We laughed, we cried, we engaged in robust discussions and, eventually, our editorial team whittled down the list of awesome entrants in Idealog's Most Innovative Companies and chose the following people as our 2018 award winners.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in AI/Data is Aider. There are few technology sectors out there spoken about in such breathless terms as AI. With seemingly endless potential, there's one drawback, especially for smaller enterprises: much of the potential of AI seems available only to big players with bigger budgets.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative special category Best Collaboration is ASB, Rush and Starship Hospital. With about 34,000 children visiting Starship Children’s Emergency Department every year, one of the first areas they encounter is the waiting room. Anyone who’s spent a significant amount of time in such rooms knows just how disheartening such spaces can be for anxious parents and unwell kids alike.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Agritech is Wine Grenade. Established in 2004, Wine Grenade is an IoT micro-oxygenation device that lets small-to-medium sized wineries accelerate the maturation process and get the best possible expression of their product to consumers at the right price.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies for Best Emerging Brand is Helius. New Zealand seems to have what it takes to crack the cannabis-based medicine market: the brand, the scientific skills, the agritech, as well as general popular support for cannabis therapeutics. It’s just a case of making the most of the opportunity.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Long-Term Innovation Excellence is ecostore. Since launching in 1993, ecostore has been committed to making and selling safe, environmentally friendly household cleaning and personal care products.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Finance/Money is Sharesies. Bringing investment to the masses, Sharesies thinks different, acts different and looks different from your typical investment company. “At Sharesies, we don’t see a future where banks, ETFs or managed funds remain the primary wealth holding,” says Brooke Roberts, Sharesies CEO. “We see personalised, values-based portfolios created by people, community and algorithm. In New Zealand alone there is an opportunity worth over $1 billion for Sharesies.”
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Social Enterprise/Charity is Squawk Squad. New Zealand's native birds are in a crisis. 80 percent of the country’s remaining endemic birds are threatened with extinction, with an estimated 25 million birds killed each year by introduced predators. Squawk Squad’s goal is to connect and engage Kiwis with the protection and growth of these native birds and to that, they’re applying start-up thinking to the conservation conversation.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Media/Marketing is Special Group. By anyone’s standards, the last year has been a good one for the creative agency Special Group. Named New Zealand Agency of the Year by Campaign Brief, AUS/NZ Mobile Agency of the Year by Campaign Asia and Asia Pacific’s Most Effective Independent Agency by the global Effies index – all in the last 12 months alone – it’s a great tenth year, whichever way you look at it.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Food and Beverage is Pūhā & Pākehā. For a country so proud of its cultural heritage, there’s a bit of an irony at the heart of New Zealand cuisine: we haven’t capitalised on our roots when it comes to Kiwi fare. “In the New Zealand food business, you have to do something different,” says Jarrad McKay, one half of the team behind Pūhā & Pākehā, the Kiwi fusion eatery currently changing the way New Zealanders think about traditional Kiwi kai. “To really do something different in New Zealand, you have to do New Zealand food!”
We laughed, we cried, we engaged in robust discussions and, eventually, our editorial team whittled down the list of awesome entrants in Idealog's Most Innovative Companies and chose the following people as our winners. Stories on each of them and what exactly makes their company so innovative will be posted in the coming week, but for now, read on for the full list of winners.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies is Tech Futures Lab. Late, great futurist Alvin Toffler called it some time ago: The pace at which technology evolves will one day make it very difficult for workers to stay skilled and relevant in the workplace. That day has surely arrived. Therefore, one can imagine that he would have approved of the Tech Futures Lab, Frances Valintine’s future-focused organisation that hosts training, business coaching and masterclasses, designed to help professionals and organisations to adapt, learn, lead and succeed in this fast-changing world.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Design/Engineering is design company David Trubridge. This is because to describe David Trubridge as an environmentally conscious outfit might be to understating things, ever so slightly. In fact, you’d likely be hard pressed to find a company that strives to be as sustainable as the internationally successful Hastings-based design company.
The winner of Idealog's Most Innovative Companies in Sustainability/Environmental is For The Better Good. It’s the scourge of every environmentally conscious consumer: the detested single-use plastic bottle. There should be a better way, and now there is: Jayden Klinac has created a social enterprise that produces water bottles made entirely from plants – corn, potatoes and sugar – which are also compostable.