Waikato business wins Xero innovation award

“It was definitely not an expected accolade, that’s for sure because we're one of Xero’s less established add-ons and is also completely self-funded."

Waikato-based web development company Rocketspark has been named the most innovative add-on by online accounting software firm Xero at the London Xerocon event.

Rocketspark, established by four Waikato men in August 2009, beat out 380 Xero ancillary services (add-ons) to take out the ‘Shaking Things Up’ award at the Battersea Evolution in London on Tuesday night.

The four Rocketspark directors comprise brothers Grant and Jeremy Johnson, Lee Reichardt and Richard King. All but Grant, who lives in London, call Cambridge home.

“It was definitely not an expected accolade, that’s for sure because Rocketspark is one of Xero’s less established add-ons and is also completely self-funded,” says Grant Johnson, who received the award on behalf of the company at the event.

“But the judges said they liked that our system connects with a wide range of other add-ons within the Xero ecosystem.”

Johnson adds the fact that Rocketspark was presented an innovation award by Xero who was last year named number one on the Forbes list of most innovative growth companies, made receiving the honour even sweeter.

“And yet, we have an epic road map of new features planned to go-live over the next few months, so there is plenty more to come,” he adds.

The Xerocon event is held annually in Xero’s four main markets – New Zealand, Australia, the US, and the UK, and acts as a conference, trade show, networking and awards opportunity.

“I think the idea behind Rocketspark really resonates with Xero and what they are trying to achieve by making the business process as successful, simple, streamlined and professional as possible for its clients, which is also what Rocketspark is all about but on a different scale," Johnson adds.

Johnson says the biggest bonus to receiving the award is the awareness that has come along with it, with many accountants engaging with them at the conference as a result, as well as international enquiries coming through almost immediately.

“For the past six years we have been building what is now a great and robust product, and we’re ready to start telling people about it, so the award has come at just the right time,” he adds.

“We have had more people sign-up to Rocketspark last month than ever before so that’s hopefully another sign that people are recognising the quality of our product.”

Rocketspark will also attend the next Xerocon event in Auckland on 30 April.

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