The mountainous backdrop of Queenstown is set to become the location of Creative HQ's newest 2019 Venture Up accelerator for young entrepreneurs.
2019 will be the accelerator's first time running in the South Island. If Queenstown is a little too far away, the Wellington Venture Up programme will be held at the same time.
“It is exciting to be expanding the programme to Queenstown where we can offer more youth the opportunity to take part in a proven model that expands the possibilities of youth starting on their own entrepreneurial journey,” comments programme director Lingy Au.
“We see Venture Up as a place where you can put creativity and innovation into practice and are delighted to host it down in Queenstown,” adds Startup Queenstown Lakes' AJ Mason.
Since Venture Up's launch in 2015, it has worked with 126 young adults to help them build confidence and resilience at the transition between high school and the workforce or higher education.
Or in Venture Up's words, it: “invites New Zealand's future innovators to join the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the opportunity to learn leadership and collaborative working skills in an immersive environment. The programme empowers participants to independently manage their work-flow and team dynamic, providing a realistic experience of entrepreneurship.
The accelerator also focuses on hands-on learning and connecting New Zealand's future leaders. It supports the Government's STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) to focus on arts, humanities, creative and critical thinking processes.
“The exposure to some of the top entrepreneurial talent in New Zealand's ecosystem, coupled with the latest lean methodologies and design thinking techniques leaves participants moving faster, smarter and with a platform to launch into whichever direction they decide to pursue,” comments Au.
Creative HQ innovation specialists run the Venture Up programme. They bring specialties, experience and connections, along with all of the components used in Creative HQ's Lightning Lab accelerators.
But it's no easy summer camp.
Broken down into weekly sprints, Venture Up introduces the cohort to fundamental tools, such as design thinking and agile customer-focused validation techniques before focusing on sales and brand ahead of a final showcase to friends, family and the wider startup community.
“Venture Up was an incredible opportunity to build on the skills and capability required to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. The mentoring, networking and ability to connect with so many like-minded individuals was a priceless experience,” explains Bensé Apparel's Steph Benseman.
Applications for the Venture Up 2019 Wellington programme close October 19. Applications for the Venture Up 2019 Queenstown programme close on November 2.
Both programmes are due to start on January 21, 2019.