5 years in, growing technology business from New Zealand

Yay, we got the new website up. Kudos @tgpharding. ūüôā

So, we’re five years in, four websites down, what have we learnt?











When I (re*)started Memia in 2008 I was fresh out of a global corporate with a software architect skillset and a great idea for a SaaS Service Portfolio management tool for the Cloud IT era. [This was 2008, way before anyone had even heard of Cloud – and, as I now know, pre-chasm …] As is many starry-eyed Kiwi startup tech company’s rite of passage I then went through an infinite bootstrap loop of late night coding, talking to potential partners, looking for investors, and meanwhile consulting / contracting services to keep the cash coming in. ….Cut to now, 5 years […and 3 major earthquakes later, natch…]: the service portfolio management opportunity came and went (Google Apps Marketplace and others have taken that space), we’ve tried our hand at several other startups of our own and for other investors, and although there haven’t been any home runs yet we’ve learned a massive amount about early-stage software business along the way.

Most importantly, Memia has continued to deliver high quality consulting engagements to New Zealand tech companies helping with strategy, software development processes and general ISV operations. Today, our consulting and advisory work with software firms and IT organisations is the mainstay of our core business. We really enjoy helping our customers be successful and look forward to continuing to do so for a long while yet.

Excitingly, we’re now also actively investing in our own startup ventures and gearing up for more investment activity in the future. In particular, I really admire the model of New-York based Betaworks who style themselves:

“We are not a fund and we are not an incubator; we are a company that builds companies. We are makers, scaling germs of ideas…”

We think that the best bits of this “builder” model can be adapted to work well here in NZ, taking the now-mainstream¬†Lean Startup movement¬†as a guiding methodology for rapidly validating, developing and scaling new technology businesses. So that’s what we’re doing at Memia: ¬†Advisor to/ Builder of/ Investor in high-growth New Zealand tech business. Join us.

One thing we’ve noticed in New Zealand, especially post-earthquake Christchurch, is that – despite the recent stellar market success of Orion Health, Xero, SLI Systems, Diligent and the new cohort Wynyard, Vend, Serko – there is a distinct lack of an “on-ramp” for the next generation of software entrepreneurs who are just starting out. (Kudos to the Lightning Lab who managed to funnel a lot of enthusiasm and resulted in some seed investment successes this year). Speaking personally I think we need more structured opportunities ¬†here in New Zealand for software entrepreneurs to learn off each other, find partners and – at the same time be matched with¬†smart, committed investors who understand the software business.

At Memia, we’re all about Growing Technology Business. If you’re a software entrepreneur or a would-be tech investor in our part of the world, we’d love to shout you a coffee at C1 Cafe to hear what success looks like for you and explore how we could work together. Let’s talk.


(* I say *re*-started – there were previous incarnations of Memia in my early web contracting work in the UK in the 90s – you can go back in time at the fabulous WayBack Machine internet archive: