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Valuable advice during Global Entrepreneurship Week



Auckland, New Zealand, Tuesday 22nd November 2011

Business Community gets valuable advice during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW)

ecentre, Massey University’s business innovation centre, located at the Innovation Campus in Albany on Auckland’s North Shore, hosted a series of events throughout the week.

Katie Petersen, manager in Advancing Innovation for the Kansas-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, led an inspiring discussion with ecentre residents, academics and students around entrepreneurship. Petersen who directs iStart, a resource for running business plan competitions, gave an overview of the programmes Kauffman offers and shared the Foundation’s future plans. “It is amazing what resources the Foundation has to offer for Institutions like the ecentre but also for entrepreneurs”, says Steve Corbett, CEO of ecentre.

The iBridge Network aims to drive greater “transparency and access to university developed innovations…” It has several focuses, one of which is drawing of intellectual property (IP) out of universities. The open platform and centralized source allows organisations to upload a summary of their IP. This can then be licensed by other interested parties, and licenses can be entered into directly with research laboratories. An example of this is through the Easy Access IP Innovation University community.

Katie who is also the manager for iBridge described it as “iTunes for intellectual property”, you browse through what you like and click to purchase.

To use IP which is being uploaded to the platform, an individual only has to meet four criteria: use it within three years, give credit back to the university, allow the organization to continue their own research and show economic good to the community. This is a great way for organisations to find commercial applications for research as well as to showcase an organisation’s research capability.

One of the issues raised while Petersen was visiting was the type of support entrepreneurs require at a very early stage. “Once people have a business idea, they often don’t know where to start with making it happen,” says Sabrina Nagel, who runs the market validation programme at ecentre. In an effort to help those people, ecentre hosted a free business idea workshop on Friday. Why market validation is important when you have a business idea, how to go about validating your market and some tools and methodologies were all covered in the workshop. This was well received and ecentre plans on hosting more in the near future. Participants noted that the workshop’s emphasis on market validation was helpful, and that the clarity of the presentations made a difference. “I am extremely new to business and marketing – yet I was able to grasp everything that was discussed,”said Geoff Woodward, a participant.


About the ecentre:

ecentre is the business innovation centre located at Massey University, Albany. ecentre specialise in helping people take their ideas from Garage to Global. ecentre’s vision is to help people with innovative ideas to create successful global companies. ecentre assists innovative businesses to grow the New Zealand economy through: customer knowledge and focus, inspired & strategic thinking, international networks and contacts, extensive business experience and Massey University innovation.

About the Kauffman Foundation:

The Kauffman Foundation is the largest foundation focused on entrepreneurship in the world. They run a variety of programmes to support and promote entrepreneurship.

The Foundation’s website states that their “vision is to foster “a society of economically independent individuals who are engaged citizens, contributing to the improvement of their communities.”” For more information please visit:

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