I’ve written in the past about the good things that New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, the Government’s enterprise development body, does for New Zealand business. They have a large variety of programmes, all aimed at helping New Zealand business excel on an international level.

I was pretty disappointed to read a post yesterday that told a sad story. Seems that VortexDNA managed to get NZTE funding to cover some development costs – until now all good.

Things turned to custard however when Vortex, in a gesture of appreciation for the good work the developer had done for them, decided to award him some stock.

NZTE decided that this was a breach of their terms and conditions and duly asked for the grant money to be refunded.

I can see why NZTE has these sorts of rules – they don’t want to be seen as a gravy train that funds individuals investments in startups – but a degree of flexibility would be nice -to make matters worse it would seem that Vortex has been placed on a high risk register for any future application.

An unfortunate turn of events.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • I’ve responded to this company’s post – your readers might be similarly interested.

    NZTE strikes the right balance on funding processes

    New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is responsible for administering more than $70 million worth of business grant funding each year.

    Coming as it does from taxpayers’ pockets, it is vital that we have clear guidelines on how the money can be used.

    We say quite clearly that any service provider a company employs with its grant funding “must be independent and not financially or personally associated” with the company. If we didn’t, it would be possible for companies to use the money to pay their own staff – something taxpayers wouldn’t be that happy about.

    Yes, we have “played firm with the rules” but these rules were clearly stated in the contract with this company. It didn’t follow them and, as a government agency, we could not be expected to be any less firm.

    We strive to strike the right balance between processes that are prudent and administratively sensible and delivering a service that helps companies grow.

    This month’s audit of the administration of our grant programmes by the Auditor General shows that we are effectively and efficiently administering these programmes in keeping with the intentions of government.

  • I replied on my post but will do so here also.

    Does granting shares to someone above and beyond the grant money qualify under that rule? It doesn’t sound like it to me.

    But I’d be interested in further comment on whether this is the case as it may prevent the same thing happening to another company in the future.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.