Home » Innovate business mentoring programme coming to Taranaki – Stuff

Innovate business mentoring programme coming to Taranaki – Stuff

by Arifa Rana

A mentoring programme to help take small businesses and business ideas to the next level is coming to Taranaki.
The 10-week Innovate accelerator programme looks to find and fund the smartest ideas and most talented entrepreneurs in the region.
“I had an opportunity to go down and observe the running of an Innovate programme, and the events night, and I thought what a vibe this is really encouraging a lot of entrepreneurial spirit,” Stephen Hill, director of Innovation HQ which is putting on the programme, said.
“You can see some of the great ideas that if you don’t actually get them coming out it just gets buried in the woodwork.”
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Innovation HQ is partnering with The Factory, who launched Innovate in 2011 in Manawatū.
People with an established business who want to go to the next level can enter, as well as those with just an idea for a business.
Hill said even just the validation of an idea was important for people.
“You can spend a lot of time and a lot of money on an idea, which is really just a hobby, you didn’t want a business.
“If you’re going to get into business, it’s about getting rid of the long sleeves, and rolling them up and getting stuck into the mahi, so there’s a reality check.”
The programme would weed out those who perhaps weren’t geared up for a business journey, Hill said.
“Because business is about fighting in the trenches sometimes.”
Simon Singh, Innovation HQ chief executive, said having been in the start-up space themselves in the last six years they knew there wasn’t much help available in Taranaki.
The programme coaches applicants through how to create a business plan, marketing, finance and how to position your product in the market.
At the end of the 10 weeks entrants will give their business pitch and a winner selected.
The winner will get $5000 cash as well as $10,000 worth of business services from HQ, which includes Proformac Technologies, Learner Me, Branding HQ, App HQ, Opportuna CA and Innovation HQ.
“So they get that startup seed money, plus all the services wrapped around it, which is help with your business strategy, accounting, IT, design, marketing, anything.
“It can be pretty daunting for people that are not business people to try and figure all of that out.”
Entries close on June 27 and applicants can enter online at innovatetaranaki.kiwi.
© 2022 Stuff Limited

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