Rebrand aims to attract young entrepreneurs

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Dave Lathan, chairman of Rocket!, to be renamed LINKT.
Dave Lathan, chairman of Rocket!, to be renamed LINKT.

Tauranga's Rocket! Young Professionals networking group is planning to change its name to LINKT - Tauranga Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs - as part of a rebrand to attract a wider range of young business people.

Rocket! chairman Dave Lathan, an accountant with Tauranga firm Anthony Harris, said the group was in the process of working through a major rebrand.

"We have found that the 'young professionals' part of the name can alienate younger entrepreneurs who tend to think the group is just aimed at accountants, lawyers and engineers," said Mr Lathan.

"The goal of the rebranding is to attract more young entrepreneurs," he said.

The move follows a decision a year ago to merge two separate entities into the current organisation. Rocket!, which operated under the umbrella of the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce, and Priority One's Young Professionals, agreed to pool their memberships and resources into Rocket! Young Professionals.

Rocket! had been focused on networking and professional development, while the Priority One group had a more political focus on getting younger people engaged with local politicians on issues relevant to helping the city and the region develop. The merged group is still supported by the chamber and Priority One.

The aim of last year's merger was to avoid duplication of resources and streamline the membership, which in some cases had overlapped.

The group has 1000 plus people in their 20s and 30s on its database. Its major event is the Rocket! Ball and Awards, but the group also holds another eight or nine events throughout the year. Rocket! makes awards in three categories - for Young Business Owner, Young Employee, and Young Innovator of the year. It plans to add a fourth award this year for Social and Environmental Employer of the year.

Mr Lathan said the idea of the rebrand was sparked by a Linkedin post by chamber chief executive Stan Gregec, who asked whether it was time for Rocket! to re-examine its brand.

Mr Gregec - who took up his role a year ago - said he was relatively new to the area.

"I suppose that gave me the perspective that there was an opportunity for them to talk about freshening up their brand."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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