Hamilton, New Zealand, 23 April 2009
WaikatoLink has been named as one of the first members of the International Incubation Initiative, Icube, launched by Exploit Technologies at the New Zealand Business Forum in Singapore yesterday. Icube was set up to encourage innovation, new opportunities, collaboration and international business linkages through greater access to incubators internationally.
WaikatoLink Chief Executive Mark Stuart says, “Good networks and support services are vital for growing New Zealand businesses wanting to achieve success in overseas markets. Singapore provides a great leveraging platform for our technologies and ventures, particularly due to their interest in innovation and collaboration. There is also an abundance of private sector capital to tap into.”
Icube will help start-ups from WaikatoLink, the commercial arm of the University of Waikato, and other participating incubators find business partners, customers and investors in the South East Asia market.
New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, the Hon Murray McCully, was a Guest of Honour at the Forum to witness the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Exploit Technologies and the new partners. The agreement outlined collaborative activities and services designed to help start-ups increase their global presence, including: provision of a virtual international office, use of office space, extended international incubation for business engagement or research and development, mentoring and advisory services, and access to angel networks.
Mr Boon Swan Foo, Executive Chairman of Exploit Technologies said, “In recent years, the number of global start-ups is growing; and the collective potential of global start-ups as a powerful economic engine begins to emerge. Having a robust network of partners who can provide support services to homegrown start?ups overseas will eliminate some of the risk for these new entrants.”
WaikatoLink currently has nine high potential subsidiary companies under incubation. WaikatoLink’s successful incubator, VentureLink, has operated for a number of years for ventures based on University of Waikato science and technology. WaikatoLink’s incubation expertise was opened up to entrepreneurs and other organisations last year as part of the university’s commitment to innovation and regional economic development.
WaikatoLink’s Icube membership builds on other global linkages the company has established recently. Last year WaikatoLink partnered with Tsinghua University in Beijing to open up a commercialisation pathway into China; secured a relationship with the Market Access Centre in the US; and joined Singapore’s Technology Transfer Network (TTN), an international alliance formed in 2008 to accelerate the commercialisation of technology to industry.
WaikatoLink’s Mark Stuart was also invited to present at the New Zealand Business Forum on New Zealand’s world?leading research capability in biotechnology and the fit with Singapore’s science commercialisation expertise and resources. The presentation and panel discussion outlined thriving partnerships already in existence and considers possibilities for future cooperation.
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