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Sektor enters cybersecurity, acquires Duo

Sektor enters cybersecurity, acquires Duo

Callaghan Innovation seeks incubators with deep tech commercialisation experience; new appointments at Ambit

Kendra Ross (Duo)

Kendra Ross (Duo)

Credit: IDG

Sektor New Zealand has announced its acquisition of cybersecurity distributor Duo NZ.

DUO represents major global brands such as Check Point, McAfee, RSA and SailPoint.

“Cybersecurity threats are growing to be a major risk for all businesses and the market for cyber security solutions is growing accordingly,” says Andre van Duiven, managing director, Sektor New Zealand

“Duo’s position as the cybersecurity market leader fits perfectly with Sektor’s plan to support this growing market, especially in Sektor’s vertical markets such as mobile computing, security cameras, retail POS and healthcare where cyber threats are now starting to be fully appreciated,” he says.

Kendra Ross and Jackie Hatchwell founded Duo in 1996. 

“Sektor are market leaders in verticals that are increasingly intersecting with the cyber security market, it’s an emerging market for us that we have been very keen to pursue,” says Ross, who has been appointed GM of the new division with all DUO management and staff being retained.

“Sektor offers us a platform for further growth as part of a larger New Zealand-owned distributor, both in New Zealand and in Australia. The whole team are excited about this next chapter in the Duo story,” adds Hatchwell.

Vic Crone
Vic Crone

Callaghan Innovation, meanwhile, has launched a request for proposals (RFP) to find new incubators for the country’s Technology Incubator programme and is encouraging local and international providers to apply. 

The RFP deadline is Friday 4 October 2019, but applicants are encouraged to apply early.

The Technology Incubator pilot programme has produced 45 new deep tech start-ups and attracted more than $50 million in investments since its launch in 2014. 

Invert Robotics’ chief technology officer James Robertson, who last month announced the company had secured a US$8.8 million round of funding, says being part of the Technology Incubator programme has been critical to the development of his company.

“I had solid technical knowledge of my field but next to no experience in business or running a company. I learned a wide range of skills from people within the incubation environment, and gained invaluable insights around product market fit and working with customers to create a market.”

“Being in the incubator environment also meant I had training and coaching around pitching and capital raising, access to investors, and assistance with preparation of deal documentation.”

Having access to the right support, expertise and connections can make all the difference for start-ups, says Dr Peter Crabtree, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s general manager of science, innovation and international.

Dr Peter Crabtree
Dr Peter Crabtree

“It can be a tough road creating productive businesses out of complex research like biotech and aerospace technology. The Technology Incubator programme bridges that gap between concept and commercialisation."

With the next iteration of the Technology Incubator programme, launching in 2020, the focus is on connecting companies with greater international experience and investment access.

“We are looking for incubators that have a wealth of international commercialisation expertise, access to international investment and pathways to market. We have some excellent expertise and knowledge here that the programme can draw on, and the RFP also presents opportunities for international providers who are willing to establish a team here,” says Vic Crone, Callaghan Innovation CEO.

She says successful incubators will be expected to report regularly and share data on the progress and deep tech commercialisation milestones of the companies they’re working with.

Josh Comrie
Josh Comrie

In another industry development, Ambit has recruited three executives following a NZ$1.75 million capital raise earlier this year.

Nick Houldsworth joins the Ambit board as a non-executive director. He is  currently the executive GM of Ecosystem and Xero Learn.  

“I'm focused on scaling global SaaS businesses, so this is a really exciting time to be joining Ambit, and I look forward to working with the team to help accelerate their growth,” says Houldsworth

Abby Potich is appointed as customer success lead, and brings a wealth of experience from other SaaS and AI companies including Centrality AI, Putti and Figured. Ben Davidson joins Ambit as a business development manager. He was most recently head of operations at IMAGR and has also held senior roles at Intergen and Provoke.  

Josh Comrie, co-founder and CEO at Ambit says the three new members of the team bring a diverse range of skills to the table, as well as strong industry expertise, drive and passion. 

“Their knowledge of, and dedication to cloud technologies, artificial intelligence and the overall customer experience will help further expand our business, ensuring Ambit is well placed to tackle expansion opportunities and industry advances.”

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Tags Mergers and acquisitionsroboticsAIdisruptionEmerging TechnologiesStartupCallaghan InnovationincubatorduoSektorjosh comrieMBIEfintechDXNick HouldsworthVic CroneAmbit

More about AustraliaCheck PointIntergenMcAfeeProvokeRSASailPointSektorSektor New ZealandTechnologyTwitterXero

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