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.