By Peter Kerr 27/10/2016

Perhaps Greg Shanahan and his TIN100 team and reports are deserving of an NZ Inc ex gratia payment – because arguably they’ve been most responsible for bringing hi tech out of the closet, making it cool(er)*.

Of course we can never tell what would’ve happened without this report coming into being 12 years ago, but purely as an ‘aspirational showcase’ alone the TIN100 punches well above its weight.

In fact one way to look at its influence is what we’d know about the ICT, high tech manufacturing and biotech industries without its presence. In an era of ever less traditional media reporting of industry, the answer is very little indeed.

TIN 100
Greg Shanahan launches the TIN100 2016 report at Wellington’s NZX, and discusses the ICT sector with Greg Davidson of Datacom, and serial startup investor Dave Moskovitz.


TIN managing director (and former Wellingtonian) Greg Shanahan highlighted some of the capital’s success stories when launching the 2016 report at NZX on Wednesday night. On that score the Wellington region led revenue growth of 15.3% for the year. A press release highlighting some of the key points is available here.

The really significant figure from NZ’s point of view was that the combined sectors’ revenues leapt by 12% and are now in touching distance of $10 billion ($9.4 bn).

2016 E-Book Report (single user license)As is often the case with the laconic Shanahan, it was his commentary that provides illumination around the numbers.

“This is a transformational report,” he says. “We’ve reached a tipping point and this year’s data signals that an inflexion point has been passed as the industry hits critical momentum.”

He says there are three main reasons for this:

  • Scale growth
  • Accelerating pace of growth
  • Spread of growth across many companies

The TIN 100 provides a detailed breakdown of NZ’s 200 largest technology exporters (and to continue the name/numbering/branding challenge), plus the Next100. Among the plethora of interesting aggregated data knowledge points are:

  • record 16% growth in R&D spend, now accouting for 9% of total revenues of TIN200 companies
  • TIN200 companies created nearly 3,000 new jobs in the past year, up 7.9%. They now employ almost 40,000 people
  • 40% more TIN200 companies generated revenues over $50 million than five years ago

The TIN100 report itself is for sale here.

It is also sponsored by NZTE and Callaghan Innovation (as well as EY and AJ Park). Quite possibly the investment made by these two government bodies is one of the best ones they make. We would all certainly be much less wise, much poorer informed, less able to say to our kids ‘hey, check these companies out’, without it.


* (OK, the Hi-Tech Awards have had some impact as well!).

(Peter Kerr runs Punchline [messages that matter], as well as What I Wish My Dad Told Me – advice that could be useful)