Innovate Event to Find Taranaki’s Best Entrepreneurs and Innovative Businesses

Updated: May 4

Innovate Taranaki ( has been launched to find and fund the smartest ideas and most talented entrepreneurs in Taranaki. Innovate, New Zealand’s first mini-accelerator, was launched in 2011 in the Manawatū by The Factory—a team of experts that have been growing and funding companies since 2006.

The 10-week accelerator programme kicks off in Taranaki on 13 July, with applications open from today till Monday 27 June.

Innovate Taranaki’s genesis sits on top of a proven, decade-long framework that has seen more than 1796 entries, 80 businesses created and over $5 million dollars of investment into Innovate companies.

“Innovate’s proven playbook has further extended reach into regional New Zealand this year,” explains Nick Gain, Acting CEO of The Factory. “Validated in the Manawatū over the past ten years, and most recently in both Hawke’s Bay and Whanganui, Innovate has helped establish a pathway for entrepreneurs to work through their business models, connect into their local and our national mentor scene, and opens the door to investment, something every founder understands is crucial to their game.”

Taranaki’s Innovation HQ is partnering with The Factory to deliver Innovate in the region. Several other Taranaki businesses are also sponsoring the event.

“As a start-up incubator ourselves, Innovate is a perfect fit for Innovation HQ,” says Ross Patel, Innovation HQ business coach. “We help Taranaki businesses launch and grow, so Innovate is a wonderful opportunity for those who are slightly earlier in their business development to take an idea to the next level.”

“Innovate Taranaki is timed perfectly to compliment Venture Taranaki’s PowerUp (which concludes in June 2022) to continue the local enthusiasm around entrepreneurship,” adds Simon Singh, director of Innovation HQ and CEO of IT training academy Learner Me who are also sponsoring the event. “Innovate targets those who are slightly further down their business journey and are needing to start testing or gearing up for launch.”

“In many cases, it takes a village to raise a business,” says Stephen Hill, CEO of Opportuna CA (another of Innovate Taranaki’s sponsoring businesses). “We’re excited to see how the wisdom and passions of Taranaki’s business community can come together to give new initiatives a healthy kickstart and ultimately contribute to the thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem we have in this region. If you’ve got a solid business idea, if you need help to get to the next stage or you’ve got big, big plans that need many hands on deck and you’re looking towards big investment, then Innovate is definitely for you.”

Innovate Taranaki launched at the beginning of April 2022 and entries are rolling in. The entry process is quick and easy and gives anyone that has an idea an opportunity to turn that idea or side hustle into a full-fledged business. Each finalist will be teamed up with local Taranaki business mentors that will be by their side through the entire process.

The winner will receive $5000 cash, entry into The Factory’s accelerator programme run out of New Plymouth and the ability to receive investment from an active angel community in Taranaki and the Manawatū.

Key Dates:

· Applications close 5pm Monday 27 June

· Semi-Finalist Selected (Top 20) 29 June

· Semi-Finalist Pitch 6 July

· Finalist Announcement 8 July

· 10-Week Finalist Programme Begins Monday 13 July

· Finals Evening 6pm Wednesday 14 September

To enter or for more information, please contact:

Pallak M Singh

Event Director

Ross Patel

Programme Director