nikki kaye announces funding for Venture Up

New Zealand’s best young entrepreneurs will Venture Up again in 2016, with funding announced for New Zealand’s first youth entrepreneurship accelerator.

Minister of Youth Development Nikki Kaye announced $300,000 from the Government’s Youth Enterprise Fund will go to continuing the work started with the Venture Up 2015 pilot scheme.

Announced the day following the inaugural Venture Up Showcase, the funding reinforces the success seen in the six-week entrepreneurship immersion programme, attended by 27 leading entrepreneurs from around the country.

venture up showcase 2015

Venture Up Showcase2015: This is what New Zealand’s next generation of Rod Drurys, Sam Morgans and Rollo Wenlocks look like / Photo Young Enterprise Trust

Aged 16-21 years, the Venture Up 2015 cohort created seven new companies in six weeks and presented them to mentors, investors, business leaders and startup supporters in Wellington this week.

Nick Churchouse, Venture Up’s Programme Director is rapped with the overwhelmingly positive response to the youth enterprise initiative. “These young entrepreneurs have proven to everyone that they are capable, resilient, and eager to be taken seriously in the startup community. This funding will ensure we can Venture Up bigger and better than ever in the years to come.”​​

The brainchild of Wellington’s startup base, Creative HQ,  Venture Up is the first fulltime entrepreneurship accelerator programme targeted solely at individuals and teams aged 16-24. The programme was supported by the Young Enterprise Trust, Victoria University of Wellington and the Wellington City Council and took place in Victoria’s School of Design and Architecture over January and February of this year.

Creative HQ chief executive Stefan Korn says backing grassroots initiatives like Venture Up are exactly the way to boost a fundamental shift for innovation and startup enterprise.

“The sooner young entrepreneurs get started and realise that starting their own business is a viable option, the better their chances for carving out a fulfilling career for themselves.

“Venture Up is positioned exactly to give motivated individuals the opportunities, skills, connections and insights to be the next generation of business founders taking New Zealand to the world. This funding is a direct investment in that vision and shows great foresight by Minister Kaye and the Youth Enterprise Fund,” Mr Korn says.



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