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Crowd Powered Smart Energy

3 April 2014

Crowd Powered Smart Energy

An innovation challenge run by Wellington City Council and a number of partners is culminating in the launch of three Smart Energy ventures’ crowdfunding their way into existence, and they need your support to get there.

The three successful Smart Energy Challenge participants have spent the last five weeks turning their ideas into reality, through an intensive application process, programme of workshops, networking events ,collaborative smart energy cafes, and a Dragons’ Den pitching night.

The successful teams are “shyft” a cooperative car share system for the city, “Aro Solar” smart energy for community centres and the Solair Space Heater to warm Wellington homes.

The three projects are calling on their crowds and on fellow Wellingtonians who all have a stake in the city’s future to support them by pledging money to their crowdfunding campaigns, and by spreading the word.

Co-founder of Solair Space Heater, Lisa McLaren explains, “We really want Wellington to get behind all of the teams and help us achieve our ambitious crowdfunding targets”.

If teams are successful and reach the targets they have set in advance, then they will receive the money pledged and the Council will match-fund whatever amount each can raise, up to a maximum of $20, 000 across all three projects.

The Challenge is the latest initiative to come out of the Council’s Smart Energy Capital Programme.

To view the videos of these great ventures and pledge, go to PledgeMe, New Zealand’s crowdfunding platform, at from Monday 7 April at 5.30pm.

In the Challenge’s final event, teams will pitch their projects to a diverse crowd of over 100 prominent Wellingtonians, including their friends, family colleagues, representatives from the Challenge’s corporate partners, mentors, teachers, and experts who have helped implement the Challenge.

NZ Post has partnered with the Challenge and is sponsoring the event.

The organisations running the Challenge are Enspiral, PledgeMe, Generation Zero, along with support from other Challenge partners, Deloitte, Kiwibank, the Sustainability Trust and the Greater Wellington Regional Council.

“It’s been great seeing the various parts of the ecosystem come together around the Challenge. We’re genuinely nervous but also super excited about the opportunity for people to be part of the next wave of Wellington energy, through crowdfunding”, said Lisa.

PledgeMe and crowdfunding
PledgeMe is New Zealand’s crowdfunding platform to create, collaborate and support the funding of creative projects. Details on how crowdufunding on PledgeMe works can be found at

About Enspiral
Enspiral is a virtual and physical network of companies and professionals working together to create a thriving society.

About Generation Zero
Generation Zero is an organisation of young New Zealanders working to cut carbon pollution through smarter transport, liveable cities and independence from fossil fuels.

Wellington City Council’s Smart Energy Capital Programme
The Smart Capital Programme provides funding for Council to support and co-fund a range of smart energy initiatives that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and create other benefits, such as health and economic development.


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