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Competition winners offered trips to the home of tech entrepreneurship

The most promising teams at the upcoming Startup Weekend events in Auckland and Wellington will win a prize that may just help them take their idea from startup to superstar level.

Event organisers announced today that the leader from each event’s winning team will spend four weeks exploring opportunities for their startup at the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco.

The prize includes airfare, accommodation, and a desk for one person at the Kiwi Landing Pad’s co-working facility in downtown San Francisco. In addition, the winners will also receive tailored sessions on how to successfully enter the American market, get funding, find a partner, and ultimately take their business to the next level.

A 54-hour marathon of inspiration, perspiration, and collaboration, Startup Weekend brings entrepreneurs, designers, and software developers get together to form new businesses. Events have been run in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, as part of over 580 events in 93 countries worldwide. The current events will run June 15 to 17 for Auckland and July 27 to 29 for Wellington.

"Kiwi Landing Pad will provide the jet fuel to help our startups take off in the massive North American market,” says Startup Weekend New Zealand global facilitator, Dave Moskovitz.

"It will greatly shorten the time to go from idea to international market traction. We expect it to take the competition at Startup Weekends to a new level.”

Kiwi Landing Pad was conceived specifically to create opportunities for New Zealand startups to get going quickly in North America. The winners will participate in the Catapult Programme run by Kiwi Landing Pad and funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MSI). Kiwi Landing Pad’s sponsors include MSI, K1W1 (Sir Stephen Tindall), Jasmine Investments (Sam Morgan), Valar Ventures (Peter Thiel), Powerband (Craig Eliot), MOVAC (Phil McCaw), and Evander Management (Simon Holdsworth).

"Our core business is helping early stage companies validate their offering in-market, and pivot quickly to avoid wasting precious time and resources in the lead-up to making the jump offshore,” says Kiwi Landing Pad CEO, John Holt.

"Startup Weekends in New Zealand have created promising opportunities, and we want to work with these entrepreneurs to help them achieve great success for themselves and for New Zealand.”

Go here for more on the Auckland Startup Weekend, and here for info on the Wellington event.