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Creative culture in Auckland – the CUBE awards

Creative culture in Auckland – the CUBE awards

Four sustainable business ideas to develop Auckland’s arts and creative sector will each win $50,000 in start-up financing through the region’s prestigious ideas programme, the CUBE.

The awards will be presented by Prime Minister Helen Clark on Friday, June 18 in a ceremony at the Price Waterhouse foyer, following the nation-wide search for initiatives to push the boundaries of the region’s creative industries.

The CUBE is the first ideas programme of its kind in New Zealand to target the creative sector, encompassing a wide spectrum of art forms, from performance to website design.

The CUBE’s vision is to identify and develop ideas that will help the arts and creative sector in Auckland thrive. Entrants chose to submit ideas for either the Commercial or Not-for-profit categories, with two winners selected for each.

From a pool of over 450 entries from people throughout New Zealand, the CUBE’s panel of judges chose 16 final ideas, all of which have the potential to succeed.

CUBE spokesperson Dr Hinemoa Elder says the CUBE competition marks an exciting phase on Auckland’s creative landscape.

“So many people have come forward with refreshing, practical ideas that will be of great benefit to the wider Auckland region. The CUBE has attracted an impressive breadth of entrants since the competition opened in August and the 16 finalists truly represent some of the cream of creative talent New Zealand has to offer.”

In addition to receiving financial assistance, the four winning business teams will receive industry support through further mentoring and development. Auckland University’s business accelerator, the ICEHOUSE will be providing specialised mentoring and commercialisation service worth an estimated $50,000 each for the two Commercial winners.

The CUBE took its cue from both local and international business ideas programmes, reflecting a burgeoning global trend for developing the creative industries sector.

Dr Hinemoa Elder says the CUBE represents the time and commitment the greater Auckland region has to sustaining creativity.

“The CUBE is about discovering viable ideas and helping them to grow. The involvement of experts from so many diverse sectors through mentoring and judging shows how valuable this kind of programme is.”

The CUBE has been invested in organisations from various sectors. These include Creative New Zealand through the Regional Strengths Strategy, the Community Employment Group and Auckland, Waitakere, Manukau and North Shore City Councils. Auckland City acted as host agency. Commercialisation experience and mentoring will be supplied by Lion Rock Ventures Limited and The ICEHOUSE (a business accelerator founded by the University of Auckland Business School in partnership with eight leading New Zealand companies).

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