On Friday, 24 May, the Hon. Dr. Megan Woods, Minister for Science and Innovation officially opened Te Ōhaka – Centre for Growth and Innovation – Christchurch’s city centre campus dedicated to high growth startups and innovators. Te Ōhaka is jointly powered by the Ara Institute of Canterbury, Ministry of Awesome, ChristchurchNZ, and, Media Sponsor, Stuff.
In addition to the opening keynote delivered by Minister Woods, the event featured keynote presentations from Rachael Neumann, Head of Startups Australia & NZ – Amazon Web Services; as well as Mark Bregman, Managing Partner and co-founder of Quidnet Ventures – a US based venture capitalist, who is currently raising a $40m fund dedicated to startups in New Zealand and Australia.
While originally founded by Ara and Ministry of Awesome, Te Ōhaka is a city resource for every player in our ecosystem. It is wholly dedicated to supporting, nurturing, and growing New Zealand startups and innovators with bold ambition and the drive to transform our world by staying true to the principles of kaitiakitanga and culturally intelligent business.
Te Ōhaka features:
- Joint access to the entrepreneur-rich and well-networked Ministry of Awesome community and Ara Institute of Canterbury student body
- A mentorship programme provided by sector and ecosystem leaders, experienced entrepreneurs, and professional service providers
- Customised education and capability building through Ministry of Awesome and Ara.
- Access to resources and advice provided for ICT, legal and financial management.
- Opportunities to pitch and expose startups to local, national, and global investors and corporate partners
- 100+ events per year for networking, collaboration, and knowledge sharing
- A fixed ‘home’ in which to network, collaborate and be surrounded by likeminded people on a high growth mission
The benefits of Te Ōhaka
Te Ōhaka is community led and encourages high-growth startups to reflect upon their impact with regard to sustainability, world betterment, cultural and inclusive vision especially for Māori entrepreneurs.
Tony Gray, Chief Executive, Ara Institute of Canterbury, says, “Te Ōhaka is not only aligned with the goals of our region – to ignite bold ambition and to stimulate economic activity but it will provide all 16,000 Ara students access to a range of entrepreneurial support, mentorship and resources which Ara colleagues will also benefit from and contribute to.”
Marian Johnson, Chief Awesome Officer at Ministry of Awesome, says, “NZ and Canterbury specifically are very small markets and struggle to compete with larger innovation ecosystems. Te Ōhaka tackles the viability of our ecosystem by providing critical support for our region’s high growth startups whilst at their most vulnerable pre-revenue stage.”
Te Ōhaka is located in Ara’s high profile Kahukura building on Moorhouse Avenue and is currently taking applications from high growth startups and innovators beginning immediately.