TIN100 again proves it is the meat of an innovation club sandwich


One way to consider the value of the TIN100 report is to consider what things would be like if it didn’t exist.

The almost 200 colour page report on the NZ-owned top 100 (well 200 if you count the additional ‘mentions’ at the back) high value manufacturing, biotechnology and ICT is now into its 8th edition – and its value grows over time.

(As an aside, the collated data of the past eight years is also an important part of the specific bespoke reports TIN100 is able to carry out on request – taking information, converting it into knowledge and clipping the ticket for such expertise)

Its information, contacts and commentary provide a roadmap of what was quite hidden until Greg Shanahan kicked the publication off.

What will be interesting is whether Shanahan, when commenting on Australia as a safe haven for TIN100 companies, also looks to carry out the same exercise across the ditch. Apparently there’s nothing similar in Aussie, and the TIN100 report also includes a six-page overview of Australia’s TIN50.

Again though, not having this resource – which though sponsored by IRL, MBIE and NZTE, still costs $399 – would leave a huge void in the promotion, understanding and employment attraction of the value-adding businesses in the sector.

Where else for example, would you get an appreciation that there are nine changes to the TIN100 from last year?

  • Six companies had revenue growth sufficient to push into the TIN100
  • Three companies (Catalyst IT, Fraser Engineering Group and Wedgelock Equipment) have been included for the first time
  • Bomac and EFI Prism left the TIN100 following acquisition and amalgamation into multinational businesses
  • Reduced revenue figures saw seven dropping back to the TIN100+

Launching the TIN100 in Wellington, Shanahan says part of the purpose of the publication is to provide a reference for other would-be and actual clever technology-oriented companies. This is especially in the two-degrees of separation NZ-context, who to contact for particular expertise/technology.

In its industry analysis section, the TIN100 notes that 42 companies that have featured in the publication have been acquired by overseas buyers. After a lull following the global financial crisis, acquisitions have increased significantly over the past two years – indicating founder and local investor fatigue, as well as increased overseas investment interest (obviously!).

The TIN100 also notes that though revenue was up 2.2% for the largest 100 locally-owned, export focused technology companies, staff numbers were up 5% to over 28,800.

This was especially driven from growth in IT services and the support sector which increased its headcount by 14%, much due to the index’s second largest company Datacom taking onboard 440 new people.

And, as Shanahan contemplates an Aussie edition, the TIN100 says NZ companies with an established foothold who had entered the Australian market strongly with something such as an anchor contract, are doing well. New Zealand’s lower cost structure is also helping Australian growth.

With some clever graphics and interesting tables, the TIN100’s an interesting read.

At the risk of repetition – a NZ landscape without this resource would be much poorer for it.

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About sticknz

sticK is by Peter Kerr, a writer for hire. I have a broad science and technology background and interest, with an original degree in agricultural science. My writing speciality is making the complex understandable. I am available for outside consultancy work, and for general discussions of converting a good idea into something positive
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