Innovate Whanganui

Innovate Whanganui is in its second year and is a local competition based on the “Dragon’s Den” idea that supports an entrepreneur from ideation to scale and investment. The competition is designed to support local entrepreneurs and start-up business initiatives. Innovate is for those who have a novel idea, or are stuck and need a bit of guidance to push forward. Whanganui & Partners is delivering Innovate Whanganui in partnership with The Factory, a Palmerston North collective made up of experts at getting ideas off the ground, launching start-ups, and helping businesses grow.

Earlier this month, 5 finalists were selected and are now in a 10-week intensive phase, where they meet each week and develop their idea into a business. Each finalist is paired with mentors, receives tailored support, and has access to a pool of national and international mentors. They also receive $3000 in capital, tagged to specific milestones determined by their mentors. Congratulations to the finalists:

  • Abbi and Rodney Calman developing a Mobile Wheel Chock;
  • Alan Smith developing Ouchie Powder:
  • Julia Lee Hanson developing Pet Memorial Jewellery:
  • Laura Buchanan developing a Pottery Popup; and
  • Stacy Foskett developing Ready Bear.

This all culminates at pitch night on 25 August, where each finalist will present their idea to local business leaders, angel investors and others that support entrepreneurialism in the region. The winner receives $5,000 to support their idea.