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Wanted: 10 bright entrepreneurs with dreams of MIT

Do you aspire to being a high-performing, world class entrepreneur? (Stupid question, really.)

For those who want to take it to the next level, the newly-formed MBIE's Science and Innovation Group seems to be getting into the swing of things, yesterday releasing the funding results from its first investment round, as well as putting out the call for New Zealand entrepreneurs interested in attending the Entrepreneurship Development Programme at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.

It's sponsoring 10 places in the programme, which runs from January 27 to February 1, 2013.

The MBIE prize covers course fees only – not flights, accommodation, or other costs. 

Registrations close September 3, and a panel of judges will assess applications and recommend successful candidates.

Charlotte Walshe, chief executive of Christchurch company Dynamic Controls, was one of the 10 New Zealanders who attended the week-long EDP programme in 2011.

“The passion for trying new things and commercially 'just doing it' was compelling – I don't think I've ever been around such a 'can do' group. If I could get more people from my team on this programme and others in New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem, that would be a great start, not just for our businesses but also for NZ Inc," she says.

“In a business specific sense, I went along wondering if I/my team were missing something being from a traditional, mature market – do we have what it takes to enter new markets and be corporate entrepreneurs? I came away clear that we do have what it takes and also that it’s not enough just having a good idea. Being an entrepreneur is all about execution.”


Serial Kiwi entrepreneur and founder of the Hyperfactory, Derek Handley, was an attendee back in 2008.

He says the programme is “an invaluable opportunity for any entrepreneur serious about scaling and growing internationally".

“It's a world class experience in a world class environment, taught by those who have been there, have done it before and are doing it again.”