Venture Up Reunion 2018

Did you miss our Venture Up Reunion in Wellington? Don’t sweat it, we’ve got you covered. Have a read, catch up with the latest updates, and get excited about Venture Up 2019!

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Way back in early 2018 a group of enthusiastic young entrepreneurs came together to build new business ventures from scratch, in a fast-paced, 4-week long accelerator programme.

Months (and a few good sleep-ins) later, that very same cohort came together once more. They joined the Venture Up Alumni, speakers, and mentors for a night of storytelling, knowledge sharing and catching u with one another. A lucky few Venture Up 2019 ‘early birds’ also got exclusive access to the Reunion, to dip their feet into the VU world, learn from alumni and make valuable connections to help them along on their future VU journeys.

There’s something special about standing in a room full of people with different backgrounds and stories, but all connected by the same experience – the good vibes are palpable and it’s electrifying!

The reunion kicked off with Programme Director, Lingy Au, reflecting on how far Venture Up has come and hinting at where it will go next. Lingy spoke about the growth of the cohort during the programme and how VU Alumni continue to impact the startup ecosystem positively.

“Before Venture Up, I choked very hard on stage during a pitch for my YES (Young Enterprise Scheme) high school team. That experience really killed my confidence and made me hate public speaking. But when I came to Venture Up it pushed me to be uncomfortable and rebuilt my confidence which, was a big deal for me for the years to come”.  – Hayden Washington-Smith

The panel was rounded off by a workshop led by Aaron Power, Venture Up’s Programme Manager, who set on a mission to answer 3 bold questions:

  • How can we become more diverse?
  • How can we go global?
  • How can we improve the Alumni Experience?



After a serious few rounds of post-it note ideation and plenty of good chats, some common themes started to emerge and more questions came to light:

  • How can we best collaborate with local communities to co-design the programme?
  • How can we shape our Alumni ambassador programme and partner with youth leaders?

We wrapped up the Reunion refreshed and inspired – our alumni’s energy and go-get attitude are truly contagious. We’re very excited about what’s coming next, and Lingy and Aaron are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work. We can’t say too much yet, but one thing is sure, Venture Up 2019 is shaping to be the best one to date, and we can’t wait to share more details with you soon.

If you’d like to hear more about VU19 and are keen to take advantage of future opportunities make sure to join our early bird list – the best spot for Venture Up related news, invites and special offers.

Missed the reunion but still keen to give us your feedback or share your ideas? Get in touch.

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