Some of the Best Technology Talent in the World

Bringing New Zealand tech whizz kids to Silicon Valley for a summer of work experience at startup company Pertino is part of CEO Craig Elliot’s plan to strengthen the global IT community.

Elliott, who was named Friend of New Zealand at the World Class New Zealand Awards, is mad about all things Kiwi.

He first fell in love with our country when he was general manager of Apple Pacific in the 1990s, and now owns a house in Wanaka. But it’s not just the landscape of Aotearoa he has a soft spot for.

Elliott believes that New Zealand has some of the best technology talent in the world, and is on the boards of Xero and San Francisco IT development hub, Kiwi Landing Pad.

“I look at the creativity of the folks that I know in New Zealand and it’s phenomenal,” he says. “I think in three or four years, New Zealand will be known as a world-class technology centre.”

Elliott’s new cloud networking engine company Pertino is gaining traction in the US IT market, and he turned to a trio of budding software engineering students: Micah Cinco, Michael Shafer and Gen Li, to help drive his business in their internship.

Set up with an apartment and a car in San Jose, the students got more than they bargained for when they arrived at the office. Each student was given a project they could develop independently.

Cinco, a network engineering major at Victoria University, worked on a Quality Assurance assignment. Li performance-tested software, and Shafer built an administration platform that the company now uses every day.

“Michael wrote a phenomenal piece of software. We’ve already told him, ‘next New Zealand summer, you are coming back, buddy’,” Elliot says.

“I even threatened to call his parents and tell them he had been kicked out of school just so he could stay on working here.”

Original article by Emma Rawson, Unlimited, May 30, 2014.

Tags: Apple  Craig Elliot  Friend of New Zealand  Gen Li  Kiwi Landing Pad  Micah Cinco  Michael Shafer  Pertino  Silicon Valley  Unlimited  World Class New Zealand Awards  Xero  

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