Morgo Queenstown - that's a wrap!

 Matthew Simmons, Nyriad

Matthew Simmons, Nyriad

“You may wonder what a cyber security guy, a brain augmentation specialist, gamer, parking expert and various others could possibly have in common, and when I add that they were all in a bar, your guess is that I’m probably telling a bad joke. But such is the diversity, and the magic of Morgo!” That is the opening para of a blog written by Carmen Vicelich at 1 am after the first day of Morgo Queenstown!

Off to a great start

We were all hyped up after Ross Stevens blew our minds with 4D printing, Andy Prow told us how he moved from selling bad news for money (this is your problem …) to magically shielding all the security flaws with Red Shield, Dan Pollard shared a very personal story of building Fergus, and master entrepreneur Paul Collins of Parking Sense almost made us as passionate about parking as he is! He told us he’s not a good speaker. We beg to differ, or, as someone put it, “Maybe not, but you’re a great story teller.” I guess his stories are confidential but I can share this great line from someone trying to invest in his business when Paul rejected his offer: “Don’t bullshit a bullshitter.”

And then we hit Carmen with her blast of energy! Valocity named for her own velocity? Everyone was already wondering how this superwoman keeps going at this speed, and then she put up a photo with her four kids that led to a collective She’s just taken investment from new Morgo Partner, Christopher & Banks, so expect the exhilarating journey to keep going even faster.

Company cameos — diversity of new products

That was just the first morning. And we managed to fit in cameos from our sponsored place winners:

  • Greg Johnson from Manta 5 with their bikes that you ride on water. When they released their video they got 240 million views! They promised to bring a fleet of bikes to Morgo Bay of Islands next year.
  • Emily Blyth, whose Limpidity is clearing the fog from airports.
  • Angus Brown with his brain-enhancing Arepa drink, which was much in demand the next morning.

Great to see such a diversity of new companies emerging.

Brain food and energy blasts

The real highlight for this year’s Morgo was Tan Le of EMOTIV in San Francisco (neural control devices). We were very privileged to have her join us: super smart, our real brain food for this year, opening up all kinds of ideas and potential.

Dean Hall from Rocketwerkz blew us all away too. Another major blast of energy. Not sure what to do when he left school, Dean tried the army, the airforce and writing games in the Czech Republic. Oh, and between gigs he climbed Mt Everest. Now he’s busy powering up a games company in Dunedin. Great to have you with us, Dean.

Anne Fulton and Jo Mills gave us a joint presentation on Fuel50, their HR company that is winning major US business. Love the partnership.

Peter Howell from Dropit had us all ready to swipe up for his rapid 60 second reverse auctions. A couple of heli-skiiing trips were won over dinner, for which a secondary market rapidly developed. Erica Crawford talked about the power of brand, and selling and going again. Cameron Priest is really going for it with Trade Gecko out of Singapore — one foot in the west and one in the east (the epicentre of the world is moving).

And more tech

And Nyriad. What can we say? Matthew Simmons was meant to talk about his great partnership with Alex St John but instead we were left with a message of MEGALOMANIA. These guys are planning to build a huge business in Cambridge, New Zealand, and they’re well on track.

Wared Seger’s Parrot Analytics is rip roaring away in LA: measuring all the video consumption in the world, including the pirated content, and selling data to all the people making and selling videos — true audience measurement.

And finally Brad Couper, who built SimPro into a major company and did the largest VC funding for an Australian company in 2016. That’s a fascinating story, but even better is where Brad is going next: he and some US partners are planning a big building tech company in the US.

And the wrap?

Through all of this, themes of passion, tenacity, the value of failure, courage, the importance of people and culture, and finally “I’ll do it my way”!

Jenny Morel

Marie-Claire Andrews