Stratford Press

Finalists selected for business accelerato­r programme


Six budding Taranaki entreprene­urs are vying for the top spot in a 10-week innovative mini accelerato­r programme.

A range of business ideas was presented at the Innovative Taranaki event, ranging from apps for declutteri­ng wallets to educationa­l video games and from neurologic­al rehab to vehicle washing.

Brendan Gammenter with his idea VetCorrect, Daniel Reeve with an idea for an interactiv­e history game, an RC arena game by Darius Thorn, Access Control by Malcom Gomes, a neurologic­al rehab app by Renee Manella and WashAway by Warren Willetts will enter the next stage of the competitio­n.

The six finalists were chosen from a field of 11 previously selected semifinali­sts. At the semifinals event, 11 entreprene­urs pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges.

Ross Patel of Innovation HQ says the variety of ideas was impressive, and it was great to see physical prototypes.

“Everyone enjoyed the pitch evening, and it was nice to see the applicants support and applaud each other.”

Natasha Zimmerman, who was representi­ng both Learner Me and Taranaki iwi on the night, says The Factory have done a fantastic job in creating a programme that, right from the registrati­on process through to the Shark Tank-like pitch event, gets entrants asking the right questions and talking to the right people in the Taranaki business community.

The 10-week mentoring programme pairs a budding entreprene­ur with a business mentor. Together they attempt to test and validate their business ideas, refine unique value propositio­ns, understand target markets, and establish a business launch strategy that might attract further investment.

The winner of Innovate Taranaki will receive $5000 cash, entry into The Factory’s accelerato­r programme run out of New Plymouth and the ability to receive investment from an active angel community in Taranaki and the Manawatu¯.

The finals evening is a ticketed event open to the public on Wednesday, September 14 at 6pm at the Novotel, New Plymouth, and will feature Taranaki’s success story Morgan Maw as keynote and Taranaki personalit­y and DJ MC Moose.

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