Over the past few years our Waikato economy has been diversifying. One of the key developments has been a burgeoning Information Technology (IT) sector.

Businesses like Hamilton software specialist Company-X and Cambridge data storage expert Nyriad are at the zenith of their industry. They have both put the Mighty Waikato on the world IT map, packing a hefty punch in their respective fields internationally.

Company-X, for example, has grown beyond its team of two founding directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes in 2012 to more than 50, working on software development projects domestically and globally.

Last year Deloitte, the world's largest professional services company, recognised Company-X's growth and ranked it on the 2017 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific index of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in the Asia Pacific region. Company-X more than doubled its revenue in 2017, growing 138 percent.

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With British server and storage solutions provider Boston Ltd, Nyriad announced the world's first Graphics Processing Unitpowered Solid State Drive solution at the International Supercomputing Conference in June.

Nyriad, founded in 2015 by directors Graeme Milne, Joanna Perry, Matthew Simmons and Alexander St John (former GM at Microsoft, lead developer of Windows 95, and creator of Microsoft DirectX OS used by Xbox), collaborated with Boston on the Igloo Nebari.

The end result was described as a next generation storage solution that solves many problems of data resilience, availability and providence. Boston is Nyraid's first partnership in Europe.

Microsoft New Zealand managing director Barrie Sheers describes the Waikato as "a really interesting technology hub". He is helping the Waikato IT sector grow by working closely with start-ups.

The Waikato region's IT sector employs more than 2600 people, and contributes well over $100 million in exports and more than $800 million to New Zealand's GDP. Last year it grew by $109 million, or 22 percent.

The CultivateIT cluster was launched last year to nurture the Waikato IT sector and attract and retain great people. Wintec-based business incubator Soda Inc, and the region's vibrant business growth hub Waikato Innovation Park, both also strive to support the sector.