Beyond startups and tech firms

Two articles that caught Moxie’s eye recently and might interest yours:

Nesta, a UK innovation charity, has a project on startups (amongst many other interesting things), trying to broaden the focus on high growth firms beyond the usual digital ventures enabled by venture capital. Read about it. And see also an early product from the project, an interesting set of interviews with twenty high-growth firms.

Daniel Isenberg is in The Economist saying interesting things. Perhaps two interesting things:

  • Focusing only on entrepreneurship in tech firms is a mistake, both because entrepreneurship is much wider than just tech firms, and because all firms are technology firms: “ignoring the opportunities and necessities presented by technology is … no different than ignoring the existence of electricity or cars”; and
  • Focusing on startups may be in error. Scaling up is far harder than starting up, so all the effort on startups is wasted if they do not grow large and make an appreciable impact on the real economy. The headline: “it is very likely that the on-ramp of startups has been jam packed, while the actual speed on the highway has not been impacted at all”, where I take the “actual speed” to mean the rate of improvement in overall economic prosperity in the economy as a whole.

Video(!) and podcast of Moxie Session 14 (on commercialising science) out now

Who says we are not innovative? Through the helpful Google Hangouts and the skills of Glenn Williams, we now have video from the Moxie Podcast so you can check out the whites of the speakers’ eyes, as well as the audio feed as usual.

So this is the podcast from the fourteenth Moxie session, held 2 April 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand.

The topic is:

How well does New Zealand commercialise its science? Are there missing bits to our system still, or is the creation of Callaghan Innovation the last big block? What are the relevant measures of success?


  • David Downs with interesting history
  • Russell O’Brien on better incubation
  • Brent Ogilvie with an investor’s perspectives

Interview by Glenn Williams.

Listen or subscribe to the series via iTunes or through the magic of RSS from

Listen now on Mixcloud.

Watch the video on YouTube.