By YOKE HAR LEE
New Zealand has to play the global game of considering incentives for venture capitalists if it wants to attract their money.
That is the hard-hitting message from John Sculley, former chief executive of Apple Computers and Pepsi Co and now running his family's venture capital company, Sculley Brothers.
His other message for technology-based companies is this: having great technology alone is not enough.
"It is all about getting the best talent and matching them with the best business returns. Technology alone is not enough. The real challenge is turning the great technology into a business.
"It looks like there is tactical talent in New Zealand. But you do not have tax incentives that others do."
He told the Business Herald while attending the IT Investment Conference in Auckland yesterday that not having those tax incentives made it difficult for New Zealand to be noticed by venture capitalists as it was far from the US and Europe.
Asked if tax incentives mattered a lot, Mr Sculley said: "All Western countries have some form of incentives to attract venture capital. It is not for me to say ... but I am sure your Government is analysing that. In the global economy, you have got to play the global game by global rules."
While in New Zealand, he will look at some of our most innovative companies.
Mr Sculley said New Zealand was an excellent testbed for new technology and new ideas.
Being small, it did not have the stress and issues related to bringing out new ideas in a large market.
Mr Sculley was one of the three keynote speakers at the IT Investment Conference dinner. The others were the IT world's icon Jim Clark, founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape and Healtheon Corporation, and Tom Perkins, founder of technology venture capital company Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers.
By YOKE HAR LEE