February update from Kea
Kia ora and welcome to Kea’s online monthly report, showcasing our highlights for February 2021.
This month we spoke to two emerging Kiwi companies, Litmaps and Nisa, about their respective journeys with Kea Connect and the positive impact they’ve seen from the connections made. We also followed up with a Kea Connect customer who initially reached out to Kea in 2019. He explains his key learnings when expanding offshore, and his plans to return to Aotearoa.
Our US, China and UK Regional Directors share their on-the-ground market insights for the past month. Finally, we highlight some of the partner and Kea Community content that has been resonating with our members.
- GROWTH THROUGH KEA CONNECT
- INSIGHTS FROM OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY
- KEA CONNECT: SPOTLIGHT ON TECH MARKET VALIDATION AND ETHICAL MANUFACTURING
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- TRENDING AT KEA
- UPCOMING EVENTS
- CONNECTIONS THIS MONTH
- HOW KEA CAN HELP
GROWTH THROUGH KEA CONNECT
Global growth through Kea Connect
During the early stages of Hoa Cleantech, co-founder Peter Algie sought advice from our Kea Community to launch his SaaS company in Canada and the US. Peter accessed invaluable advice through Kea Connect, refining how he structured the business. He spoke with us about the significant growth since our initial connection, why no-one makes a decision on numbers alone, and his plan to return to New Zealand.
INSIGHTS FROM OUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY
Our North America Director Ryan Mulcock discusses the impact of the change in administration and peaks in Covid-19 cases over the past month, with overall hopes for a fresh start. With remote working continuing into 2021, Ryan has also seen increasing openness in taking meetings from anywhere. Find out more in his February update.
UK & EUROPE
UK & Europe Regional Director Sara Fogarty discusses how businesses are continuing to navigate Brexit changes amidst lockdowns. Find out more about the changing consumer trends, such as a huge uptake in direct to consumer transactions in her monthly update.
China signed the upgrading protocol of its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with New Zealand (via video link) on Tuesday 26th January. The new commitments show a positive sign of the Sino-NZ partnership to combat the pandemic as well as to support multilateralism and free trade. The New Zealand Ambassador to China, Clare Fearnley stated, “both NZ and Chinese exporters will benefit from the upgraded trade rules through easier processes, reduced compliance costs, and expanded market access in some areas.”
Hainan also issued the industry catalogue for its Free Trade Port (effective starting from 1st Jan 2021), which focuses on tourism, modern services, and new & high-tech industries. This is a clear signal of China’s commitment for opening up the country further and facilitating free trade and investment.
The upgraded FTA gave us a head start to 2021, and we can certainly expect rapid growth in bilateral trade & investment between China and New Zealand this year.
Finally, in our latest “Voices from the Kea Community” segment, we spoke to Jennifer Jin Ma about her near-instant Covid-19 related pivot, building unshakeable belief in her business, and learn from her experiences in “riding against the wave” across the past year.
Ciara Liu, Kea China Regional Director
GOVERNMENT INC UPDATE
The team at Kea are working alongside NZTE on new ways for growth-stage companies to access investment and have been exploring ways the Kea Community can contribute to APEC Leaders Week and Expo 2020. Additionally, content plans are in development to support the MBIE Digital Boost programme.
SPOTLIGHT ON TECH MARKET VALIDATION AND ETHICAL MANUFACTURING
RESEARCH TOOL BOUND FOR US + MARKET VALIDATION
Connections made through Kea Connect played an instrumental role in helping early stage tech company Litmaps with global ambitions from day one.
Litmaps is a sophisticated tool built for researchers, to help them detail subject matter in a visual, timely and centralised way. Setting their global ambitions from the outset, market validation for the USA was a crucial part of their early development. Their co-founder and CEO was keen to speak with Kea members involved in academia, science and R&D.
Our Kea connections helped the Litmaps team understand how these sectors differ from New Zealand and provided additional feedback on the platform.
