Utopian Tech Mecca

New Zealand is a newly discovered “utopia” for American entrepreneur Peter Thiel, famous for co-founding PayPal and being an early investor in Facebook, buying 5.2% in 2004 (the scene is in The Social Network). San Francisco based Thiel — “entrepreneur, hedge fund manager, libertarian and venture capitalist” according to Wikipedia has been investing in New Zealand, already making two noteworthy venture investments in the space of a few months. In October 2010, he invested $3 million in online accounting firm Xero, which is based (and publicly traded) in New Zealand. Then he invested $4 million in Pacific Fiber, an ambitious company that is building a fiber-optic cable from Australia to New Zealand to the US and is raising $300-400 million more to do so. “Here’s a thought,” says article author Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry: “Maybe Peter Thiel wants to turn New Zealand into the next Silicon Valley. Reached about this idea, Thiel said: “New Zealand is already utopia. But Silicon Valley and New Zealand can learn a lot from each other, and we want to help make that happen.” So Thiel is clearly in it for the long run. We spoke with a tech entrepreneur who lived in New Zealand who said that the country has a lot of potential as a tech hub. When asked about the culture, the person said: “They’re a brand new country. 160 years old. They have no fear of innovation or failure.” They also mentioned the country’s relaxed, laid back atmosphere. Sounds a lot like Silicon Valley to us. The article follows with a gallery of “breath-taking” New Zealand images; “click here to see the photos that prove Thiel is exactly right.”


Tags: Peter Thiel  SFGate.com  technology  

Search for Life on Venus Could Begin at Rocket Lab

Search for Life on Venus Could Begin at Rocket Lab

New Zealand-founded company Rocket Lab may be able to send a small spacecraft to probe the clouds of Venus long before NASA or other space agencies are able to do so,…