Techweek, New Zealand's annual festival of innovation, is the only one in the world that grips a nation on the tech topic for a week.
Almost a brand subscribed to by digital innovators, scientists, educators, businesses, economic development agencies, etc, Techweek aims to further foster already rapid growth in innovation.
Although the week-long feast of tech-ness is from May 20 to 26, a pre-launch event will be held in Whangārei next week, with organisers calling on Northland innovators to get in touch and join in.
The launch, from 5pm to 7pm on March 27, at the Orchard Event and Business Hub in Whangārei, comes with an open invitation for people to organise Techweek events around Northland.
"It's about highlighting and supporting the innovation and technology coming out of Northland," said Jiveen MacGillivray, growth and innovation adviser with Northland Inc.
"Whether it's teachers looking for information about how to run a school event, or a student-led project, to innovators with research and development projects in need of investment support, we are keen to hear from the public and business community.''
Of more than 540 events in New Zealand during last year's Techweek, 35 were held in Northland.
''This year, we hope to have even more local events organised by local people," MacGillivray said.
"Schools can get involved too and get online on Tech TV, the Techweek website and give their project a national audience."
Event formats could vary, for example hosting a public art installation or a meet-up at a local cafe.
MacGillivray said Northland Inc wanted to hear from other sectors too, for example the construction industry.
"We want to know who you are and what you are innovating. Many of our recent businesses have been innovating in the construction space.''
Techweek's theme will be - not for the first time - "Innovation that's good for the world". The motto indicates a primary focus on how technology can help improve quality of life, and foster a safer, healthier, fairer world for all.
But it's about capitalising on opportunities, too.
This year Northland Inc is rolling out the red carpet for investors who are looking for start-ups to get behind.
"On May 20, the Northland Start-Up Innovation Showcase will help raise capital through investment for exciting start-ups in front of national and international venture capital and angel investors. We want those start-up operators to come and meet us at [next week's] launch and be part of that showcase,'' MacGillivray said.
The nationwide Aerospace Challenge, for innovation around sustainable food production will also be held as part of Techweek.
Northland individuals or businesses are invited to come forward with new technology applying to waterways, farm and food production.
Despite major corporate sponsorship and investment interest, Techweek is at its heart an independent platform to showcase New Zealand's unique and inspiring innovation stories to the world.
Kiwis have long been able to share, use and develop the techisphere internationally while sitting, say, in a nice room overlooking Whangārei Harbour, or being among the thousands bubbling away in lecture theatres, laboratories, backrooms and other think-and-do tanks.
Northland Inc wants as many as possible to join in local Techweek19 events, including the Discussion Forum, and connect with the wider tech network.
• Northland businesses come in all shapes and sizes. If you have a business story to share please contact Lindy Laird, Ph 09 470 2801, or email firstname.lastname@example.org