On Wednesday 31 July, Phil Pietersen, Managing Director and co-founder of ClearPoint, was announced as a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2013.

ClearPoint is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing technology companies. Started in 2007, Phil with his business partner Bain Hollister has grown ClearPoint from two to more than 100 people in less than six years and is taking its software development and technology thought leadership to an increasingly global audience.

Phil said of the announcement: “I feel honoured to be placed alongside some of New Zealand’s top entrepreneurs. I’ve walked a long and challenging path to get to this point.”

Born in Zambia, Phil’s childhood included experiencing the civil war in Zimbabwe first-hand. Despite personal hardship he graduated from the University of Cape Town with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Chemistry and Computer Science. He went on to become a software developer in South Africa and the UK. Arriving in New Zealand with little money, knowing virtually no one, he reinvented his career in New Zealand as an entrepreneur.

Phil had a clear vision for ClearPoint from the outset: a business that would remain independent of technology vendors and work at a strategic level, employing senior IT talent to solve complex business problems. To cement that vision, he employed the smartest IT talent he could find and works hard to retain them.

“Our philosophy is that great talent turns out great work which in turn attracts more work. That philosophy isn’t rocket science. It’s just common sense and it’s paid off in the quality of ClearPoint’s thinking and creativity,” says Phil.

Phil has been steadily growing ClearPoint’s international client base. On the basis of recommendations, Australian and American companies have sought out the skills of ClearPoint in New Zealand rather than those of local IT services providers. Over the last 12 months the company has worked on projects in Auckland, Wellington, Melbourne, Sydney, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Dallas and the UK.

“We are taking our kiwi know-how and expertise in the technology sector to a global audience. I’m pretty proud of that. I feel like we’re making a real contribution to our economy and to the profile of New Zealand overseas,” says Phil.