On Friday, the city is hosting the first DevNxt technology conference designed to target the “people-facing” side of technology businesses, such as growth into leadership roles.
Co-founders Phil Wheeler and Peter Bayne wanted to create a conference in the southern region catering to the non-technical aspects of technology businesses.
Mr Wheeler, who is based in Dunedin, has been involved in software development for 20 years working for several large companies, including ANZ Bank, Tower Insurance, Intergen and, most recently, ADInstruments.
Mr Bayne has had a similar career path in software development, working for several companies in Christchurch.
The conference will have speakers from some of New Zealand’s largest technology companies, including Animation Research chief executive Cheryl Adams talking about leadership and SafeStack chief executive Laura Bell who will talk about the impacts of Covid-19 on the technology sector.
Dunedin was starting to be recognised as a great place to base a technology company, Mr Wheeler said.
“I’m hoping we get a lot of support from them on the day.”
The conference was also catering to smaller start-up technology businesses that might have been put off travelling to bigger conferences in other parts of the country, Mr Wheeler said.
Flights and accommodation cost could be quite expensive for smaller companies so it was hoped the conference would “open the door” to founders from the southern region.
Covid-19 restrictions had affected the viability of holding industry events and it was great that the the event was proceeding, Mr Wheeler said.
He admitted it was a “gamble” because of the uncertainty surrounding the virus spreading.
“We live in a time where plans can almost be meaningless, but we are very excited for it to be going ahead,” he said.