PowerUp is all about growing, connecting, and supporting ideas and capability, and harnessing the expertise and passion required to develop Taranaki’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Enterprises, ideas, and individuals will be supported and enabled as PowerUp connects them with a range of new and existing services and opportunities, helping to grow their capability, and broaden their understanding of what they thought possible.

We’ve built PowerUp to bring together Enterprise and bright ideas, and we’re working to build smart, connected communities, so ideas, entrepreneurship and innovation can continue to thrive in Taranaki.  

We’re keeping it simple; as easy as one, two, three, with our Grow, Connect, Tell approach. 


PowerUp Kickstart

The first part of PowerUp Kickstart, the Co.Starters workshops is now wrapped up.
We called for entrepreneurs, big thinkers, creators and innovators to submit a two-minute video pitch selling us their bright idea for the chance to be one of five finalists and pitching to win $10,000 cash.

We’re thrilled to announce the five finalists have been chosen.  

A big congratulations to (in no particular order):

  • Isaac and Cathi Drought, Planta
  • Pam and Frey Livingston, Tokaora Diagnostics
  • Paul Gledhill and Sophia Joy, Surface Swimgear
  • Michael Parker, Hiko Surf
  • Jayden Clark and Ashkan Azarkish, EzSoil

The top five finalists* will go through a customised programme and receive:

  • Tailored support to help progress your business idea
  • ​$3000 Seed Funding**
  • Access to expert mentorship from nationwide pool
  • Two months of co-working space access
  • Weekly check-ins with Programme Manager
  • Benefit of working with other participants and making great connections!
  • Chance to pitch to win $10,000 cold hard cash**

Read more

*Founder or founder and team
**Seed Funding and $10,000 cash to be used on growing your idea/ business.

Tokaora Diagnostics win Power Up Kickstart and $10,000

A huge congratulations to Pam and Frey Livingston from Tokaora Diagnostics who have taken out the top spot in the 2022 Kickstart Finals Night against some very strong competition, winning $10,000 to help take their idea to the next level. 

Pitching in front of a live audience of 200, and online viewers across the globe, Pam and Frey impressed the expert judging panel with their innovative idea to tackle facial eczema in dairy cows and sheep.

The pair are “absolutely thrilled about winning the competition.”

"I’m most looking forward to getting into the laboratory and getting down to the science, and the $10K will be of enormous help there," says Frey.

To keep up-to-date with their progress, keep an eye on their website here.

From April to June the five finalists received tailored support to help them move forward with their idea. In conjunction with Soda Inc., support included $3,000 seed funding, one-on-one mentorship, and two months of co-working space access.

WITT People's Choice Awards Winner

Tokaora Diagnostics wasn't the only winner on the night. Paul Gledhill and Sophia Joy from Surface Swimgear won over the audience and took out the WITT People's Choice Award-winning $2,000 to use towards their idea. 

Congratulations to all the finalists for taking the brave leap, for your hard mahi and the time you've invested throughout the Kickstart process.

  • Paul Gledhill and Sophia Joy, Surface Swimgear - water safety product
  • Jayden Clark and Ashkan Azarkish, EzSoil – plant monitoring product
  • Isaac and Cathi Drought, Planta – carbonated beverage alternative
  • Michael Parker, Hiko Surf – e-surfboard

Watch the highlights from our PowerUp Kickstart Finals Night

Key dates:

PowerUp Kickstart is part-time, hands-on, and remote, meaning you can be based anywhere in Taranaki (we do offer co-working space). We work around your schedule to make this work, but we are looking for people who are committed to personal growth and want to invest in accelerating their enterprise success. What you will get in return is a powerful support network and know-how to kickstart and move your enterprise forward faster.

On June 29 2022 each of the five PowerUp Kickstart finalists will pitch in front of a live audience and a judging panel for the chance to win $10,000 cash to spend on their start-up.

 Terms and Conditions apply.

We still want to hear from you if:

  • You need pragmatic and practical advice.
  • You have some form of market validation but need to test this further.
  • You have time and energy to learn but can’t give up full days.
  • Your enterprise might have unique intellectual property.
  • Your enterprise could be a high-value opportunity for Taranaki and Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • You haven’t started selling yet, or you have but it’s early days.
  • You’re potentially sitting on a really big and scalable opportunity here but need help to move it forward.
  • You are based in Taranaki.
  • Your enterprise is for-profit (this includes impact/ social enterprises that are for profit).

Get in touch

PowerUp Kickstart

Kickstart your business and accelerate your learning

Are you looking to kickstart your entrepreneurial idea? PowerUp Kickstart is here to kickstart your next big business idea or your existing enterprise, whether you are starting out, small, or large. 

