Dunedin has gone from being Gigatown to a thriving giga startup hub or at least that certainly seems to be the case after the GigStart Fund reported a record number of applications this year.
The GigStart Fund was a created as a followup to the region's Gigatown win in 2014, and this year has been a bumper season.
The Fund was originally launched with $200,000 by Choris and Nokia. It was a launchpad for new-to-market Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB)-led service concepts in Dunedin.
It has now grown into a fund that has allocated $147,000 to eight Dunedin startups, which have been concentrating on areas such as crowdsourcing platforms, cloud-based software programmes, application development, animated learning and a Gig-powered, co-shared office space.
Startup Dunedin administers the GigStart Fund and reports that in the fourth and final round of funding this year, a 'record' 21 businesses applied for up to $53,000 in funding.
“We’re delighted that having gig technology in the city has contributed to a more dynamic StartUp business scene in Dunedin," says Nigel Bamford, chair of StartUp Dunedin.
He says that the jump in applications shows that GigCity partners have really been drumming up momentum, and it has paid off.
"Our Leithbank co-working office space – for start-up and small business combined with the Co.Starters business development courses we run have also been really filling up in recent months so there does seem to be some momentum building in the local new-business ecosystem," he says.
StartUp Dunedin will choose the finalists over the next week. The five chosen finalists will then pitch to a judging panel on Pitch Day, scheduled for November 17. Winners will be announced soon after.