Innovate Taranaki winners Georgia Mumby and Neil Boyd.
Taranaki’s budding entrepreneurs were celebrated at the Innovate Taranaki finals night on November 9.
Innovate Taranaki is a 10-week mini accelerator program that culminates in a finals night where participants pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges.
That evening, Neil Boyd was the big winner with his business idea River Track: a set of tracks for boats, allowing them to travel on land.
This year, a youth category was added to the competition, and Georgia Mumby was the first winner in the category with her business idea Just in Case. Just in Case offers emergency kits for women including lip balm, hair ties and sanitary products.
On the finals night, the guest speaker was Venture Taranaki’s 2021 Power Up winner Glen Stephens. He spoke about the benefits and challenges of being an entrepreneur. He also spoke about his skincare line, Sol and Sea, and how he exported it to global markets.
Innovation HQ event director Pallak Singh said to prepare for finals night, attendees attended workshops led by Doso (renamed Startup Taranaki) owners Dan Thurston-Crow and Katherine Blaney .
“There was one workshop per week. They covered business topics such as marketing, business models, finances, legalities and all other elements of running a business. Dan and Katherine were the perfect people to facilitate this as DoSo is similar to Innovate Taranaki but on a smaller scale.
“We want to bring together the different people associated with entrepreneurship. This allows us to introduce our entrepreneurs to the different people available to help them.
She says that at the end of the workshops, the finalists receive feedback to help them present their final ideas to the judges.
“It is a comprehensive approach covering all areas of activity. »
Innovation HG chief executive Simon Singh said Innovate Taranaki would not be possible without the support of sponsors, mentors and participants.
“Our dedicated sponsors, mentors, judges, program facilitators and participants have played a vital role in the success of 2023. Their contributions and innovative fervor have elevated this event to new heights. As an event that tests business ideas and puts budding entrepreneurs and innovators through their paces, it is unique to Taranaki.
Simon says he encourages local entrepreneurs to put themselves forward in 2024.
“It’s not just about the prize money and exposure to investors, but the wonderful skills learned, the ability to collaborate with other entrepreneurs and the opportunity for participants to rely on experienced mentors and successful entrepreneurs are second to none.
Details of the 2024 event will be revealed in the coming months.
Simon said organizers are committed to delivering an event that “continues to exceed expectations, delivering an even more transformative experience.”
“We look forward to hearing from all entrepreneurs, potential sponsors, school pathways and YES leaders as we finalize planning for the 2024 event.”