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Finance Minister Bill English, speaking at the Wellington launch of the 11th TIN100 report, gave Greg Shanahan and his team what amounts to a pretty nice endorsement.

“You effectively invented this sector,” English said at the Thursday 29 October gathering at NZX's relatively new presentation space.

Which, as we've all come to habitually expect each October, is a reminder that prior to Shanahan fronting up with the inspiration, perspiration and perseverance for the TIN100, that nothing of its sort existed before 2005.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="345"] Greg Shanahan, TIN100 founder and 'inventor'[/caption]


We effectively knew nothing of the ICT, Hi-Tech and Biotech companies within our midst. We could only guess at the income, employee numbers, and R&D spend of cool businesses doing interesting things.

Today, as well as those numbers and more, just as importantly, there's trend lines that now deliver proof that there's real economic grunt and innovation in the sector.

English made the point that the TIN100+ companies contribute 1.7% of GDP. In a sense, that's not far behind dairy's 5.3%, and these low carbon and energy footprint companies have lots of growth upside.

Last year the top 200 TIN companies created $9 billion in turnover, a 7.3% annual growth, and an extra 2410 (usually well-paying) jobs – a 6.9% growth.

English also commented that the TIN100 report is also extremely useful for government, and “it paints a picture of a sector that many hoped it would develop into.”

The growth in financial services companies, something banks are watching closely, is one notable aspect for English. Some of the tools being used and offered by these businesses, “and how some of these types of tool could also be applied to making government smaller,” was offered as an incentive by English.

Greg Shanahan says they're attempted to isolate out four drivers of success for the TIN companies.

The most successful (of the TIN100+ group) spend twice as much on R&D as other companies, and look to create recurring revenues with and for their clients.

Shanahan also gave a political plug as such.

New Zealand is generally considered to be relatively safe and transparent when it comes to government processes. Some of these processes are now being exported by the likes of Data Torque and Foster Moore – IT infrastructure (and more) around the likes of the issuing of car driving licences, or the providing of registries to corporate and government clients.

As English said though, knowing about these little economic gems wasn't possible before the TIN100 came into being.

Hats off to Shanahan!

Hats off to the 'inventor' of the combined IT, hi-tech and biotech sectors

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