Alumni Update: Finn Carroll

Finn Carroll went through our first programme of 2019 in wellington. studying for his bachelor of commerce (focusing on management and film) and already with a hustle-on-the-side – chromatic media – venture up was an opportunity for Finn to test his entrepreneurial metal with a group of like-minded individuals and mentorship from the startup ecosystem. At the end of the programme, we were keen to hear more about what drew Finn to Venture Up and what he’s taken away from the experience.


I was born and raised in Kilbirnie, Wellington, and have been super excited to study at Victoria University, for the last few years. As I head into my last year now, studying Management and Film, I’m constantly asked what my ‘direction’ in life is from the end of this year. It seems like the expectation is always to work hard for one of the internships at the big four, but there are so many options that never get mentioned.

I’m motivated by creativity, whether that be about the freedom to implement creative solutions or the ability to explore creative ideas. I aspire to be someone that creates – if that’s drawing or writing or graphic design – and that philosophy fits perfectly with the startup ecosystem in Wellington.

Over the last four weeks, #VentureUp19 has introduced me to the startup world and opened my eyes to an amazing community of founders and creators. From my awesome team at Lavender Games (our Venture Up company) to the whole VU cohort to the amazing mentors and staff from Creative HQ, the people I’ve met over the last four weeks have been some of the most creative and talented people I’ve met in my life.
Without a doubt, the best thing about the Venture Up programme is the people.
Yeah, learning the tools and going through the process of creating a startup has been invaluable… but the people will stay with me for the rest of my life.

The best thing I’ll take away from VU is the skills to network, to forge those connections with people that otherwise wouldn’t happen. In New Zealand, we have an amazing culture of openness and giving which is exaggerated in the startup scene.
The first thing we were told was, no matter how great your idea is, the first three most important things are team, team, team.

Venture Up gave me the skills to connect with the people that I know I’ll work with in the future, the Kiwis that I will collaborate with to build and create in the future.

To the people out there looking to apply for Venture Up, there is nothing I’ve done in my life that has had a greater ‘return on investment’ than applying for VU. It took roughly 25 minutes, and I had the best 4 weeks of my life.

It was tough, it was fun, it was frustrating, but it never lost its charm. I can’t recommend it enough.