Kea Connect introduced Litmaps to a University Research Associate and Medical Writer, who were both happy to try the platform and provide feedback.
ETHICAL KIWI UNDERWEAR BRAND + MANUFACTURING INSIGHTS
Through Kea Connect, Kiwi-led ethical and sustainable underwear brand Nisa gained invaluable advice on manufacturing processes to expand their brand.
Nisa, based in Wellington, is a business that has built itself on giving opportunities to women from refugee and migrant backgrounds, often as a first job in NZ. This has 2 key challenges:
- Managing staff turnover and the potential impact on cost base
- The ability to operate machinery for underwear/garment production limiting the pool of potential employees
In order to support managing the above, the business sought insights around leading manufacturing floor practices, production process, equipment requirements and advanced/precision manufacturing operations.
Kea Connect introduced the founder to a Sourcing and Production Professional, who provided invaluable advice that has shaped their future thinking. The founder shared the following fantastic feedback with us.
“He was the perfect person to talk to, he knew so much about garment manufacturing, thanks so much. The chat was helpful more just to learn things to watch out for that I didn’t know previously, and also to confirm that I’m going on the right path with moving to a new manufacturing process. The chat was invaluable!”
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
SHINING THE SPOTLIGHT ON KIWI F&B
As part of their ongoing Made with Care campaign, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise have interviewed New York-based Kiwi chef Anthony Hoy Fong, who discusses how he pays tribute to his Kiwi roots while living and working offshore.
GROWTH IN THE CHINESE ECONOMY
In addition to the Trade Agreement Upgrade information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade have released their annual report on China’s GDP growth. The data for 2020 looks promising, with China looking to be the only top-20 economy to have grown last year.
EDUCATION MONTH IN FULL SWING
Xero is utilising their team of experts to help small businesses reach their potential in their annual Xero Education Month. There’s something for everyone, from accountants and bookkeepers to small business owners and the self-employed. The free, easily accessible content is available for all of February.
TRENDING AT KEA
COMING INTO 2021, THE ECONOMY IS LOOKING UP
Kea Community Independent Economist Tony Alexander shares his insights on the New Zealand economy’s growth in 2021, and the housing market’s reaction. READ MORE
ORBIS DIAGNOSTICS ON THEIR ULTIMATE PIVOT
We caught up with Brent Ogilvie of Orbis Diagnostics about their pivot from animal health to antibody testing for Covid-19, and how Kea Connect was able to help. READ MORE
USING TECH TO INCREASE ACCESSIBILITY
We spoke to Kara Technologies founder Arash Tayebi about the benefits of wider sign language interpretation, and how we can utilise technology to increase accessibility. READ MORE
We also have a number of virtual and in-person events over the next few weeks.
International Women’s Day is on March 8th, and we’ve teamed up with the UK New Zealand Business Women’s Network to host a series of events, including a panel and Q&A online event with World Class New Zealander and fashion designer Emilia Wickstead, World Class New Zealander and chef Monica Galetti, and CEO of London Bridge Hospital Janene Madden.
The Kea World Class New Zealand Awards are being held in Auckland on March 16th, we are looking forward to celebrating our world leading Kiwis who are making outstanding contributions to Aotearoa and the world.
Kea, in partnership with Kerridge & Partners, are hosting an event in Auckland for recently returned Kiwis together with senior executives from a range of New Zealand public and private sector organisations. The event will feature a panel discussion on how New Zealand companies can best leverage returning Kiwi talent.
KEA CONNECT: BUSINESSES SUPPORTED THIS MONTH
Number of Kiwi businesses assisted this month
Number of connections made this month
Number of connections made this year to date*
SECTORS KEA CONNECT SUPPORTED THIS MONTH
*Year to date reflects financial year commencing 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
HOW KEA CAN HELP
Join the Kea community, and stay connected to New Zealand, its people and businesses wherever you are in the world.
Post job opportunities and attract internationally experienced Kiwi talent.
Help Kiwi businesses explore their global potential through our worldwide community.