Trans-Tasman innovation was celebrated last night at the Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards (ANZIAs), with companies working across the fintech, edutech, and healthtech industries walking away with accolades.
Founded in 2008, the Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards aim to recognise tech startups, products, solutions or online resources founded or created in Australia and New Zealand, while highlighting those whose efforts have made the internet a more accessible, safe, and inclusive space.
ANZIA announced six main category winners, while more than 14 projects, startups and initiatives were recognised overall as having made an impact on or contribution to the Trans-Tasman tech space or the internet.
Code the Future was named the winner of the Innovation Award, given to initiatives that use tech in a new or disruptive way, for its efforts in helping students learn to code, while the Information Award for providing information, knowledge or education online was given to the Design and Democracy project, which wants to increase voter participation through user-centred design.
The Buninyong Community Website was given the Leonie Dunbar Memorial Award for Community Websites, while MailGuard took out the Security Award and GoDigi and the National Year of Digital Inclusion 2016 Program won the Diversity and Digital Skills Award.
The Tech Startup Award for a tech startup business that has made an innovative contribution to the internet space with a scalable business model went to New Zealand startup Latipay.
Launched earlier this year, Latipay is an online payment provider, the only fintech company that allows for New Zealand products to be paid for with Chinese yuan. The company uses a cloud-based platform that focuses on travel and education markets, which connects with numerous Chinese banks and e-wallets that can be difficult to otherwise do business with.
As Leigh Flounders, CEO of Latipay explained, this is because only a quarter of China’s population have a credit card and about 40 per cent of its online purchases are made via e-wallets.
“We’re really grateful for this award and proud we’re helping these businesses make the most of the opportunities China offers them,” said Flounders.
Companies across Australia and New Zealand are increasingly seeing the value of doing business with China, and the broader Asian market. According to Chinese government statistics, China set up over 4.44 million companies last year, an average of 12,000 a day, while the overall economy expanded 6.9 percent.
Much of this growth was driven by tech companies in hubs like Chengdu, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. The potential for Australian companies in these cities has also been recognised by the Federal Government, which is setting up a landing pad for Australian startups in Shanghai.
ANZIA said it received a record number of applications this year with 12 finalists from New Zealand and 14 from Australia.
For more Tran-Tasman innovation and information on the Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards visit here.
Image: Buninyong Community Website Team. Source: ANZIA.