The Venture Centre, headquartered at Tauranga's Basestation, delivered MashUp last weekend as part of its entrepreneurial eco-system development project targeted at youth.
"The aim of the event was to fill the pipeline of young entrepreneurs in the Bay and this weekend we've helped develop leaders of tomorrow," said co-organiser Dara Lynch.
Venture Centre co-founder Pascale Hyboud-Peron said young people just needed the right conditions, permission and support to make a difference.
"It's great asking young people to come up with ideas, but unless you give them the opportunity to learn by doing how to turn those ideas into an enterprise, work in teams and get alongside experienced business people, you are limiting their growth," she said.
MashUp brought together 15 business mentors from Tauranga and 10 crew and was supported by Bay of Plenty Regional Council and local sponsors Zespri, Sharpe Tudhope, First Principles Architects, Trustpower, Priority One and Basestation. The event began at 9am Saturday, and by 4.30pm Sunday 60 teenagers working in four person teams had developed sustainable business concepts to tackle 15 problems encountered in everyday life.
The teams came up with solutions to problems including reducing teenage fatalities from reckless driving; addressing council's lost revenue on bus services; and mitigating wastage and inefficiencies of operating school canteens.
"We are relying on the talent in this room to help us harness that technology, and attract the high-value technology companies which can benefit you, our region and our world," Bay of Plenty Regional councillor David Love told the young entrepreneurs.
There were team prizes for best validation, best revenue model, best execution and best team spirit. The winning team overall from Mount College took away a $1000 cash with POPapp, a solution developed for retailers and customers to solve the problem of lost or faded receipts and warranties. The idea will be among several that Venture Centre will seek ongoing support for.