Taupo: Silicon Valley of the South?

Here’s an article about me, Kloud and Beany published in the Taupo Times (June 2017)


Taupo has every opportunity to become the Silicon Valley of the North Island, says former Weta Digital developer John Curtis.

John is the chief technical officer at Beany – an accountancy firm that is run completely over the internet and has no offices. He co-founded the company with chartered accountant Sue De Bievre in 2013 after leaving Weta.

The firm now has 20 accountants across the country. John said the ability to exchange files over the internet and communicate through video conferencing made offices unnecessary. “A lot of our accountants are mums who work around family commitments. That’s really empowering for them, and we get some top-tier staff who would normally be unavailable from the general workforce.’ John said as technology became ubiquitous, more companies may base themselves in towns like Taupo.

“Taupo is a perfect town for tech businesses – we’ve got fibre everywhere”, he said.

“Being able to work online means you can work from anywhere, as long as your company is set up to deal with that.”

“Basing teams in the provinces – generally cheaper to operate in than cities – could provide a lot of benefits to both staff and companies, he said. “I think Taupo’s a healthier environment to work in, because once you take that big commute out of the working day, it opens up a whole lot more opportunities for people to have their own lives and enjoy their lifestyle.”

For nearly two years, John has run a co-working space on Horomatangi St called Kloud Collective. The drop-in office attracts both locals and people working on the road.

“We’ve recently had an events company, an engineer, a traffic flow designer – who designs systems to manage traffic flows in Auckland, which is a bit ironic. As remote working becomes more common, it was possible companies offering jobs would pitch more than just an income, John said. “We’re looking at the companies who are leading that, who are saying to potential employees, will this work for you? As a job and as a lifestyle?” he said. “There’s no reason this couldn’t be the Silicon Valley of the North Island.

On June 8, 2017, posted in: Cloud, News by