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Strategic Alliance to Help NZ Enterprise Grow


Wellington’s start-up base Creative HQ and social enterprise supporters Ākina Foundation are excited to announce a strategic alliance to help New Zealand enterprise grow.

Creative HQ’s Chief Executive Stefan Korn said the pair were professional organisations coming together to collaborate – to do things smarter.

“We both seek to deliver positive impact for New Zealand but do so through distinct missions. Ākina is focused on scaling social impact through social enterprise and Creative HQ on high growth innovation through commercial enterprise,” says Korn.

“Bringing our organisations closer together, including our Wellington teams in the same physical location on Dixon Street, means we create opportunities for collaboration and improved efficiency,” he added.

Ākina Chief Executive Alex Hannant agreed, stating: “In addition to sharing space, we will be able to share our networks and advance our practice, knowledge and skills. We are both about driving innovation, supporting entrepreneurship and building ventures – we can strengthen our services and improve our effectiveness by working with each other.”

As organisations that receive Government support, Korn and Hannant say the alliance means avoiding potential wasted duplication and ensuring top value for money – plus delivering more opportunity for their corporate partners and investor networks too.

“This alliance is about us walking the talk of collaboration and leadership and being relevant to the challenges and opportunities in front of us. It’s about disrupting silos and blending the worlds of social change and business growth for a stronger entreprenuerial ecosystem,” says Hannant.

The partnership will focus on shared use of facilities and core services, boosting capacity by sharing practice and expertise, improving service delivery through mutual support on existing programmes, and exploring new opportunities to collaborate and innovate.

No changes to either organisation’s names, respective boards or missions is proposed.

Creative HQ is a unit of the recently formed Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), and supported by Callaghan Innovation.

The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency has been formed to combine and amplify the activities of Grow Wellington, Positively Wellington Tourism, Positively Wellington Venues, Creative HQ and the Major Events unit of Wellington City Council. The plan for integrating the team into one unit is currently under development.


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