From luggage damage to incomprehensible menus, Venture Up showcases the best problem solving of the millennial generation, writes Sara McFall.
“You never need to eat alone”, “the fitbit for luggage” and “have more time – eliminate errands”
These were some of the great pitches for business ideas presented by the graduates of Creative HQ’s Venture Up on Tuesday evening in Wellington.
Venture Up is a six-week accelerator for school-leavers aged 16-21, hosted by Creative HQ.
The Wellington-based start-up hub holds bootcamps in nine centres around New Zealand during the year and then selects 40 of the brightest prospects interested in taking entrepreneurship further.
Brought to Wellington, the participants work together in teams formed around their business ideas. They are coached, mentored, and taken on field trips to Wellington’s most innovative businesses. During the six weeks, the teams develop and test their business ideas with a goal of having paying customers by the Showcase event.
Creative HQ’s Nick Churchouse says his dream is that, in a few years, Venture Up will have generated hundreds of motivated business-savvy entrepreneurs in their early 20s who will transform our business culture.
This summer’s intensive course culminated in the final Showcase, which was held at Wellington’s City Gallery on February 17, when the teams pitched their ideas. The ideas were smart and the pitching skills outstanding. Each team had a clear value proposition providing their customers with solutions to resolve lack of time, lack of choice or lack of security.
One team pitched a match-making service for employers looking for part-time staff; another was targeting the hospitality industry making menus more accessible to foreign tourists.
The intrude-a-lock is a device that monitors luggage in transit and records any damage giving travellers evidence to use in compensation claims.
The Youth On Board team pitched a service for ensuring boards of directors had the voice of millennials.
Hemi Rolleston, Callaghan Innovation’s GM for Māori Economy, summed up why Callaghan Innovation is a proud sponsor of Venture Up:
“Resilience and the confidence to learn from failure are key attributes of an entrepreneur.
“One of our priorities is to inspire New Zealand’s future innovators and entrepreneurs and Venture Up both inspires and gives young people skills and confidence that will enable them to take the highs and lows of entrepreneurship.
“At Callaghan Innovation, our inspiration is summed up in our whakatauaki: ‘rukuhia te wāhi ngaro, he maunga tātai whētu– dive into the unknown, pursue excellence’.
“We look forward to following the Venture Up alumni as they dive into new challenges.”