New Zealand is about to have its "Apollo moment" says Rocket Lab founder Peter Beck speaking to the US Business Summit in Auckland.
Later this month Rocket Lab will launch a CubeSat to the Moon from Mahia on New Zealand's East Coast.
"Going to the moon isn't easy," he said. "It's actually very hard."
Now listed on the Nasdaq, the rocket to the moons will officially be a US mission, but Rocket Lab was really the "poster child" for US/NZ bilateral cooperation, Beck said.
Beck, currently in the US, told the Summit how Rocket Lab helped pave the way for New Zealand businesses to think bigger than our own backyard.
Rocket Lab's rockets were now the fourth most launched in the world after Space X, Russia and China, he said.
With two launch pads - one at Ahuriri Point at the southern tip of Māhia Peninsula and one in Virginia - Rocket Lab now had the capability to launch a rocket every 72 hours, he said.
Why go to space from New Zealand?
The answer was not just because it was his home, Beck said.
"The wonderful thing about New Zealand is that a small island nation in the middle of nowhere with no neighbours is a great place to go to space from," he said.
Beck's advice to Kiwi business people: "get on a plane" and "it's a big world, don't feel like you have to take the deal in front of you. Always shop the deal internationally."
Starting an international company was hard, he said. "So don't aim to create a $100 million company aim to create a $100 billion company."
Last year Rocket Lab listed on the Nasdaq Composite Index and has demonstrated that there is nothing holding New Zealand business back from becoming significant global players in new and exciting industries.
The Summit, organised by NZ Inc and the Auckland Business Chamber, will explore the opportunities for Kiwi businesses with America and invites delegates to engage in debate and discussion that will inform them on New Zealand's relationship with the United States.
The event provides an opportunity for senior business and political leaders to network.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a guest speaker, along with Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran and trade and export growth minister Damien O'Connor.