And that’s that… #VentureUp19 ZQN is wrapped!
So we’ve gone from strangers to teams, problems to interviewing customers, ideating solutions to crafting brands, and our teams had the opportunity to share their journey at the #VentureUp19 ZQN Showcase!
“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.”
Two weeks ago, we welcomed a group of passionate strangers to our temporary home at Queenstown Resort College. They formed teams around common goals and embarked on a journey that, we hope, will help them push their own limits going forward.
Our cohort of strangers came together to form four teams, each with a belief that they can make the world better focusing on solving unique problems. They went from validating (and invalidating) their assumptions with customers to testing and iterating solutions – all under the guidance from some of the best minds from New Zealand’s startup ecosystem.
The days passed quickly, thanks to the awesome engagement and speakers we gathered in Queenstown, and soon the excitement and nerves were growing before Venture Up’s final showcase when the teams pitched their ventures to friends, family and the wider Queenstown community. With the final few days concentrated on crafting and rehearsing their stories, the teams were ready to share their journeys…
The final showcase saw the #VentureUp19 ZQN cohort take centre-stage in front of an audience in front of a packed-out audience at the Sherwood Queenstown – a place of innovation itself, listed as one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable hotels in the world.
Our audience included an awesome panel to provide our teams with feedback and comments on the next steps they could be taking. Our panel consisted of:
- James Burnes – Entrepreneur and CEO of Startup Queenstown Lakes, James has a background in product development and technology marketing strategy for both products and services, and now is working to develop the region’s startup ecosystem.
- Roger Sharp – Chairman of multiple boards (including Geo, Webjet and Tourism NZ), and founder of North Ridge Partners who specialises in technology company-advisors, Roger focused on the scalability and what impact the teams’ visions could have globally.
- Pallas Hupé Cotter – TEDx Speaker, former News anchor and founder of POP – a pop-up consultancy concentrating on personal development and strategic communication – Pallas provided awesome feedback with insight on the experience of standing up in front of a crowd.
“Venture Up participants never really know what to expect when they commit to such a unique programme but what amazes me year after year is how well they embrace the unknown. The journey that you see them go through is so incredibly inspiring, it makes me confident that the future of New Zealand is safe in the hands of some impressive young innovators.”
Steph Benseman, Programme Manager for #VentureUp19
Taking the stage alongside our cohort, we welcomed Mayor of Queenstown Jim Boult to say a few words. An entrepreneur himself, Jim ended by saying:
“The only advice I would add would be:
Whatever you do in business, you need to be bloody tenacious. When you’ve got a good idea, go for it!”
We’d like to take a moment to thank all of the sponsors for helping make it happen, the speakers and the mentors who visited the programme, whose time, knowledge, skills and networks make this programme what it is. You help us make it possible to deliver this programme with such vigour and quality.
As always – a programme is only as good as the community that supports it, and we are very lucky to call you all family.
Finally, to the cohort, thank you for coming on this journey, trusting us to support you as you discover your potential and for giving us the opportunity to watch you grow and stand in the limelight.
If this is the first time you’re hearing from #VentureUp19…Welcome aboard, and where’ve you been?! Check out our previous post here – and stay up-to-date on all the goings-on via our mailing list and follow us on social (Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram) for daily content!