Venture Up 19 Wellington Showcase

#VentureUp19 WGTN: Showcase

And that’s a wrap for #VentureUp19 WGTN!

“Venture into the unknown” is our ongoing theme for #VentureUp19 – and it’s proven to be one hell of a ride!

Four weeks ago, we welcomed 32 passionate strangers to our home at Victoria University’s School of Business. 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 seven 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 their solutions and going out to sell their products – all under the guidance from some of the best minds from New Zealand’s startup ecosystem.

As the days passed into weeks, the excitement and nerves grew before Venture Up’s final showcase when the teams pitched their venture to friends, family and the wider business community. With the final week concentrated on crafting and rehearsing their stories, the teams were ready to share their journeys…

The final showcase saw our #VentureUp19 WGTN cohort take centre-stage at the City Gallery, in front of an audience of over 120 people. Kii Small, co-founder and director of MapMo, lead the audience on a journey as our MC for the evening.

“Venture Up won’t roll over, play dumb or lick your face. It’s a challenge that many underestimate or simply wouldn’t undertake. Yet the quality we see from year to year continues to amaze and humble us.


It’s incredibly impressive how entrepreneurs who are still trying to find their feet can make even the most experienced individuals blush”

Aaron Power, Programme Manager for #VentureUp19

Taking the stage alongside our cohort, we welcomed a number of key speakers; Lance Walker, CEO of the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), Colm Kearney from Callaghan Innovation, Terry Shubkin, CEO of Young Enterprise Trust, Stephen Cummings, Professor of Strategy & Innovation at Victoria University of Wellington, and – last but by no means least – we welcomed back our very own 2015 alumna, Emily Blythe.

Emily spoke about her entrepreneurial journey, through the Young Enterprise scheme, Venture Up in 2015 – and her company Flatpak that came out of it – and onto the work she is doing now.

“Every one of you who is leaving Venture Up today knows how to solve problems, engage people and strive for the extraordinary. And it is now up to you how you apply them moving forward.


YOU have the power to decide your course.


You decide whether you will stand up when the world’s problems seem to land on your doorstep. And it is you who will choose how quickly you will move after today. Your journey will never be linear and starting tomorrow you are in the driver’s seat.”

Emily Blythe, entrepreneur and Venture Up 2015 alumna

Venture Up 19 Wellington Showcase Emily Blythe

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 – and would be sorely missed. 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 help shape your potential and for giving us the opportunity to watch you grow and stand in the limelight.

Venture Up 19 Wellington Showcase

We have more stories to share from our #VentureUp19 Wellington crew – and more exciting programme news on the way… did somebody say #VentureUp19 Queenstown?!?!

Stay tuned!

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!

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