A growing wave of New Zealand companies are landing on Denver shores – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-09-18 08:00:36 –

In recent years, more than 20 New Zealand companies and many start-ups have set up shops in the Denver and Boulder metros, making the region the starting point for American ambitions.

New Zealand has about 900,000 fewer residents than Colorado, and the domestic market is limited even with the addition of customers from nearby Australia. Despite its small size, the country is a hotbed of global innovation. Increasingly, these start-ups are choosing Denver over Silicon Valley and other rivals when it comes to launching businesses in the United States.

“Colorado’s thinking fits New Zealanders very well,” said Andy Burner, vice president of human resources and operations at Xero, a provider of cloud-based business accounting software. “I was amazed at how welcoming and open the city was.”

QuickBooks’ fast-growing competitor, Xero, has its US headquarters From San Francisco to Metro Denver in 2017.. From about 80 local employees before the move, Denver now houses more than 200 of the company’s 300 American workers.

The company is a leader in New Zealand’s technology community, and the decision to leave Northern California, a typical landing site for technology transplants, helped to map Colorado. Burners and other Zero executives actively promote Denver, making it more comfortable for their compatriots to land here.

Most of the New Zealand companies coming to Colorado are focused on technology, while others are focusing on aerospace, the industry in which Colorado is a leader. Agriculture and energy are other overlapping areas. Kiwi companies operating in Colorado include AD Instruments, Adeption, Aurora, Cin7, FileInvite, Fingermark, Holmes Solutions, Medtech Global, TracPlus and Vend.

Berner and other New Zealand executives also cited why Denver was chosen over northern California and why Denver beat rivals such as Salt Lake City, Austin and Chicago.

Access to capital, clients and talent is the underlying reason Denver won the alternative, said Ky Hacker, vice president of revenue and operations for FileInvite, Denver’s preferred document-sharing platform. .. June North American base, The decision that should ultimately bring about 140 jobs to Denver.

Denver and Boulder have a strong foundation of technical expertise and skilled workers are ready to move here. This is useful for foreign companies trying to understand the US labor market. The location inside Denver and the variety of domestic flights facilitate access to other markets.

Mountain Standard Time also works for connections to New Zealand home offices. Also, admission is lower than in the more expensive coastal markets.

“For us, what really sealed our contract with Denver was the quality of life and culture that blended well with our business and New Zealand culture,” said the hacker. “We both want to work hard and grow things fast, but we do it in a human way.”

Collaborative efforts

Recruitment is now gaining its own momentum, but the main drivers are Denver’s economic development and opportunities, and the active efforts of the Colorado Bureau of Foreign Trade, which led the trade mission to New Zealand and Australia two years ago. It was a work.

Stephanie Garnica, director of global business development at DEDO, said Denver hired foreign companies through its trade offices until the Great Recession forced it to shrink. In 2018, the city resumed international outreach with Garnica and two other employees, bringing great rewards for interest and relocation.

“New Zealand and Australia stand out very much. Thanks to our success and the communities that exist here, these are two of our target markets,” she said.

Program like Denver Startup Week When Global landing pad Helps both established and start-ups in other countries connect to the local business community. New Zealand and Australia have become so important as sending countries that DEDO dedicated the entire Global Landing Pad program to them in the spring.

“We also know that our positive experience in Australia begins with an early survey of the company and that continuing breakthrough employment here in the state will lead to referrals to other companies. Recently, with New Zealand. We often see Australian companies introducing companies in their networks to find ways to succeed in doing business in the state, “said Michelle Hadwiger, Deputy Director of Global Business in New Zealand. Says. Email development.

Australia is the third largest source of foreign direct investment in Colorado and is linked to Germany, according to Hadwiger. Despite its small size, New Zealand is the second largest provider of foreign direct investment after France and Switzerland.

Cultural fit

Bay Area is a mecca for tech startups, but doing business there is expensive and the competition for talent is fierce, Garnica said. And with so many options available, employees tend to be less loyal.

“You want to do an interesting job, you want to work hard, but you also want to enjoy the outdoors,” said Tom Batterbury, co-founder and co-CEO of Aurora, pronouncing the common ethical “ora” in line with New. bottom. New Zealand is more closely associated with Colorado than the Silicon Valley culture of hard drives.

Aside from the ocean, both New Zealand and Colorado share magnificent landscapes and plenty of recreational opportunities.

“There was a cliché place called San Francisco and we quickly ruled it out. We were looking at Portland, Oregon, but that wasn’t right for us,” he added. .. Another city on the list of candidates, Chicago, left Denver and Austin with no outdoor atmosphere.

Auror provides criminal intelligence software to help retailers track cases of theft and report them to authorities, preparing to catch recurring criminals and burst the circle of crime. Early on, the company realized that it needed to work with retailers around the world to be successful. Denver’s business currently consists of six people, including Butterberry, but is expected to grow rapidly as the North American market develops.

“In reality, 90% of our business is likely to leave North America in the next few years, and we expect more than 100 people to join the team,” he said.

What helped rock Butterberry was discussing with Burner the benefits of Denver over other cities. Butterberry is currently looking for other executives from New Zealand. And there were small changes he noticed that made life here more comfortable.

“There are several places to serve New Zealand and Australian style meat pies, and now there are two New Zealand style ice cream shops, including next to Lake Sloan,” he said, saying that British meat pies are not a substitute. I pointed out. “It makes you feel closer to home.”

Another confirmation that he made the right choice was when he and his wife had a second child and their neighbors came out to assist them and acted on behalf of the family and friends they left behind. came.

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