New hub taps Tauranga venture buzz

New hub taps Tauranga venture buzz

Four Kiwi entrepreneurs have created a new website to get the inside word on venture activity in the Bay of Plenty. The Venture Centre aims to bring together information about events, training, work spaces, resources and more, and in doing so help reduce the time it takes for entrepreneurs to make valuable connections.

That's according to Jo Allum, director of yojodesign and facilitator of the business development course StartupKit#1, one of the four co-founders.

"Tauranga has developed this incredibly vibrant community of tech and communications people and we're all networking with each other one to one but we've found there are a lot of missed connections," she says.

"As [physics professor and Callaghan Innovation outreach fellow] Shaun Hendy says, the biggest thing New Zealand needs is those connections and that collaboration."

The website connects a community in the region including students, teachers, employees, entrepreneurs, employers and investors, who are building companies, tech hubs, shared offices, co-working spaces and centres of learning.

With so much 'real world' activity going on, there was a need for a "purely online play" to let business people know about it, says Allum.

"All over Tauranga is a hotbed of activity. Anything we can do in Tauranga or New Zealand to decrease the time making connections you need to grow your business is what's needed.

"Everybody is collaborative in the Bay of Plenty but it takes time to find people and get meetings. That just takes too long these days."

The other co-founders are Technologywise directors Michael Doerner and Steven Vincent and director of Shaun Hendy's events and ThinkAgency's Pascale Hyboud-Peron.

They hope to be able to take information listings soon and "build a picture of everything going on", says Allum.

The four are also looking for partners to add to Tina Jennen, the venture manager from Enterprise Angels and Tauranga Chamber of Commerce Startup Kit strategiest Anne Pankhurst, and sponsors (Gen-i's Bay of Plenty general manager Murray Clode and the Shaun Hendy Event.