The Waikato's top IT experts descended on Hamilton's Claudelands Arena on Monday for the launch of Techweek 2019, as lines of exhibits from drones to virtual reality packed the event centre.

Techweek19 Waikato is part of a nationwide series of events which showcases the best of New Zealand's innovation.

The Waikato is fast making a name for itself as the next Silicon Valley according to Company-X director David Hallett, backed by Te Waka CEO Michael Bassett-Foss.

"We have got some good stuff going on in the Waikato, it's one of our best kept secrets, which is wrong. We need to be sharing this," Mr Bassett-Foss said. "Te Waka is very proud to bring together discussions of significant developments in technology."


He said that the success stories of the Waikato are making it around the world.

"We have firms and innovators from around the world who are wanting to set themselves up in the Waikato because of the good stuff going on here.

He said the technology sector is significant to the Waikato as it employs hundreds of people from the region, while also helping other sectors rise.

Mr Bassett-Foss said CultivateIT had been a spearhead in helping the Waikato push to become the best technology sector in the country.

CultivateIT is a group led by industry leaders that has developed a plan to help close the digital divide in the the region.

Across the week a series of events were held in the Waikato celebrating the region's growth.

Regional Tech Breakfasts were held in the smaller towns of Matamata, Tokoroa and Huntly throughout the week, while on Tuesday afternoon, another exhibition showcasing Māori technology was on.

Further events included the Smart Cities Lunch on Thursday, where Hamilton has been a spearhead in incorporating technology into the normal day running of the city.


Projects include the rollout of LED Street Lights, where Hamilton and the Waikato were the first to have "warm white" lights which are considered better for nocturnal animals, while reducing spillover glare into houses and less harsh on the eyes.

Hamilton City Council is also developing a Smart Space which will be designed to showcase smart initiatives and tell stories of innovation from within our city and the wider region.

On Thursday The LAB was held at Hamilton Central Library for young people for a challenge in technology.

The programme rotates each week around libraries and community centres in Hamilton encouraging young minds to problem solve, think creatively and develop innovative ideas while doing a variety of DIY and technology based activities.

One of the challenges at the launch of TechWeek was to programme a remote controlled car to drive around a circuit.
The final event to take place in the Waikato will be held at Waikato Innovation Park on Saturday at 9:30am, hosted by Seed Waikato and called Dreamshop: Unleashing your potential.