Innovate Event Unveils Taranaki’s Top 6 New Business Ideas

Six budding Taranaki entrepreneurs have been selected to enter the 10-week Innovate mini-accelerator programme—all vying to win a $5000 cash prize and opportunities to present their ideas to angel investors.

The business ideas entered in the competition ranged from apps for decluttering wallets to educational video games and from neurological rehab to vehicle washing. The six finalists are as follows:

· Brendan Gammeter - VetCorrect,

· Daniel Reeve - Interactive history game 

· Darius Thorn - RC arena game 

· Malcom Gomes - Access Control 

· Renee Manella - Neurological rehab app 

· Warren Willetts - WashAway 

These finalists were chosen from a field of 11 previously selected semi-finalists. At the semi-finals event, 11 entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of selectors made up of notable Taranaki businesspeople.

“The variety of ideas was impressive, and it was great to see physical prototypes,” says Ross Patel of Innovation HQ—who are partnering with event founders The Factory (Manawatū) to deliver Innovate in Taranaki. “Everyone enjoyed the pitch evening, and it was nice to see the applicants support and applaud each other.”

“The Factory have done a fantastic job in creating a programme that, right from the registration process through to the Shark Tank-like pitch event, gets entrants asking the right questions and talking to the right people in the Taranaki business community,” explains Natasha Zimmerman who was representing both Learner Me and Taranaki Iwi on the night.

The 10-week accelerator programme pairs a budding entrepreneur with a business mentor and together they attempt to test and validate their business ideas, refine unique value propositions, understand target markets, and establish a business launch strategy that might attract further investment.

The finals evening is a ticketed event open to the public 6pm Wednesday 14 September 2022 at the Novotel, New Plymouth, and will feature Taranaki success story Morgan Maw as keynote (founder of Boring Oat Milk) and MC Moose (well-known Taranaki personality and DJ).

The winner will receive $5,000 in start-up cash to support their idea, as well as the opportunity to pitch to the wider New Zealand angel scene.

About Innovate Taranaki

Innovate Taranaki ( aims to find and fund the smartest ideas and most talented entrepreneurs in the region. 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 event is delivered in Taranaki by Innovation HQ with the help of several local sponsoring businesses.

Innovate Taranaki business mentors:

· BNZ – Peter Hilliam and Andy Potter

· Datacom – David Benson

· Taranaki Iwi – Mark Wipatene

· The Factory – Nick Gain and Scott Haumaha

· Innovation HQ – Suman and Sachin Modgill, Stephen Hill, Simon Singh

See for tickets and further details.

Sponsors & key support partners of the Innovate and Innovate Taranaki include:


· Innovation HQ

· Taranaki iwi

· Mediaworks

· Learner Me

· Proformac Technologies

· Opportuna CA

· Branding HQ

· Vortex International

· Shining Peak Breweries

· App HQ

· Stephanie Murray Mortgages

· Learn HQ

· Wellness HQ

· The Factory

· The Chamber of Commerce

· Venture Taranaki