A newly-formed company based in Tauranga is about increase the local region's profile, and exposure in the fast-moving world of information and communications technology (ICT).
Wharf42, established by Pingar chief executive Peter Wren-Hilton, will help the country's smart, start-up software businesses set up in the home of technology, California's Silicon Valley.
Mr Wren-Hilton and his wife, Jacqui, spent six months last year setting up their own operation in the famous valley full of entrepreneurs - and they now want to pass on their experiences and support for other ambitious ICT companies.
"New Zealand has an active technology sector but the start-ups don't grow because they don't go out of the country and they are restricted by the size of the market here and access to capital," said Mr Wren-Hilton.
"Wharf42 will be creating a system and process to fast-track some of New Zealand's most exciting start-ups and become a connector/conduit to get them into Silicon Valley."
In the valley, the bright New Zealand companies will become involved with "an ecosystem" of other start-ups from around the world, angel investors and venture capitalists, and potential large technology partners such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Intel and Oracle.
"We want to see more $100 million New Zealand software companies rather than hundreds of $1 million businesses," said Mr Wren-Hilton. "You cannot grow on to the international scale by keeping your business here."
Wharf42 was launched today with its new website (www.wharf42.co.nz) and it will be soon opening its own office in Tauranga.
Former Microsoft New Zealand director of innovation and national technology officer Brett Roberts has moved from Auckland to become chief executive of Wharf42.
An avionics engineer for Air New Zealand and business analyst for Clear Communications, Mr Roberts worked for Microsoft for 13 years before forming his own technology consultancy, Business IQ, in 2010. One of his partners, Craig Elliott, is based in California and will provide introductions for the New Zealand start-up companies.
"To me, the missing piece in the jigsaw is falling into place," said Mr Roberts. "We have a healthy programme of incubators and accelerators, and software companies with great ideas and great people.
"But they take far too long to get connected offshore - the trick in United States is to fly or fade quickly - and we can get them plugged into the right place in a timely manner.
"We can 'funnel and filter' the New Zealand companies and determine whether they are at the right stage of setting up in the valley."
Wharf42 will organise the companies to be located in the Plug and Play Tech Centre, already home for 300 start-ups in Redwood City and Sunnyvale, which is in the heart of Silicon Valley.
A number of venture capital and angel investor groups are also based at the centre, aiming to invest in the smart software companies.
Mr Wren-Hilton said 180 venture capital networks had raised US$650 million ($780 million) in four years for the start-ups in the tech centre.
Mr Roberts said the companies would retain their research and development and intellectual property in New Zealand.
But in the valley they could forge ahead with business development and sales and marketing teams to grow their businesses.
"The internet makes the world a smaller place and you can build and run technology remotely from New Zealand. But you have a better chance of success and exposure by being located where the action is and meeting people (in the valley) rather than tuning into Skype," Mr Roberts said.
"The owners can catch Air New Zealand NZ7 on Friday to San Francisco and rock up to work in the Plug and Play on Monday."
When they first arrive in Silicon Valley, the Kiwi companies will become part of a 10-week Plug and Play programme, known as start-up camp.
They will be introduced to every aspect of the valley, and will be encouraged to fine tune their technology and their presentations.
At the end of 10 weeks, they will participate in the Plug and Play Expo and present to an audience of 400 Silicon Valley representatives, including 80 venture capital companies.
The Kiwi companies will be given every opportunity to shine.
The Plug and Play centre also organises 120 events a year and the start-ups can attend free of charge.
Wharf42, aiming to raise up to $1 million from local investors for the initial set-up costs, is also appointing a vice-president investment based in United States to work closely with the New Zealand companies and find opportunities for business development.
He will also develop a New Zealand pavilion in the large open space of the Plug and Play centre alongside the German, Canadian, Japanese, Australian and Belgian start-ups. There will be room for up to 20 desks.
"The one country that is glaringly missing in the centre is New Zealand," said Mr Roberts. "New Zealand has a high profile among the senior executives in the valley. A lot of them have travelled here and some have bought property.
"They all have a good story to tell about the country."
Wharf42 has already identified two North Island software development companies which are interested in being connected to Silicon Valley.
Andy Hamilton, chief executive of Auckland's Icehouse, said Wharf42 provided a great conduit for Kiwi technology start-ups to get to Silicon Valley in a timely and efficient manner. In the past, this had been a somewhat complex process and Wharf42 would be a great partner for organisations such as Icehouse, which is constantly working to identify and grow the next generation of entrepreneurs in New Zealand.
Mr Wren-Hilton said Wharf42 would complement Priority One's plan to establish an ICT Cluster in Tauranga.
"Their innovation centre will be a physical building and we can provide the tenants," he said. "I believe a significant ICT beachhead can be established in the city and the region."