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Arts Regional Trust seeks creative entrepreneurs

ART Venture, an Auckland-based acceleration programme which helps creative entrepreneurs advance their businesses, is looking for applicants for its 2015 intake.

Founded by Arts Regional Trust Te Taumata Toi-a-iwi and The Big Idea, ART Venture guides participants through the start-up process in an individual “wrap around” learning environment with peer support, mentoring and then a pitch to unlock seed funding. 

Now it is on the lookout for up to 12 creative producers, practitioners or leaders to take part in the 2015 programme, with each participant receiving a package of services valued at up to $35,000.

Project director Candy Elsmore says taking part in ART Venture is a unique opportunity for creative types, as there isn’t many arts-based accelerator programmes around.

“This programme really puts the creator at the heart of whatever they’re doing through the business and enterprise development. It nurtures the person and builds their skills and their business, so it’s kind of a holistic approach,” she says.

Since it’s first intake in 2007 over 60 people have been a part of the programme, which aims to grow entrepreneurship in Auckland’s creative sector.

ART Venture 2012 programme

ART Venture’s former alumni include Charlie McDermott, who won the Hynds Creative Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013 and is well known for Apocalypse Z, an interactive zombie play that premiered last year to sold-out audiences.

Another is Arani Cuthbert, producer of Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls, who graduated from the programme in 2008.


She says the programme gave her objectivity and peer support at a time she needed it.

“At the time I was producing the Topp Twins documentary and as a producer, when you get a project of that scale, it’s all consuming and you often pop your head out like a little bunny out of a burrow and suddenly your business is failing because you’ve been so focused on the project.

“It was a good opportunity for me to take stock and look at my operation and my role from a business point of view.”

Expressions of interest for the Art Venture programme close on September 8.

Elly is Idealog's editor and resident dog enthusiast. She enjoys travelling, tea, good books, and writing about exciting ideas and cool entrepreneurs.

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