Venture Up 2019 Wellington – participants meet mentors



Wellington, 7 February 2019 


Back for the fifth year running, Venture Up 2019 Wellington, is well underway. The programme started on January 21st, with our motivated participants pumped up and ready to get started.

This four-week accelerator is giving young entrepreneurs a taste of what it means to start their own business, by teaching them the ropes of startup methodology and introducing them to Creative HQ’s innovation framework.

Since the start of the programme, participants have formed teams, brainstormed ideas and pitched their progress to date in front of a room full of industry representatives, mentors and government representatives. From reusable containers for dairy products to reducing supermarket waste and empowering young mothers to return to work, the focus is as varied as their interests and skillset.

The 2019 cohort is made up of 32 highly impressive individuals – looking at their resumes, it’s hard to believe they are all under 21 years old!

Nick Jackson, originally from Queenstown now based in Christchurch, travelled to Wellington, especially for the programme. With a degree majoring in chemical and process engineering and minoring in bioprocess engineering, Nick came to Venture Up wanting to sharpen his business development skills to put them into practice in his day-to-day life working for a tech startup in the aviation sector.

“I’m motivated by innovation and solving problems. I see innovation as the creation and development of ideas and concepts into solutions that can affect change. The world is always changing and I want to be at the forefront of that innovation wave. I believe innovation can create so much positivity and I have the drive to harness this and take on projects where I can make a positive difference in at least in one person’s life.”

Nick Jackson

Alongside the official cohort, every year Creative HQ invites a limited number of students to join the programme for one week, as part of the Venture Up “Boost” programme. This opportunity was created to allow outstanding students to get a taster of what Venture Up is all about, even if they couldn’t apply for the current programme, or commit for the duration of the accelerator.

Wellingtonian Taania Sietske Wesselius is one of this year’s “Boosters”. With a passion for educating people about the cost of fashion and finding new ways to do this more sustainably, Taania applied for Venture Up to challenge herself and develop new skills.

The best thing about Venture Up is definitely the structure of just throwing you in, falling down and being able to find support in the Venture Up crew alongside my fellow team members. I love the method of teaching, turning big ideas and lessons into fun activities and open conversations, as opposed to just telling us how it is and letting it fly in one ear and out the other.

Taania Sietske Wesselius

For the remainder of the programme, teams will be busy completing customers interviews, market validation and figuring out the ins-and-outs of their ventures, before presenting at the final Showcase on February 13th at the City Gallery in Wellington.




Venture Up is Creative HQ’s short-term, youth-focused accelerator and New Zealand’s leading entrepreneurship accelerator for young aspiring leaders.

Based on Creative HQ’s 15 years of experience supporting startups, New Zealand’s future innovators are introduced to the entrepreneurial ecosystem to learn leadership and collaborative working skills in an immersive environment. Venture Up develops the confidence and resilience required to flourish in their future ventures. The Venture Up 2019 Wellington programme is sponsored by WREDA, Callaghan Innovation, the Ministry of Youth Development, Young Enterprise Trust and hosted at the Victoria University Business School in Wellington.


Creative HQ empowers entrepreneurs in startups, businesses and government by developing innovation capability to enable a human-centric approach to problem-solving in order to promote change and positive impact. Creative HQ is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WREDA, Wellington’s Regional Economic Development Agency


For more information contact:
Alessandra Orsi, Digital Marketing Specialist

Comments are closed