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IDEAStarter competition urges Kiwi youth to turn ideas into action

Now in its second year, the IDEAStarter competition is back and is calling young Auckland entrepreneurs to get involved.

Designed for 15-24 year olds, IDEAStarter aims to help Kiwi youth turn business ideas into action. It's one of a range of initiatives designed to achieve two major priorities for Auckland - to grow a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship and enable talent.

Janet Akai, won the competition last year with her idea for an app to teach children Pacific Island languages. She describes the competition as an opportunity for young people to express themselves.

“My advice to young Aucklanders would be to have faith in yourself and give it a go. You never know what’s going to happen, you never know whose life you’re going to affect because of that one idea,” she says.

Patrick McVeigh, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) general manager business, innovation and skills, says IDEAStarter enables young people to showcase the initial stages of their entrepreneurial thinking, and then with help, get their business idea off the ground.

“IDEAStarter is for creative, enthusiastic young people who are eager to learn and turn their ideas - no matter how big or small - into their own business”, he says.

Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Auckland software company Vend and co-founder of OMG Tech! (which helps kids access future technology) agrees, adding that developing business ideas is like being on a rollercoaster. 

“You start with the euphoria that it has to be the best idea ever, then you start thinking about all the reasons why it wouldn’t work, but the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who push through and come up with solutions,” he says.

Prizes include sessions with an expert business mentor and iPads. Entries can be made as a team or individual and are due by May 2 via

IDEAStarter is sponsored by The Tindall Foundation and delivered by ATEED and Auckland Council’s Youth Connections.