PowerUp Kickstart, delivered in partnership with SODA Inc., takes you through an 8-week Co.Starters programme, where you’ll gain the tools and expertise to build and grow your business or progress your innovative idea.

You’ll then be set to continue your journey and develop your pitch for the opportunity to be a top five finalist and the chance to take home $10,000 cash to PowerUp your idea or start-up.


We’re calling for Taranaki entrepreneurs to enter the PowerUp Kickstart 8-week Co.Starters programme where you will:

  • Find out more about the tools available to help you become smarter entrepreneurs
  • Have access to a framework and expertise that will help you build and grow your business or develop your innovative idea
  • Gain a wider network of contacts such as investors, advisors, and other entrepreneurs
  • Have access to a team of relevant experts
  • Get support to develop your business pitch to apply for the next on-ramp and the chance to win $10,000 to take your idea, start-up or enterprise to the next level
  • It’s FREE! It will only cost you your time and commitment.

Key dates:

Applications have now closed for 2022.

Kicking off 8 February 2022 the programme was delivered over 10 sessions



Date / Time


Week 1

Kickstart 1 – Knowing Yourself

Assumptions, Canvas, Working styles,

Team building, Obstacles.

Tues 8 Feb 2022



Week 2

Kickstart 2 – Knowing Your Customer

Customer, Problem, Idea Testing

Tues 15 Feb



Week 3

Kickstart 3 – Finding the Right Solution
Solution, Benefit, Advantage, Starting Small, Brand Identity

Tues 22 Feb



Week 4

Kickstart 4 – Getting the Relationship Right

Marketing & Message, Getting, Keeping &Growing Customers

Tues 1 Mar



Week 5

Kickstart 5 – Building Blocks

Distribution, Revenue, Typical Offering, Price

Tues 8 Mar



Week 5

Kickstart 6 – Structures and Systems

Legal & Accounting Considerations

Thurs 10 Mar



Week 6

Kickstart 7 – Discovering the Bottom Line

Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & VariableCosts, Break-Even Point

Tues 15 Mar



Week 7

Kickstart 8 – Accounting for Growth

Break-Even Point, Sales Projections, CashFlow, Accounting

Tues 22 Mar



Week 7

Kickstart 9 – Planning for the Future

Raising Capital, Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Pitch Prep

Thurs 24 Mar



Week 8

Kickstart 10 – Share your Story and Celebration Night

Tues 29 Mar



PowerUp for Impact Enterprises

in partnership with StartUp Taranaki and funded with the support of Toi Foundation.

An impact enterprise is purpose-driven and focused on delivering outcomes that have social or environmental benefits, as well as being a financially successful and viable businesses: profit for purpose.


PowerUp for Impact Enterprises provides connection, learning and support for entrepreneurship in Taranaki. PowerUp aims to create an environment where people embarking on startup enterprises, or looking to grow or innovate in their existing enterprise, can connect to a strong network of peers and have access to the tools, advice and learning required to increase their confidence and skills, and improve their likelihood of success.

If you're an Impact Enterprise, or thinking about becoming one, watch the launch event and workshops recordings to discover more about this initiative and how it could support your journey to start or grow an impact enterprise.

Watch our launch event, facilitated by impact enterprise expert, Zara Lok, from Startup Taranaki, who covered:

  • An overview of impact enterprise
  • An overview of the programme and the upcoming masterclasses
  • Local and national examples
  • Identifying where your areas of strength are - business modeling vs. impact modelling

Watch Masterclass 1 Impact Modelling:

What could be the real-world impact of your purpose-driven activity be? Add structure to your idea by workshopping an impact model, define impact indicators and leave the session with actionable steps to put it all to work.

Watch Masterclass 2 Business Modelling: Impact Lean Canvas

Your impact enterprise won’t make impact if it can’t sustain itself. This session will guide you to complete an impact Lean Canvas so you can identify assumptions you need to test to ensure viability and define the purpose and impact of your business.


Be part of a Global Innovation Challenge with Social Shifters

Do you have an awesome idea to solve a social or environmental problem? Are you ready to take action, but don’t know where to start? You're not alone. The 2021 Social Shifters Global Innovation Challenge will take you from idea to entrepreneur - helping bring your idea to life AND sharpen your social business skills!

Learn More

Get straightforward, free financial guidance for your business with NZTE money matters

Better financial planning and forecasting are the simplest tools you can use to create a more resilient business and prepare for growth.

NZTE Money Matters offers panel talks and one-to-one sessions with independent experts who can provide practical advice and answer your questions on everything from foreign exchange to forecasting to accessing grants and support.

Learn More


PowerUp Podcast

Listen to our latest PowerUp Podcasts telling the stories of some of the region's entrepreneurs. 

The PowerUp Podcast is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Castbox and wherever you get your podcasts.

Subscribe now