Sep 29, 2021 - Business
Denver goes Down Under
Xero
The software company Xero's offices in New Zealand. Photo: Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

A new economic development push is working to lure Kiwis to Denver.

State of play: The city recently launched a Global Landing Pad program to lure New Zealand companies and other international firms to open North American headquarters in Denver.

  • Twenty-five New Zealand companies now have offices here.
  • FileInvite, a document sharing company, announced its move in June and plans to eventually support 140 jobs in Denver.
  • This summer, officials reported the city was courting four other Kiwi prospects.

Between the lines: The 2014 relocation of the North American headquarters for Xero, an online accounting software firm, from San Francisco to Denver helped pave the way.

  • The company now employs more than 200 people in Denver.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' New Zealand-based reporter Rebecca Falconer: It helps that NZ's economic development agency, the New Zealand Office of Trade and Enterprise, has an office in Denver.

  • Colorado is a very lucrative place for New Zealand companies seeking to expand — particularly as it is a growing hub for tech, aerospace and agriculture, which are all key industries in NZ.
  • Plus, there's only five hours time difference (New Zealand is 19 hours ahead of Colorado), which is appealing if your head office is Down Under.
  • Colorado may be inland and NZ an island nation, but the scenery is not dissimilar to many parts of New Zealand, which also has many stunning mountains and great skiing spots.

The big picture: The cultural similarities — from the mountains to the outdoor lifestyle — are making the global connection work.

  • "The mindset in Colorado suits New Zealanders very well," Andy Burner, vice president of operations at Xero, told the Denver Post.
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