Tauranga Startup Weekend “most successful yet”



The organisers of last weekend’s third annual Tauranga Startup Weekend have dubbed it the most successful yet. Basestation, Tauranga’s new technology business complex in Durham Street, was at capacity, with almost 70 participants from across the region, supported by more than a dozen mentors and volunteers. Judging took place at the Tauranga Art Gallery on Sunday night in front of a panel of five highly successful local entrepreneurs, including Wharf42 founder Peter Wren-Hilton.

The eventual winner, a team called “seespray”, proposes to develop an automated alert service for households affected by horticultural spraying. Matt Cowley, local councillor and member of the winning team commented to TaurangaTech that “Startup Weekend is successful because a lot of people with different skills and perspectives come together under one roof. It proves that businesses, government, and community groups need to work together to achieve true economic growth. I really enjoyed the weekend because the constant time pressures made us narrow our focus on what really matters for starting the business.”

Co-organiser Jo Allum commented that “it was thrilling to be a part of the active collaboration that made this event such as success. From the handover of the event from Sheldon Nesdale, who got the ball rolling two years ago, through to forming an incredibly talented new organising team, to sponsors, mentors, judges, and the most important people, the participants, it was our community that got this done.

“And look at the results – 10 teams formed and ideas worked on, 4 receiving highly commended comments on the final night, and already two days on, three of them looking to do further work and validation on the idea with help from the founders and associates of VentureCentre and using the facilities of Basestation to take them through to serious commercialisation.

“Without a doubt this was the start of a new wave of entrepreneurial activity in our city – enabled by technology, organised by its community, and funded by people who put the time in and themselves personally to work for the greater good of our region. A rising tide lifts all boats… ”

According to Pascale Hyboud-Peron, the other event co-organiser, “Tauranga Startup Weekend has been an amazing opportunity to reveal Tauranga’s burgeoning local entrepreneurial community. Over the weekend more than one hundred people got together, worked on business ideas, got feedback from mentors and judges, and took their dream to the next level. It has been an enriching journey to organise such an event which has connected many people, with a wide range of skills and talents. I am happily turning my thoughts now to how we can continue together to keep that phenomenal momentum going.”

Next year’s event is already scheduled for 4-6th September, with a number of this year’s participants already committing to return.

Startup Weekend is a global movement where participants work together over 54 hours to turn their ideas into marketable business propositions. Focused on the technology space, Startup Weekend claims to be the largest incubator of startup businesses in the world.