Venture Taranaki PowerUp 50 of the region’s budding entrepreneurs

PowerUp is a Venture Taranaki initiative. It is a range of support, services and activity focused on fostering and nurturing entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Taranaki.

Since the start of February, 50 of the region’s budding entrepreneurs have been attending Venture Taranaki’s PowerUp Co.Starters workshops in phase one of the PowerUp Ideas Competition. The eight-week workshop series helps participants build their business plan and learn about starting and growing an enterprise.

PowerUp offers a range of support services and activity focused on fostering and nurturing entrepreneurship in Taranaki. Glenn Catchpole, the founder of Velobike, develops high-performance cycling equipment for Olympic level and competitive track cyclists, and is one of the participants gaining a lot from the workshops. 

“We signed up to further learn about how to grow our start-up business from B2C through to B2B internationally. At 90% export, we can accelerate our business by making it easier for international customers to purchase our products” says Catchpole.

“The workshops have been awesome! There is such a diverse range of individuals in our community who have really great ideas and a lot of motivation to enter the start-up sphere. Everyone has contributed a great amount to the group discussions, and everyone seems to be taking away valuable skills and feedback to help them on their journey” he adds.

Min McKay who started YouChange, a personal financial coaching service, is another participant of the PowerUp Co.Starters workshops. McKay helps people to improve their financial position by providing a financial plan, coaching them to achieve this plan and holding them accountable for achieving their own financial success. 

“I signed up because I loved the thought of going through a programme that would help me to dive deeper into all areas of my business and I hoped to be able to refine my business and gain valuable information. I also see it as an opportunity to explore ways of making my future thoughts I have for my business into a reality” McKay said.

“I’m really excited about the course. Our facilitators are filled with knowledge and allow the group to form great discussion. I have found small key activities to be really valuable to actually bringing ideas into action” she adds.

Stage two of the PowerUp Ideas Competition is the opportunity for stage one participants and new entrants to submit their enterprise idea in a two-minute video pitch. The top five ideas will go through the stage-two PowerUp Customised Programme, with one ultimately winning the grand prize of $10,000 to spend on developing their idea.   
“The PowerUp initiative provides a significant boost to our entrepreneurship support in Taranaki, enabling more entrepreneurs to build capability and bring their ideas to fruition, creating jobs and value for our region” says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Justine Gilliland

“The PowerUp Ideas Competition is an integral part of our PowerUp initiative to support entrepreneurship and enterprises in Taranaki. In today’s world, fostering a strong entrepreneur and innovative culture is critical to boost enterprise so we become an even more resilient, more diverse and a more sustainable and inclusive community,” adds Justine.

Video pitch submissions for part 2 of the PowerUp Ideas Competition open 1 March 2021. 

PowerUp Background
PowerUp is a Venture Taranaki initiative. It is a range of support, services and activity focused on fostering and nurturing entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Taranaki.

Three key initiatives drive PowerUp, Grow, Tell and Connect, and its purpose is to support entrepreneurship and enterprise innovation by helping to power-up Taranaki’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, to help create smart, connected communities and enterprises.

PowerUp is a carefully constructed programme of events and activities, delivered in conjunction with partners, and designed to complement the services and support already on offer by the wider ecosystem.

A key objective of PowerUp is to highlight the range of support available for start-ups, entrepreneurs and enterprises across the entire ecosystem, helping to build visibility of the ecosystem itself. Connection and collaboration with the region’s institutions, businesses and communities is vital to successfully powering-up Taranaki’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.