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Got a business idea? Heavy hitters in start-up space support coalition

Some of the country’s biggest start-up ecosystem players are coming together to form a new coalition, Startup Aotearoa.

With the likes of Ministry of Awesome, Creative HQ, GridAKL, Soda Inc, The Factory and Angel Investors Marlborough in the mix, these key industry players are starting the Startup Aotearoa coalition to help that community thrive.

Part-funded by Callaghan Innovation, this coalition will allow for budding entrepreneurs to receive a free coaching service designed to grow innovative ideas.

Zach Warder-Gabaldón, Ministry of Awesome Head of Programmes, says New Zealand’s ‘No. 8 wire’ mentality has led Kiwis to be natural innovators with potential to turn those ideas into viable businesses with global potential.

“It’s exactly this time of year that the innovative new business ideas we hear our friends talking about over the holidays start to fizz away. A huge roadblock for so many of these potential entrepreneurs is that they don’t know where to start, or who to talk to, to bring their ideas to life,” says Warder-Gabaldón.

“Startup Aotearoa is aiming to break down these barriers, enabling more people to take the first few steps towards growing globally impactful companies.”

With the support of these key industry players, the coalition was able to create a programme fit for anyone with a business idea.

Through the programme, budding entrepreneurs can receive one-on-one coaching sessions, networking within the industry, upskilling and training, support services and communities and preparation for formal incubators or accelerator programmes.

Read more: The how-to guide for Kiwi entrepreneurs

“It’s been clear to us for some time that there are huge barriers for people wanting to build a start-up. Not everyone has been to business school, or even knows where to start to get an idea off the ground. This not only locks certain demographics out of our startup networks, it actually slows innovation for the entire country,” says Joe Slater, General Manager of start-ups at Creative HQ.

Zach Warder-Gabaldón.

“We think anyone with a good idea should have a chance to give it a crack. We are here to help them make that happen.”

Ministry of Awesome CEO, Marian Johnson, says this coalition will support innovation-based start-ups that are crucial for the New Zealand economy to compete in this tech-fuelled world.

“Last year, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment released the Upstart Nation report, which said a measure of New Zealand’s economic success was if we had an ecosystem of 5000 active high-growth startups by 2030. We currently have 2400, and won’t reach our target unless we grow more innovation-based companies,” says Johnson.

“This is why we need programmes like Startup Aotearoa to bring our next business success stories to life.”

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