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Marian Johnson: The Influencers


If the theme of the last few months has been startup and innovation funding, then the theme of the last few weeks has been Celebration, with a capital “C”.

 

Ministry of Awesome Chief Awesome Officer

This month the business community is celebrating twice, with two phenomenal black tie events: the Westpac Champion Awards and the Deloitte Fast 50 Awards. Both awards show a nominee list replete with companies using innovation as a clear differentiator in their competitive sector.

At the Westpac Champion Awards, 15 fantastic organisations won for their category with three of those winners clearly targeting a global market with ‘born in Canterbury’ entrepreneurship and innovation.

Supreme Award winners Ethique – a zero waste beauty brand – and Taska Prosthetics – creators of the world’s first waterproof prosthetic hand, are targeting the lucrative US market.

Meanwhile, Medsaland have already had some success there; it has just opened up new markets in the US and the UK. Medsalv, the winner of the Businesses for Good category, has only recently emerged from the UC’s Summer Startup programme with their business that drives environmental sustainability in healthcare through recycling single-use medical equipment.

The second glittery business awards show set in Christchurch this month was the Deloitte Fast 50 awards which showcases the 50 top fastest-growing companies in our region. The award celebration was held at the Isaac Theatre Royal and – once again – the nominees feature recent startups and clearly underline the role that innovation is playing in our changing business landscape.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Leeann Watson: The Influencers


We were so excited to bring the Westpac Champion Business Awards to Canterbury once again – and what a night it was!

 

Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive

Both of our Supreme Winners demonstrate the innovation and adaptability Canterbury has become known for – Ethique aims to rid the cosmetics industry of plastic bottles and make beauty eco-friendly; TASKA produces the world’s first waterproof myoelectric prosthetic hand, designed to restore ability and confidence for amputees worldwide.

These organisations aren’t just leading the way in our city or even our country – they are world-leading, and we’re proud to have them as Canterbury businesses.

The black-tie event was delivered to over 1100 members of the business community and regarded as the best awards yet – no small feat considering it was our 17th year.

We were also delighted to present special awards to Anton Matthews from FUSH who was recognised with the Emerging Business Leader Award for his dedication to revitalising te reo in Ōtautahi, and also a Special Commendation to Bruce Irvine who has given so much to the city and our region through his commitment to business, governance, the arts and his philanthropic generosity.

Category winners included Mount Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters, Christchurch Engine Centre, Tuatara Structures, Barker Fruit Processors Ltd, The New Zealand Merino Company Limited, Ethique, YWCA Christchurch, The Christchurch City Mission, Medsalv, RuralCo, Canterbury District Health Board, and TASKA Prosthetics.

These organisations reinforce our positioning of Ōtautahi as a city of opportunity and innovation.

 

 

 

 


 

Champions of Canterbury business


Producer of the world’s first waterproof myoelectric prosthetic hand, TASKA Prosthetics, and the world’s first zero-waste beauty brand, Ethique, have taken out the Supreme Awards at this year’s Westpac Champion Business Awards.

 

CREDIT NANCY ZHOU

 

The awards were presented at a black-tie event at Horncastle Arena last month, with 1100 members of the local business community in attendance. Champion Canterbury Ltd Chair and Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Leeann Watson says the winners demonstrate why Canterbury is becoming known as a city of innovation.

“Both of our Supreme Winners demonstrate the keen sense of innovation and adaptability Canterbury has become known for – Ethique aims to rid the cosmetics industry of plastic bottles and make beauty eco-friendly; TASKA produces the world’s first waterproof myoelectric prosthetic hand, designed to restore ability and confidence for amputees around the world. These organisations aren’t just leading the way in terms of our city or even our country – they are world-leading, and we are incredibly proud to have them as Canterbury businesses.

“I strongly believe that Canterbury businesses are more robust, resilient, agile, adaptive and open to change given the adversity they have faced over the last 10 years and our challenging and rapidly evolving local operating environment. We have always been nimble, but the last few years have really accelerated that process. This provides us with a distinct competitive advantage and reinforces our history of pioneers and positioning of Ōtautahi as a city of opportunity and innovation.”

In addition to the two Supreme Awards, there were also 13 business category winners, including Mount Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters, Christchurch Engine Centre, Tuatara Structures, Barker Fruit Processors Ltd, The New Zealand Merino Company Limited, Ethique, YWCA Christchurch, The Christchurch City Mission, Medsalv, RuralCo, Canterbury District Health Board, TASKA Prosthetics (two categories).

“The winners across all categories demonstrate an agile focus in their business operations. They also have a strong purpose, clear identity and unique point of difference, which is essential in today’s increasingly competitive and globalised marketplace.”

Two individuals were also recognised with special awards. Anton Matthews from local restaurant FUSH was recognised with the Emerging Business Leader Award for his dedication to revitalising and normalising te reo in Ōtautahi and Bruce Irvine received a Special Commendation for his contribution to the greater Christchurch region.