Why the Tech Elite Love New Zealand

This year, Rocket Lab plans to blast a 56-foot vehicle into orbit on a mission to revolutionize access to space. The rocket “was manufactured in Auckland and will launch from New Zealand’s Mahia Peninsula,” writes Lauren Murrow in an article for WIRED. “Tech entrepreneurs are doing all kinds of edgy stuff here that hasn’t been tried before,” said Berkeley grad and software developer turned Wellington-based angel investor Dave Moskovitz.

And Rocket Lab are not the only ones looking towards New Zealand. “Why New Zealand” is the question that’s been whispered about Silicon Valley elites for the past few years, ever since Peter Thiel quietly became a Kiwi citizen; since ­LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman informed The New Yorker that New Zealand is the tech crowd’s favored end-of-days refuge.”

“Beyond Wellington’s obsessive coffee culture and Queenstown’s unspoiled landscape, New Zealand has established itself as an unlikely bolt-hole for the impending apocalypse,” writes Murrow.

“And New Zealand is eager to attract Valley elites: Recruitment efforts are luring tech workers to local startup scenes; LookSee Wellington, which last year flew in techies to attend career info sessions and interviews, received 48,000 applications,” reports the article.

“New Zealand recently topped the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business rankings as the nation most conducive to starting a business, registering property, and securing credit,” reports the article.

“Being small and nimble, we don’t have the same level of bureaucracy and bullshit as in the States,” said Texas native Shawn O’Keefe, now a program director for Wellington-based accelerator Creative HQ.

“New Zealand entrepreneurs aren’t working on an app to find a better sandwich or whatever—they take real-world problems much more seriously.”

“While that may sound like some Silicon Kiwi spin, the country did introduce a Global Impact visa last year, targeting civic-minded founders tackling society’s biggest challenges. Meanwhile, US app peddlers and hedge funders are quietly burrowing into New Zealand’s epic hills, plotting their real-world escape,” writes Murrow.

Article Source: WIRED, Lauren Murrow, January 29, 2018
Image Source: Pixabay

Tags: Auckland  Dave Moskovitz  LookSee Wellington  Rocket Lab  Shawn O’Keefe  tech  Wired  

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