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Software conference boost for Christchurch

Software conference boost for Christchurch

More than 300 people from 75 companies are expected to attend the annual Canterbury Software Summit next month.

More than 300 people from 75 companies are expected to attend the annual Canterbury Software Summit in Christchurch next month. It is good news for the city – Christchurch has lost several events this year due to the February 22 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

Hosted by the Canterbury Software Cluster in partnership with the University Commercialisation Offices of New Zealand, the half-day conference will feature speakers from Google and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.

The conference aims to help businesses network and learn from others in the technology sector which are succeeding in overseas markets.

Canterbury Software Cluster chairman David Johnstone said about 200 registrations had been received and about 300 were expected.

The highlights would include keynote speakers Google engineering director Craig Nevill-Manning and Commonwealth bank of Australia chief marketing officer Andrew Lark, as well as a "very solid mix" of entrepreneurs from New Zealand.

"In the past what has happened is attendees have come along and they've heard really good down-to-earth stories from these successful hi-tech entrepreneurs, so they've been able to go back to work the next day and put some of these things into practice.

"It's about sharing those success stories," Johnstone said.

The theme for the summit is competing internationally – chosen partly because of the impact of earthquakes on the region.

"In our experience the software companies and hi-tech companies that are export focused haven't really had too many concerns from a revenue and sales perspective when it's comes to the earthquakes.

"They may have been kicked out of their building and they have had to find other premises but at least they haven't had to worry about sales not rolling in or customers being affected."

The Canterbury Software Cluster is a non-profit organisation focussed on advancing software innovation, commercialisation and export.

It is now the largest member-funded cluster in the country, Johnstone said.

"There's a huge world market out there, and they're focussed on growing out there, not competing against another little business here in Christchurch."

Johnstone said he was excited about the involvement of the University Commercialisation Offices of New Zealand.

"At the start of the year one of the goals we had as a cluster was to get closer to the university and the other tertiary institutions in Canterbury."

The universities will be promoting their research capabilities and latest information and communications technology innovations, and inviting feedback from businesses.

Ad Feedback The Canterbury Software Summit will be held at Addington Raceway on September 8. The summit is part of a series of Rutherford Innovation Showcase events being held around the country from September 8 through to October 13. BusinessDay

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