New Zealand: The next Silicon Valley?

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According to two US experts, New Zealand has the right attributes to become another version of the ultra-competitive Silicon Valley – and they added that the nation is on the right path, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Sam Altman and Scott Nolan are seasoned employees of the world famous start-up hub: California’s Silicon Valley. Altman is president of start-up accelerator Y Combinator which has funded more than 700 start-ups in the past 10 years, while Nolan is a partner of Founders Fund, a leading venture capital firm.

Having visited New Zealand several times, they said that the believed New Zealand could grow into a global start-up hub similar to Silicon Valley, the Herald reported.

“New Zealand is a younger system and has more growing to do, but it seems like it's on a trajectory from what we can tell to be [the next Silicon Valley],” Altman said. “We think New Zealand has a lot of the pieces you need to make an ecosystem work – very good technical talent, a community that's interested in start-ups, expertise in specific areas that we think are likely to create disruption, a relatively low cost of living, and if you look at the sort of things that a country needs to create a great start-up environment we think that New Zealand has a lot of those criteria.”

Nolan added that the number of start-ups based in New Zealand showed the country’s strength, putting New Zealand in a position to benefit from the growing number of investors and business people from the US looking overseas for areas to invest in.

He also told The Herald that one of the best traits of Kiwi companies is a willingness to be open about what they are working on and collaborate within the business ecosystem – adding that many younger Silicon Valley businesses are secretive, which hinders their growth. 

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