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Igniting Māori Business Success through Start-up Wānanga 2019

Together the Waikato-Tainui and Ahikōmako teams, with support from our sponsors MYOB delivered our first Start-up Wānanga, here at Mangakotukutuku Campus at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, during the first weekend of November. 

This exciting kaupapa, focussed on whanau with a Tech based business idea and kicked off with a whakatau and inspirational korero from  Deputy chair of Te Whakakitenga o Waikato – Tipa Mahuta. 

Arahi Hippolite, with his business idea Game Tan (a support service for profesional gamers) who was awarded the certificate for ‘Best Pitch ’ and the award for ‘Most Viable’ business idea, said that the part of the programme dedicated to helping teams identify their ‘Why’ was most powerful for him.

The Start-up Wānanga focussed on helping budding entrepreneurs take their business idea through some key excercises, such as competitor analysis, market validation and investigating what business model might fit best – to evaluate whether there is merit in taking the steps to turn their idea into a reality.

Along the way there were many learnings aided by the fantastic support of our tireless mentors, and guest speakers including learning about ‘the power of the pivot’, which was a transformative tool used by many teams throughout the weekend, enabling them to change direction without losing momentum.

The product development section of the programme was run out of Te Toiotua – the innovation hub at Mangakotukutuku campus, with Innovation specialist Leon Tepania on hand to support.  The hub has available access to huge range of awesome technologies including 3D Printers, a laser cutter, a graphics suite, Virtual Reality and 3D Scannign and green screen recording capability. 

Chris Hanlon, a local TedX speaking coach joined our Wānanga to share valuable insights around how to communicate your business idea in the first instance with the judges – to gain buy in and traction, and in the future may even help gain potential funding from banks or investors.  Teams found it hugely beneficial to tap into Chris’s expertise to refine their pitches before showcasing their ideas.

To sum up their experience, winners of the innovation award Awhiahua and Patrick Salmon, with their business idea Digiciept explained, “our confidence has absolutly skyrocketed since coming and doing this entire weekend wānanga, it has been amazing…from being around other entrepreneurs and making new friendships and networks we feel a whole lot more confident.”

Since completing the Start-up Wānanga many whanau have taken next steps towards making their business a reality, towards the ultimate goal of financial independence and mana motuhake for them and their whanau.  It has been exciting hearing their updates during our Business Activation sessions, and better still to know that they now have a plan for how to move forward with their business ideas. 

To keep momentum going some of our teams have come along to Pakihi workshops (go to www.pakihi.co.nz to learn more) on topics including getting into business, marketing and networks and improving pofitability to continue their learning journey and are making the most of the free mentoring time they recieve after each workshop that they attend.

Some are even considering taking their ideas to the next stage by applying for the Kokiri business accelerator programme which you can check out by going to www.kokiri.nz

The whole weekend was a showcase of Māori talent and potential in the Tech and Entrepreneurial arena, and we can’t wait to see what they bring to fruition in the future.

More start-up Wānanga will be run in 2020, keep an eye out for dates on our website www.Ahikomako.nz

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