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Arts and creative sector ideas programme

Arts and creative sector ideas programme

New Zealanders with ideas about how to enhance Auckland’s arts and creative sector are being encouraged to enter a prestigious ideas programme that begins its first phase with a competition called the CUBE.

The CUBE, being opened today, uses ideas development methods from successful business ideas programmes in New Zealand and overseas. It is the first ideas programme of its kind in New Zealand to target the creative sector and is being sponsored by a number of prominent Auckland and national agencies.

The CUBE’S vision is to identify and help develop ideas that will make the arts and creative sector in the Auckland region thrive. The envisioned end result from the CUBE will be two new commercial businesses and the creation of two major not-for-profit initiatives.

The chairperson of Auckland City council’s Recreation and Events Committee, Councillor Scott Milne, says the idea behind the CUBE is straightforward. It recognises that ideas need time, help and money to develop. “We’re looking for practical ideas that we know are already out there. We just have to encourage those ideas to come forward, grab them and grow them.”

Once CUBE entries close on 20 October, a panel of distinguished specialist judges from business and the creative sector will select 16 finalists. Finalists will be invited to take part in an innovation workshop and month-long mentoring programme run by innovation experts, resulting in a fully developed business plan for each idea.

From this group of 16 the four most promising ideas will be selected. These will each be awarded $50,000 initial financing, plus ongoing mentoring and development support from innovation experts.

The CUBE is the first joint initiative of a group of investors that includes ART (Arts Regional Trust), the Community Employment Group; Creative New Zealand through the Regional Strengths strategy; and Auckland, Waitakere, Manukau and North Shore city councils. Commercialisation, experience and mentoring services are being supplied by Lion Rock Ventures Limited and The ICEHOUSE (a business accelerator founded by the University of Auckland Business School in partnership with eight leading NZ companies).

Ideas development programmes are burgeoning worldwide. In New Zealand Carter Holt Harvey recently achieved outstanding success with an ideas to business [i2B] programme. A total of 2500 ideas were evaluated, resulting in 22 new start-up investments. Andy Blackburn, who was the i2B manager during that time, has worked as a consultant on the CUBE.

The scope of the arts and creative sector in relation to the CUBE is very broad. It reflects the current international concept of a creative industries sector, encompassing not just the spectrum of performing, written and visual arts but also fashion, architecture, landscape architecture, television and radio, heritage and cultural tourism, software, interactive leisure software, animation and website design.

A direct mail and e-mail campaign is being undertaken, targeting the arts and creative sector. However, the CUBE is open to anyone – there are no restrictions on age, experience, background or where people live. Their ideas may have regional, national or even global benefit, so long as the primary benefit is to Auckland. Those who do not become finalists will be referred, where appropriate, to other funding or development programmes.

To register interest in the CUBE competition or to enter an idea, visit www.cube.org.nz. Entrants have until October 20 to send in their idea.

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