Entrepreneurs in emerging science and technology-based industries – such as software, health sciences, electronics, biotechnology and clean/renewable tech – have an important role to play in transforming our economy, creating new jobs and building our international reputation as a ‘smart little country’.

These sci-tech entrepreneurs are people who find ways to turn technology, engineering or science-based innovations into novel products and services.

They exploit new opportunities, setting them apart from other business people, and they’re more than just inventors – an entrepreneur takes the invention out of the shed, home computer or laboratory and makes it into something that lots of people want to use or buy.

How do you become an entrepreneur?

Many sci-tech entrepreneurs started out as software developers, food technologists, scientists or engineers and are commercialising their own work.

Others have enough background knowledge to be able to spot new business opportunities and gather together the science and technology team they need to make it happen.

A tertiary qualification in technology, engineering or science, possibly in combination with business studies, is a great way to get started.

What's an 'intrapreneur' then?

Not everybody with a great idea for an innovative product wants to risk it all. Intrapreneurs get to develop their idea into a marketable product, but work within a larger company so that they don’t take on the same financial risk.

What have New Zealand's sci-tech entrepreneurs created?

Some of the companies already have a high profile and employ hundreds of people; others are just starting out:

  • Xero identified the need for a low cost and easy-to-use bookkeeping system for small businesses
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare makes innovative respiratory (breathing) devices
  • Orion Health creates specialist healthcare software to support the work of doctors and other healthcare professionals
  • Invert Robotics makes wall climbing robots for safer and more accurate inspections of industrial facilities
  • Igtimi specialises in high accuracy GPS systems as used in the live TV coverage of the America’s Cup

Other job roles you may be interested in:

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Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur: People who work in this role

  • Paul Jensen

    Director, Paul Jensen at work

    Lana Philcox

    New Product Development Manager, Lana Philcox at work

    Brett Willis

    Electronics Engineer, Brett Willis at work

    Jeremy Kenealy

    Machine Design Manager , Jeremy Kenealy at work
  • Matthew Gatland

    Game Developer, Matthew Gatland at work

    Kylie Robinson

    CEO , Kylie Robinson at work

    Shaun Tan

    Product Development Engineer, Shaun Tan at work

    Hayden Pohio

    Founder, Hayden Pohio at work
  • Cody Bunea

    Technical Director, Cody Bunea at work

    Jeff Carter

    Company Director , Jeff Carter at work

Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Aeroqual
    Dynamic Controls
    Dynamic Controls
    Orion Health
    Orion Health
  • Serato
    SLI Systems
    SLI Systems
  • Fisher & Paykel Appliances
    Fisher & Paykel Appliances
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
    Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
    Callaghan Innovation
    Callaghan Innovation

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation