Story image

Establishing a New Zealand startup ecosystem

15 Feb 12

What would you expect to pay for more than fifty hours of inspiration, networking, and assistance with your Start Up idea? What if food and drink were included in that cost? You could be forgiven for thinking the price tag was well over the $500 mark, but Christchurch Start Up Weekend offers all that and more for just $100.

Justin Scott, a member of the team behind the Start Up Weekend events,  told TechDay the point of the event is not to make a profit but to provide value to entrepreneurs.

"The New Zealand entrepreneurial system is disconnected, there’s no real ecosystem out there and that’s part of what we are trying to change.”

The series, which  has run in Wellington and Auckland and will be in Christchurch at the end of this month, started out specifically based around mobile technology, but now targets any and all technology-based businesses. 

"We specifically target developers and designers,” Scott says. 

"There is a massive gap when it comes to finding designers in particular.”

For a good idea to work, Scott explains, a business needs a designer, a developer and an entrepreneur, and while it’s not unheard of to find all three in one person, it’s not common either. Participants in the weekend have sixty seconds to pitch an idea, after which teams are formed organically to pool resources, energy and ideas.

It’s not just people with business ideas who attend either. Potential investors also go along, looking to support aspiring entrepreneurs. 

"Part of what we do is try to find resources, in particular in the form of mentors, for entrepreneurs, and show people that doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive concepts.”

Scott, an entrepreneur who participated in Start Up Weekend himself before joining the team, says one factor in particular is key to success for businesses – at any stage of development

"You have to find a common vision. Often teams all like an idea but they don’t have the same vision, so they’re all going in different directions. But if you have the same vision, you’ll find ways to make it work. "

If you are in business only for money, Scott continues, you have a problem if the money runs out. If a business is driven by more than just money, though, the chances of success are higher. 

Scott and the team are especially excited about taking Start Up Weekend to Christchurch.

"The weekend is very much about community and Christchurch is really ready for that community feel. We’ve got the support of the business community and Mayor Bob Parker and we’re really looking forward to getting things moving.”

Christchurch Start Up Weekend takes place from February 24 to 26. Go here for more.

52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain
Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Spark Lab launches free cybersecurity tool for SMBs
Spark Lab has launched a new tool that it hopes will help New Zealand’s small businesses understand their cybersecurity risks.
Preparing for the future of work – growing big ideas from small spaces
We’ve all seen it: our offices are changing from the traditional four walls - to no walls. A need to reduce real estate costs is a key driver, as is enabling a more diverse and agile workforce.
Bluetooth-enabled traps could spell the end for NZ's pests
A Wellington conservation tech company has come up with a way of using Bluetooth to help capture pests like rats and stoats.
CERT NZ highlights rise of unauthorised access incidents
“In one case, the attacker gained access and tracked the business’s emails for at least six months. They gathered extensive knowledge of the business’s billing cycles."