Budding entrepreneurs in Hawke's Bay have been told things are at a "critical juncture", if up and coming Hawke's Bay companies are to become truly global players.

After speaking to about 30 people at the launch of the Business Hawke's Bay's regional start-up strategy, Amos Palfreyman, the Israeli Embassy's economics and trade representative, said some people in the region still needed a bit of "nudging" as to why government or council funds should be put towards moves to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

"Some people are really supportive but at the other end some people are still quite doubting. That's not unique to Hawke's Bay bit it is encouraging that at least people from all along that spectrum are there to engage and join that conversation.

"One thing I would like to say is when you are building an ecosystem like this, it is a long-stage process, so you have to give a bit of time and space to the community to develop rather than look for immediate results.


"Money invested even into an ecosystem that doesn't produce tangible results immediately, doesn't mean that it hasn't contributed to the overall capability of that community to grow and move into the next stage."

Palfreyman said he was looking to pass on his experience of the Israeli start-up ecosystem, as well as his experiences in Berlin and Silicon Valley, which had shown the importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset and how that related to the establishment of a start-up strategy to unlock entrepreneurs in Hawke's Bay.

"I think people here are in the best place the have ever been to achieve this.

"There's obviously, already a number of quite bright entrepreneurs working in Hawke's Bay. They are well-set to combine what's already there with a new approach from some of the younger people they are returning from bigger cities."

Established industries were already in Hawke's Bay but things were at a "critical juncture".

Hawke's Bay needed to diversify into new industries and new sectors based around technological innovation rather than primary production, he said.

"It's about working together as a region to meet some of the government's expected growth around trade and exports, and obviously underneath that they have an opportunity to demonstrate to the government that they are serious about launching a new wave of entrepreneurs and export-orientated and globally-focused businesses in Hawke's Bay."

Business Hawke's Bay chief executive Carolyn Neville said the strategy's vision was to support a bold, inspirational and sustainable start-up community, create participation opportunities that are open and accessible to all and to help all start-ups and entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

"Business Hawke's Bay is facilitating the strategic regional start-up mapping and activity plan collaborating with local stakeholders to tailor an action plan that will propel more start-ups and entrepreneurs to 'start, grow and go global'.

"Start-ups lie at the heart of job creation, investment attraction and economic growth across the world's major economies, and have the potential for high impact in the Hawke's Bay regional economy."

To that end, Business Hawke's Bay had been allocated seed funding to facilitate the initial mapping of regional strengths, opportunities and needs.

"We have also made an application to the Provincial Growth Fund for an additional resource within BHB to build capability to support development of the start-up ecosystem in Hawke's Bay. Depending on the outcomes of our discovery process and action plan roll out, further applications to the PGF and other strategic partners will enable specific larger actions to be delivered in the region.

"We have the opportunity to develop a unique start-up ecosystem; one that celebrates diversity and innovation, prioritises social and environmental challenges and links to our Hawke's Bay regional strengths."