Tauranga’s entrepreneurial sub-culture exposed
Today I had the privilege of attending Venture Centre’s first “Entrepreneur’s Everywhere” event at basestation. I believe we will look back in years to come and point to this event as a watershed moment in the coming of age of Tauranga’s entrepreneurial community.
Facilitated by Tauranga City Libraries, the event was about showcasing to local entrepreneurs and budding startup mavens the resources, tools and networks available to help them turn their ideas into reality. What it demonstrated to me, more than anything, was the strength of the community and the willingness of people here to help others succeed. This is true for both the individuals and organisations that support the entrepreneurial eco-system, including Enterprise Angels, Venture Centre, Tauranga City Libraries and the Chamber of Commerce, all of whom presented their pitch to the room (in a reverse over how it’s usually done).
Whether the objective is to grow business in Tauranga, make money, or to help individuals become successful, the end result is the same, more guided entrepreneurial activity means more successful results. It’s taking the business startup from an isolated unsupported activity, where not only does the entrepreneur need to develop their idea, the also have to spend time finding the resources and building the network to make it a success, to one where they can simply plug into the support network, focusing their energies on developing the proposition itself.
It demonstrated to me that there really is an entrepreneurial sub-culture here, that New Zealanders really are predisposed to identifying problems and solving them, and that we’re stronger together than we are as individuals. The parting remarks from Jo Allum of Venture Centre were essentially an open invite to anyone with an idea: come along to basestation, have a chat to someone and they’ll put you on the road to making that business idea a reality.
No longer are you on your own as an entrepreneur, in Tauranga there’s now a whole community here to help you, at whatever stage your business is at.