Last Thursday my colleague, Anchali, and I attended the annual Canterbury Tech Summit (formerly the Canterbury Software Summit) at the Christchurch Air Force Museum. We have been going to this event for a number of years now and this year was one of the best. In fact, it was a sell out with around 650 attendees. The theme for this year was The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 – an exponential pace of technology change leading to mass disruption in the way we live, work and play.

A few takeaways from the event:

Prime Minister John Key – The future of NZ and productivity rests in the tech sector. The Ultrafast Broadband rollout has a big part to play in that - NZ has one of the better rollouts of Ultrafast Broadband around the world given the geography and topology of New Zealand. The Internet has brought the world to NZ, which is giving tech service providers and entrepreneurs unlimited opportunities.

Sir Ray Avery – Sometimes Kiwis do not realise how amazing they are on the world stage where it comes to innovation. New Zealand is the Clever Country.

Annie Parker (muru-D) – A healthy start-up ecosystem relies on people being passionate about the industry and innovation – get involved and pay it forward but understand why you’re doing it and what you’re trying to get out of it.

Ben O’Brien (Stretchsense) – As a CEO of a tech company you get to know something about everything but there quickly comes a time when you just need to outsource parts of the day-to-day running of the business so you can focus on your product.

Sian Simpson (Kiwi Landing Pad) – If you’re a NZ start-up trying to connect with people in Silicon Valley, don’t beat around the bush and ditch the humble brag – if you think your product is the best then say it is– people don’t want to invest in second-best.

Another year, another great conference. We look forward to next year's Tech Summit and meeting great people in our industry.