Donedin’s startup ecosystem is getting a $150,000 boost over the next two years, thanks to the Dunedin City Council’s Economic Development Committee.
Committee chair Chris Staynes, the new funding round is an endorsement of the work that Startup Dunedin Trust does with local startups.
According to Startup Dunedin chair Sarah Ramsay, the team is thrilled to have council support and to capitalise momentum it has been steadily building.
“This support will allow Startup Dunedin to make good on our strategy of making Dunedin one of the world’s most entrepreneurial small cities,” she says.
She says that the funding will go a long way to supporting current programmes including the Challenger Series, and the Co.Starters programme.
Both programmes will be able to support more entrants: The Challenger Series could potentially support 10 startups rather than just three; and the Co.Starters programme could run three times per year, rather than two.
“Most importantly it gives us the runway to start to really chip away at some bigger picture strategies and projects, such as an annual major startup showcase, and attracting national and international investors and startups to view Dunedin as a world class destination to startup and to deploy capital.”
Startup Dunedin Trust, local coworking spaces like Innov8HQ and Petridish,and other local businesses have been working hard over the last 18 months to build a healthy ecosystem.
“We’re encouraged by the activities of the Startup Dunedin Trust in their approach to providing Dunedin start-ups the information, networks, advocacy and resources needed to build companies. We welcome the growth in the ecosystem,” Staynes says.
The Startup Dunedin Trust will receive $100,000 to deliver activities that support startup growth, measure performance, share lessons, and benchmark Dunedin relative to other cities.
“The intention is to draw key investors and mentors, locally, nationally and internationally into the ecosystem to drive and build on the momentum that has been building over the last few years,” Dunedin City Council explains.
The remaining $50,000 will be used to foster expressions of interest for new initiatives.
Callaghan Innovation and Creative HQ have also agreed to invest $50,000 for another year of the Challenger Series.
Startup Dunedin Trust representatives met with Dunedin City Council’s Economic Development Committee about their role in supporting the startup ecosystem.
The Trust noted that Dunedin was well placed to capitalise on growing interest in the city from entrepreneurs, investors, businesses due to its talent pool and an inclusive and creative startup culture. They also described an environment where people can set up at a fraction of the cost of larger centres and can do more with their resources.
Where in the past, successful start-ups might only be found in the metropolitan areas of North America, today a start-up may emerge from anywhere where there is the right support and environment for growth.