-efficient models. Globally, however, there’s a shortage of the aerospace design engineers needed to make it all happen, and as a group they’re getting older –  58% of them are currently aged over 50.

SURGERY FROM THE STONEAGE TO IT’S ROBOTIC FUTURE – CATHERINE MOHR

The history of surgical procedures stretches back millennia. Evidence of trepanation — a surgical intervention where a hole is bored into the skull — has been found among Stone Age remains, many with signs of healing that showed some patients lived beyond the experience.

FISHER & PAYKEL HEALTHCARE

In the 1960s Fisher & Paykel’s legendary founders, Sir Woolf Fisher and Maurice Paykel, were on the lookout to develop new technology and diversify from their business manufacturing home appliances, mainly under licence to overseas companies.

A physician at Auckland Hospital had noticed the drying and damaging effects new portable ventilator technology could have on patients’ lungs.

PRINCIPAL SPONSORS

AJ Park
Fronde
NZ Trade and Enterprise

SPONSORS

Movac
Craig Investment Partners
ASX
UK Trade and Investment
No8 Ventures
Xero Accounting Software & Online Bookkeeping
Centre for Business Growth
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment