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The Icehouse Offers Entrepreneurs Hot Opportunity

A hot opportunity is being offered to New Zealand’s entrepreneurs by The Icehouse, the business accelerator created by The University of Auckland Business School and eight leading business and professional organisations. Applications from seed, start-up and early stage companies are being invited for up to five places in the intensive mentoring and business development facility, based in Parnell, Auckland.

Launched last month, The Icehouse (International Centre for Entrepreneurship) offers a programme of mentoring, teaching, research and networking to foster the development of start-up companies. Participants are advised and mentored by the partners, Bank of New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey, Telecom New Zealand, The University of Auckland Business School The Boston Consulting Group, Chapman Tripp, Compaq, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Microsoft as well as the Icehouse’s onsite management team.

Icehouse CEO, Andrew Hamilton, says the accelerator especially wants to hear from companies in high value sectors that have an inherent knowledge component including information technology, telecommunications, computing, software development, agritechnology, wireless technologies, biomaterials and materials sciences. logy

“These are our target sectors, but we’re ready to listen to anyone with a good idea who is hungry for an opportunity and ready to throw themselves into an intense culture where they will be given the opportunity to grow at speed.”

The accelerator has accommodation for 15 companies and already houses three. In the current round of applications, up to five companies will be accepted into the programme. Applications close on September 26 at 5pm.

Companies seeking admission must demonstrate their potential as entrepreneurial ventures with high and rapid growth potential. The entry process includes providing a business case for the venture, including product, market opportunity, strategy, management and financial position, along with CVs for the management team. Selection is based on a range of criteria, including an innovative product or technology with a knowledge component, clear strategic plans and feasible business models, capacity for networking with other tenants and personal capabilities.

Andrew Hamilton says those expecting an easy ride should not apply.

“It is not a comfort zone. Businesses accepted into the programme have to compete to get in, meet tough expectations to stay in and are expected to grow at speed into international companies.”

Successful applicants will be provided with fully-equipped office accommodation for up to two years. They have full access to Icehouse partners’ international networks and consulting advice, access to capital raising networks and to The University of Auckland’s knowledge resources including teaching staff, research, 19 libraries and extensive databases. They will also receive assistance with recruitment of key personnel into venture management teams, have introduction to key government business development and research funding agencies and enjoy access to an international network of business and academic leaders. Successful companies are charged a base fee of $450 per month for the first six months, plus $150 per month for each team member. After six months the base fee increases to $700.

Application packs can be obtained by contacting The Icehouse, telephone (09) 309.9712 or e-mail

BACKGROUND - The Icehouse partnership

The Icehouse (The International Centre for Entrepreneurship) is a partnership between Bank of New Zealand, Carter Holt Harvey, Chapman Tripp, Compaq, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Microsoft, Telecom New Zealand, The Boston Consulting Group and The University of Auckland Business School

The University of Business School as a cornerstone partner developed the concept. The partners in The Icehouse have made a three-year commitment to contribute financial, human and in-kind resources. The partners have contributed $2 million in funding for The Icehouse with a further $125,000 secured from Industry New Zealand for the first year of the programme.

The Icehouse reflects the partners’ commitment to establishing research and policy leadership in the development of entrepreneurial capacity in New Zealand. It represents a sharper focus on teaching, learning and research on business incubation and acceleration and the enhanced business operations and wealth capacity creation of the country’s small to medium sized enterprise sector. A critical measure of The Icehouse’s success will be its contribution to the capability of individuals and businesses to create wealth.

Through The University of Auckland’s Business School, the new partnership will provide teaching and learning programmes for business owners, tertiary students, scientists and technologists as well as those in its accelerator programme. This year’s programme includes special courses for owner operators and for those starting new business ventures, with a further 10 programmes scheduled for introduction next year. The Icehouse is also developing a pan-University of Auckland venture business creation course.

The partners in The Icehouse will also undertake and commission research into issues relating to entrepreneurship, the small to medium sized business sector, increasing New Zealand’s competitive advantage and the application and success of acceleration initiatives.

The partnership’s structure is designed to encourage co-operative relationships between The University of Auckland, its partners and the broader community. Its primary focus is on targeted sectors which are knowledge-based and have the ability to provide sustainable wealth, add value to traditional export industries, increase New Zealand’s export earnings and build on New Zealand competencies.

Targeted sectors are those sectors that have an inherent knowledge component and may include: -

- information technology

- telecommunications

- computing (distributed and peer-to-peer initiatives)

- software development

- agritechnology

- wireless technologies

- biomaterials and materials science technology

The partners have formed a charitable trust with its own constitution, charter and Board of Directors of a trading company, The Icehouse Limited, comprising:

- Chair - Bridget Wickham, CEO, The University of Auckland Development Ltd, Director Industry New Zealand, Sky City and Great New Zealand Business Venture

- Professor Barry Spicer - Dean, The University of Auckland Business School

- David Irving - Adjunct Professor Enterprise and Management - The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland University, Chairman Competitive Auckland, Director of Noblio Wine Group,Genesis Research & Development, Airwork Ltd, Medallion Foods,Cable Bay Wines,Hubbard Foods and Tenderlands Ltd

- Mike Skilling - General Manager, Business Financial Services, Bank of New Zealand

- Kent Blumberg - Chief Innovation Officer, Carter Holt Harvey

- Alan Jackson - Senior Vice President, The Boston Consulting, Managing Partner of the ANZ Group and on the Executive Committee for BCG internationally.

- Nick Main - Chief Executive Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

- Todd Irving - Director, E-Business, Compaq

- Mike Peters - Manager, E-Commerce Solutions, Microsoft

- John Strowger - Partner, Chapman Tripp

- Kevin Stratful, Group General Manager Sales and Service, Telecom New Zealand

The Icehouse’s CEO is Andrew Hamilton who has a record in venture capital and acceleration. He is a New Zealand government adviser on commercialisation of research and development and business growth.

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