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Six Kiwi entrepreneurs set sights on Vietnam for tech inspiration

10 Nov 2016

The six Kiwis off to Vietnam as part of the ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative (YBLI) have now been named, and the lucky participants will be tasked with exploring and understanding the region's tech industry.

This is the fourth group of Kiwis off to Southeast Asia as part of the ASEAN initiative.

The participants include representatives from Simmonds Stewart, Hectre, STQRY, Wipster, Rabid Technologies and Vizbot.

The participants will be off to Vietnam from November 14-19 and will attend business meetings, learn about tech ecosystems in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, meet New Zealand Ambassador Haike Manning and attend Echelon Vietnam, a leading tech event.

They will also visit Kiwi Connection, a tech hub formed by Asia New Zealand trustee and Kiwi entrepreneur Mitchell Pham.

“Vietnam’s tech sector is largely unknown in New Zealand but is growing quickly and attracting significant investment from Singapore and Silicon Valley. This visit is a great opportunity for some of our best entrepreneurs to engage with their counterparts in Vietnam and better understand the opportunities there,” says ASEAN Young Business Leaders Initiative project manager Adam McConnochie.

ASEAN says the New Zealand and Vietnam's two-way trade is now $1 billion, a 120% jump between 2010 and 2015. The ASEAN programme is sponsored by the Foundation for New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The participants are:

  • Lee Bagshaw (Wellington/Singapore), partner at technology law firm Simmonds Stewart. Lee acts for start-ups, high-growth tech businesses and venture capital funds in New Zealand and across Southeast Asia.
  • Matty Blomfield (Auckland), co-founder and director of agritech start-up Hectre, a software tool for apple growers to manage orchards better.
  • Ezel Kokcu (Wellington), co-founder of STQRY, a mobile platform that helps arts organisations tell their stories to visitors. STQRY has clients throughout New Zealand and the United States.
  • Kristen Lunman (Wellington), chief operating officer of Wipster, a web-based platform that enables the review and approval of creative assets such as video. Wipster has a partnership with Vimeo.
  • Breccan McLeod-Lundy (Wellington), founder and CEO of web and mobile development company Rabid Technologies, which believes in using technology to make the world a better place. Its projects include work for the Central Bank of Timor-Leste.
  • Samson Phommachack (Wellington), co-founder of Vizbot, a cloud-based web application company focusing on innovative solutions for the Government. Phommachack is also a member of the Foundation’s Leadership Network.

The Foundation will also be hosting four Thai entrepreneurs in New Zealand this month as part of the ASEAN YBLI initiative. 

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