Kia ora and welcome back Venture Up community! We have been keeping a low profile since the wrap of our first ever Auckland Venture Up earlier this year at AUT’s city campus but have now opened the doors and invited everyone back for the annual Venture Up Reunion!! The past few months have proved to be very busy with post programme reporting, scoping the opportunities around youth entrepreneurship on behalf of Ministry of Youth Development in New Zealand, and making decisions around the future of Venture Up!
But first, having a room packed with people flying in from around the country is simply heartwarming. We invited all Venture Up alumni back to connect, meet new faces, and share stories about what has happened since finishing their respective programmes. Needless to say, there were pathways that varied from heading into University/ currently finishing, working in industries they would have never seen coming, and carrying on with their startup businesses and staying involved with the eco-system around New Zealand.
On top of this, mentors and speakers were also invited to come and share what they have learnt from taking part in Venture Up and how they see the value of youth entrepreneurship moving forward. Brett Holland, head of acceleration at Creative HQ mentioned “Youth targeted programmes like Venture Up are crucial for bringing through the next generation of entrepreneurs, I wish this was around when I was at school”. Nic Lane, a year 13 student at Wellington College who is currently going through Young Enterprise Scheme described the experience of taking part of Venture Up Boost (a week taster for year 12 students) “a life changing experience for getting us to think differently through enterprise and problem solving”. A big shout out has to go to those who came along to the event and braved the ferocious wind and rain that ripped through Wellington making it a challenge for anyone wanting to leave the house.
We also have some very sad news of our programme director Oliviah Theyers-Collins stepping aside to pursue new challenges in Christchurch. Oliviah has been a part of Venture Up since its inception in 2015 and has been a huge force behind the success of the programmes and outcomes. Without the energy, passion and direction, Venture Up would not be where it is today. We wish her all the best in her new endeavors and continued success for the future to come.
There are some exciting announcements as we look to shape up what Venture Up looks like moving forward with major decisions hanging on the cusp of stakeholders so stay tuned via Facebook and Twitter as we will make these announcements known as soon as possible. For now, thank you for continuing to come on the journey with us and hope to chat soon!