Story image

Creative HQ champions the Chinese startup that's embracing Kiwi innovation

15 Sep 16

New Zealand innovators now might have more of an entry point into China thanks to Wellington-based innovators Creative HQ and Chinese startup company Chicken Run.

The startup, based in Chengdu, will be journeying to New Zealand to participate in Creative HQ's 2016 Lightning Lab XX Accelerator programme for three months.

The startup has seen large-scale growth from small profit to tripling their sales. Creators Denny Zou and Steve Xin aim to become a multimillion dollar business by the end of 2017.

"Prior to Lightning Lab XX, Chicken Run was a manually managed business that was only marginally profitable. Denny and Steve quickly learnt techniques and thinking on how to design systems, growing the existing business while not endangering their core value," says Jon Hancock, Chicken Run's mentor.

Chicken Run has also found immense value in the programme.

"Lightning Lab XX has taken our business and vision to the next level. We have been exposed to a network of talented and helpful entrepreneurs, whose passion and courage have impressed, inspired and moved us," Zou explains.

Having met the team on their return to Chengdu with NZ Consulate Michael Zhang, Crozier believes that the experience has enabled them to define their unique points of difference in the local market.

The Chengdu government's increased focus on innovation as part of wider China's five-year economic development strategy. Creative HQ saw an opportunity to strengthen links between China and New Zealand by offering Chinese startups the opportunity to participate in the accelerator programme.

“It’s a gift for us to start this conversation – the beginning of our exchange. It has been a privilege to work with Denny and Steve and we look forward to future prosperous collaborations with China," says Nick Gerritsen, high growth advisor and Lightning Lab XX mentor.

Creative HQ has been commended by New Zealand Consul-General Alistair Crozier, who says New Zealand's way of innovation can benefit Chinese businesses.

“Innovation means different things to different people, especially across borders and cultures. Creative HQ is capable of showing Chinese start-ups and young businesses just how New Zealand does innovation, and how we do it differently. That jump-start can give a Chinese business the edge back in their home market,” Crozier explains.

The New Zealand Consulate will also show Chengdu's entrepreneurial innovators the kind of success New Zealand can provide as Chicken Run grows, and Crozier believes the innovators will undoubtedly be paying attention.

“It was clear that the immersive experience within New Zealand’s environment has energised them and impressed a real sense of Kiwi ingenuity and creativity. Chengdu is a modern, ambitious and dynamic place with locals committed to a work-life balance. It’s a very good formula for more innovation partnerships between New Zealand and Chengdu," Crozier concludes.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."