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Impact Hub Launches “Open Challenge Accelerator”

Impact Hub opens enrollment for its Open Challenge Accelerator that focuses on Impact Enterprises who are “ready for growth” and “Safe Surfer” is the first participant to enter the cohort as the winner of the Open Challenge nomination campaign

Impact Hub calls for applications to its Open Challenge Accelerator, from today. The Accelerator is designed to assist impact enterprises to get ready for growth. Applications will close on the 11 April. The Open Challenge programme has space for 10 participating impact enterprises.

“The launch of this program is a great milestone for us with which we can really help our members to accelerate their impact and showcase some great examples of business that are making both a profit and an impact” says Paul Kerssens, Co-founder and Director of Impact Support & Innovation.

Simultaneously Impact Hub has announced the winners of their Open Challenge nomination campaign which ran for the last few months to identify high potential changemakers and generated 120+ nominations. First place goes to Rory Birkbeck from Safe Surfer, second place goes to Hana Tapiata from Āio Clothing and equal third place winners are Kelly Gyde from Brainy Picture People and Shalini Guleria from Science Box. The people's choice award went to Jasmine Teei from BlackFlax.

"This is great news for our social enterprise. Safe Surfer is entering a new phase of growth, and this will mean we get access to social impact experts with a global focus to help us continue achieving our mission of protecting innocence through innovation" says Rory Birkbeck founder of Safe Surfer about joining the Open Challenge Accelerator.

The Open Challenge Accelerator is an 8-month business acceleration program focusing on creating an innovation eco-system for Impact entrepreneurs. The first cohort will start with 10 impact start-ups that are ready to gear up for their growth phase. The program will guide the entrepreneurs through the essential elements of growing a business while accelerating their impact and taking care of their own well-being. Impact Hub’s international network will be leveraged by offering international expert mentoring and the potential of an international launchpad for two enterprises from the cohort. The program format is based on Impact Hub’s globally tested Investment Ready Programme. Previous participants in the programme attribute 40% of their success to their participation in the program.

The first cohort of the Open Challenge will be open for enterprises from the Waikato and Bay of Plenty that have a clear “dual-purpose ”, are already in trade and are committed to grow their business and accelerate their impact. By the end of the programme, the participating enterprises will have a clear roadmap for growth and will have the opportunity to pitch their growth plan to a selection of investors. A unique feature of this programme is that the participants will select the winner of the programme amongst themselves. Peer-2-peer collaboration is an important pillar of Impact Hub activity because we believe it will spark further innovation and learning among the participants.

To learn more about the Open Challenge Accelerator click here.

With over 100 locations around the world, Impact Hub is one one of the world’s largest networks focused on building entrepreneurial communities for impact at scale. Impact Hub was founded in New Zealand April 2019 and aims to leverage the global network to the benefit of the impact enterprise sector in New Zealand. The Open Challenge is one of their activities.

The Open Challenge Accelerator is supported by Trust Waikato, Waikato Farmers Trust, Bay Trust and TECT and is delivered by Impact Hub (Waikato) as part of the global Impact Hub network and in close cooperation with local and global partners and capacity builders. The program aligns well with the values of the supporting organizations and is an innovative way to amplify their impact.

Dennis Turton, CEO of Trust Waikato on the cooperation: “Trust Waikato has supported Impact Hub from the start and we are excited to see this program come together. We have a high interest in social enterprises and impact investment as options to broaden our positive impact, so it seems natural to support the Open Challenge Accelerator.

Wayne Werder, General Manager of TECT on the Open Challenge Accelerator: “We are excited to be supporting the Open Challenge Accelerator, an innovative programme that will help take some incredible impact enterprises to the next level. To solve the big problems in our region and the world, it is vital organisations aim to create maximum positive impact, not only for their customers and employees, but for the public at large and the environment. We’re looking forward to seeing the selected enterprises realise their untapped potential and grow their capacity through the programme, and the ripple on effects that will have in our region”

About Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale — home to the innovators, the dreamers and the entrepreneurs who are creating tangible solutions to the world’s most pressing issues. With 100+ communities of 17,000+ change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 55 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest communities and accelerators for positive change. We use the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a lens through which to view our impact in the world. We are a Dual-Purpose organisation, which means we are for Impact and Profit. The United Nations Office in Geneva acknowledges Impact Hub as a driver of community engagement, helping not only to foster but also to extend the efforts directed to tackle the SDGs via entrepreneurial and innovative solutions. Founded in New Zealand April 2019, we are based in the Waikato and operate on the North Island. Book a tour of Impact Hub Waikato and see for yourself.

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