VU18 Showcase & Wrap

This is the final blog post pulled straight from Venture Up 2018. You’ll hear all of the ins and outs of The Leading Entrepreneurship programme for New Zealand’s Young Leaders right here.

Woah, Venture Up 2018 was one hell of an adventure! Four weeks ago twenty six motivated strangers met at the Victoria Architecture and Design School, formed teams and began a programme that would push them to the limits.

The cohort broke into five teams, each driven to solve unique passion-filled problems, and immediately started to validate ideas, interview customers and test business models with the help of some of the startup ecosystems’ best and brightest. “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained” – earned a whole new meaning during #VU18.    

As the weeks and days flew by so too did the excitement and nerves for the final showcase, the final night of Venture Up in which the teams would pitch their venture to the wider business community. The cohort rehearsed and crafted their stories to share what for many was their first step into entrepreneurialism.     

vu18 final showcase

The final showcase was a highlight for the cohort as they took to the stage in front of an audience of 123 members. The atmosphere was bristling with excitement, pride and a buzz which was felt long into the evening and the following day. The team’s hard work had finally paid off which was not lost on anyone who attended.  

The cohort shared the stage with a number of key speakers ; Justin Lester (Wellington’s Mayor), Ian Williamson (Dean of Victoria University), Brook Pannell (Programme Manager of International Student Growth at WREDA), Terry Shubkin (CE of the Young Enterprise Trust) and Colm Kearney (Programme Manager of Callaghan’s C-Prize).

Ian Williamson’s speech captured the common thread of all our guests speakers –

A sign of a real education is a change in behaviour – and we have surely seen proof of that tonight. These young people are the very people who are going to change the way we live and experience the world around us. They constantly change the routines and patterns we cling so tightly too, by asking – “why, not”? We want to seed our community with people like that!”

ian williamson victoria university

It is the hope that Venture Up is only the first step on these young people’s entrepreneurial journey – so watch this space as this individuals go into the world with their newfound knowledge and experience.

As the showcase drew to a close, so too did Venture Up 2018. The following and final day of #VU18 was spent reflecting on the programme, packing up the workspace and showing appreciation for everyone’s efforts and enthusiasm.

From the Venture Up team we would like to take a moment to thank all the mentors, speakers and sponsors who dedicated their time, knowledge, skills and resources –  without which the programme would have sorely missed. You brought a level of gravatasus that exceeded all expectations. To the cohort we would like to say thank you for entrusting us to help shape your potential and for the pleasure of watching you grow and shine.   


Say it ain’t so – but this post is the last programme blog for #VU18. However, this is not the last place or time you will hear from us, we’ll be sharing alumni news from time to time and giving you updates leading into future programmes.

If you think Venture Up is for you then make sure to join our early bird list here, our mailing list and follow us on social to be kept in the loop. This year’s programme is just the start of a new regional format and we can’t wait to set up camp in your hometown. Until then, haere rā from the 2018 cohort and the Venture Up team!

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