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10 Māori Innovators to Attend Start-up Business Accelerator

Ten Māori Innovators Named to Attend Start-up Māori Business Accelerator

Ten aspiring Māori innovators selected to attend Kōkiri, a new start-up accelerator explicitly focused on accelerating the development and growth of Māori entrepreneurs, will be announced at Spark City in Auckland at 4:30 pm tomorrow (Dec 7).

Kōkiri is a business accelerator programme headed by Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, the country’s second largest tertiary provider, which aims to become a leader in providing core support services to Māori entrepreneurs and start-up businesses with a global focus and high-growth potential. Kōkiri is co-funded by Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment through Te Pūnaha Hiringa, the Māori Innovation Fund.

Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Chief Executive Officer Dr Jim Mather says limited Māori engagement and participation in existing accelerator programmes highlighted a gap in support for Māori starting businesses.

To increase Māori participation, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has partnered with a select consortium of industry leaders.

This group includes Creative HQ (Stefan Korn – CEO); ColabNZ (Robett Hollis – Founder); Crowe Horwath (Heta Hudson – Partner); and Ernst & Young (Selwyn Hayes – Managing Partner of EY Tahi).

“We are committed to our inaugural cohort of the Kōkiri programme to improve their business capability and accelerate their products and services into market, and preparing them for investment over the four-month programme to succeed on the local, national and international stage,” says Dr Mather.

The ten successful Māori founders who will enter the inaugural Kōkiri accelerator programme in February 2018 will be attending the launch.

Callaghan Innovation CEO Vic Crone says that the Māori economy is increasingly embracing high-tech innovation.

“We were delighted to see more than 100 applications for Kōkiri from throughout New Zealand, covering a wide range of technologies and business sectors. That shows what a hotbed of innovation the Māori economy is.

“Māori businesses are an important part of New Zealand’s economy and innovation is key to their future success. Callaghan Innovation is dedicated to helping these businesses to thrive.”


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