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Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is inviting Māori entrepreneurs

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is inviting Māori entrepreneurs and business start-ups to
register their interest for a new business accelerator programme.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has partnered with Callaghan Innovation, the government’s
business innovation agency, and industry leaders* in the Māori economy to deliver
the programme called Kōkiri.

Kōkiri, which is funded through Te Pūnaha Hiringa Māori Innovation Fund
administered by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, focuses on
globally-focused business ideas with high-growth potential.

The programme starts in early 2018 and is aimed at speeding up the process of
getting these business ideas into the market and investment-ready.

Leading business figures will mentor up to 10 successful Kōkiri applicants, who will
also receive education and networking opportunities before they pitch their idea to
prospective investors in a Dragons Den-type setting.

Kōkiri participants also receive financial assistance to enable them to focus solely on
their business idea during the programme.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa is hosting a Kōkiri roadshow through September and
October to answer any questions about this business accelerator.

Applications for Kōkiri open on October 2 and successful candidates will be
announced on December 1.

Aisha Ross, who is Director Innovation and Development for Te Wananga o
Aotearoa, says the partnership with government and industry to aid Māori
entrepreneurs and start-ups through accelerators to develop and advance their
businesses was a first.

“The industry figures we are engaging with on this programme have been selected
because of their experience in delivering successful and recognised business
accelerator programmes,” said Aisha.

“They also have a track record of successfully engaging with Māori participants.”
Aisha says the aims of Kōkiri aligned with TWoA’s mission of tauira success.

He says Te Wānanga o Aotearoa was the optimal provider for the programme
having already produced hundreds of small business graduates who had established
successful businesses.

* The Kōkiri partnership consists of Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, Callaghan Innovation,
Creative HQ, Crowe Horwath, Robett Hollis and Ernst & Young Tahi.

For more information please go to

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