Virtual reality tours into artists’ studios, digital treasure hunts, and animated portraits of historical characters that come to life to tell their story, and more.
What do all these things have in common? They’re just some of the innovations that have been developed within Te Papa’s innovation accelerator, Mahuki. Now in its third year, Mahuki, the world’s first culture-tech accelerator, has a strong reputation for developing leading digital businesses for the culture and heritage sector.
Applications for the 2018 Mahuki intake have also now opened. General manager Tui Te Hau says they are looking for applications from companies or individuals across New Zealand who want to enhance the way people experience culture. “We’re offering ten teams of technology entrepreneurs an incredible opportunity to develop their next generation digital ideas into new businesses tailored to the culture sector.”
Successful applicants will begin a four-month residency at Mahuki in Te Papa in early August. During this time, they will have exclusive access to Te Papa’s experts, resources, 1.5 million visitors, and wider cultural and business sector expertise to help develop and test ideas. “Te Papa is recognised globally for the innovative way in which we present our national culture,” explains Te Hau. “With this reputation Mahuki offers its entrepreneurs very real pathways to national and international customers in the cultural sector.
“In the last two years we’ve helped 18 teams develop their innovations and 61 percent have gone on to secure 22 paid deployments in NZ’s culture sector, including within Te Papa. I’m also really proud of the number of M?ori, Pasifika, and women entrepreneurs that have come through our programme.
“We’re realising talent potential in a wide range of communities throughout New Zealand, both regional and urban, while also opening up new avenues to connect communities to their culture. Empowering communities to use culture and technology to create sustainable prosperity is a great thing for the country.”
Mahuki has recently been acknowledged internationally for its work to empower the business leaders of tomorrow. A partnership agreement has been signed to join the INCO network, a French non-profit organisation with a global network to help mission-driven start-ups to access the world. One of the benefits of this partnership is that Mahuki start-up teams have access to INCO’s Jump Seat Express Program – where teams can have a one-week learning expedition to explore new avenues for growth in a foreign market. “It’s these types of amazing opportunities and connections that Mahuki can offer our entrepreneurs, and in turn, advance the capabilities of New Zealand’s future business leaders and problem solvers,” says Te Hau.