Story image

Māori digital startup finalists prepare to meet judges

09 May 2017

The finalists for the DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge, a competition to incubate digital startups, have been announced.

Earlier this year, the call went out to Māori digital entrepreneurs to bring their ideas together and innovate, with the hopes of taking out top prize and bringing Māori innovators into the spotlight. Many took on the challenge, now only 10 remain.

To coincide with Techweek’ 17, the top five finalist projects from both age categories were announced yesterday.

The mauri tū (open age) category finalists:

Rawiri Pakinga (Team) -MaraEye - Rotorua

Adele Sauer (Team) - SeeCom - Hamilton

Ataria Sharman (Team) - Wā - Porirua

Lauren Graham (Team) - Aroha & Ako - Auckland

Louisa Browne (Individual - BAC Face - Auckland

The mauri oho (youth) category finalists:

Hone Douglas (Individual) - Drone Patrol - Whakatane

Madeleine de Young (Team) - Encounter - Ōtaki

Nicole Calderwood (Individual) - Scholar+ - Hamilton

Perry Preston (Individual) - Critters - Tauranga

Renata Te Nana (Team) - Native BnB - Whangarei

​DIGMYIDEA, aims to stimulate interest and involvement of Māori in Aotearoa’s innovation ecosystem, and is the brainchild of ATEED and several supporting partnerships.

Competition judge Mike Taitoko says there was a broad range of ideas put forward, but a common theme of whanau tied them together.

“These ranged from tourism applications to tertiary education ideas, and gaming and language concepts.  One thing many of the applications had in common was the use of technology to improve the lives of whanau, rather than just producing another app,”

Taitoko says getting Māori into the tech sector is very important, and initiatives like this are a great start.

“It’s vital that we work to encourage more Māori into the thriving technology and innovation sector and build capacity by encouraging more involvement through initiatives such as the DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge.”

The finalist teams are about to enter a period of intense mentoring in a workshop called DIGIwānaga, which will run 13-14 May.

ATEED business innovation GM Patrick McVeigh says DIGIwānaga will be a chance to really hone their ideas and develop their entries for the judges, and a chance to win $10,000 in assistance.

“After mentoring sessions to further develop their entries, finalists will pitch their ideas to the judges. The overall winner in each category will be announced at an awards ceremony on Sunday, 14 May, with the prize being business start-up assistance to help commercialise their ideas, to the Value of $10,000.”

Taitoko is one of four expert judges finalists which pitch to later this week. The panel also includes; founder of Metia Interactive Maru Nihoniho, founder of ColabNZ Robert Hollis, and Lilian Grace, CEO of Figure.NZ. 

Winners will be announced Sunday 14 May.



 

How big data can revolutionise NZ’s hospitals
Miya Precision is being used across 17 wards and the emergency department at Palmerston North Hospital.
Time's up, tax dodgers: Multinational tech firms may soon pay their dues
Multinational tech and digital services firms may no longer have a free tax pass to operate in New Zealand. 
Spark’s new IoT network reaches 98% of New Zealand
Spark is the first company to confirm the nationwide completion of a Cat-M1 network in New Zealand.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.
Robots to the fore – Key insights for New Zealand Business into RPA in 2019
From making artificial intelligence a business reality to closer ties to human colleagues, robotic process automation is gearing up for a strong 2019.
50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
IDC: A/NZ second highest APAC IoT spenders per capita
New IDC forecast expects the Internet of Things spending in Asia/Pacific excluding Japan to reach US$381.8 Billion by 2022.