Ideas people, entrepreneurs, innovators and problem-solvers will come together for a weekend in November, in an event planned to help stimulate Taranaki's post-Covid economy.
Startup Weekend Taranaki is designed for entrepreneurs who want feedback on an idea, a co-founder, funders, or other support.
The event has been running for the past four years, but this is the first time it will take place in the southern part of the region.
The event is run by Startup Taranaki, a group of volunteers, and event organiser Katherine Blaney says the team is pleased to be taking the event south to Hāwera.
"We look forward to contributing to the cool things going on and bringing a new event to the town."
The event runs for 54 hours, starting on Friday when individuals pitch an idea. People then put themselves in teams based on the idea they like most.
Startup Taranaki co-founder Graham Nelson says the Friday is all about finding like-minded people who can carry the idea forward.
"It's a common misconception that you need a certain skill set to attend, which is not the case. Every person is different and brings their own life experience, which makes everyone a valuable member of a team. Diversity is your strongest asset during the weekend. Whoever you are, you bring something new, which is important. "
The teams work to progress the idea into a potential business throughout the weekend with the help of business leaders and mentors.
They build a product, find customers and work on finances. Resources and support are available to help teams quickly form, validate and build their business ideas, Graham says.
"The mentors are diverse and have all sorts of experience. We make an effort to ensure there is a range of skills and input. Participants will work with different mentors throughout the weekend."
On the Sunday evening, the team has five minutes to pitch its final and polished idea to a panel of judges.
Graham says the weekend is a safe space to learn something new.
"We make sure everyone feels comfortable during the event. It's a safe, supportive environment to try something new. It's all about education and learning something different."
Katherine says the weekend will run during Covid-19 alert levels 1 and 2.
"We will be following the best public health advice around event hosting and will take every measure to run a safe and comfortable event at these levels. If alert levels move to level 3 or above we will cancel the event and offer full refunds."
South Taranaki mayor Phil Nixon says the event is great for individuals, the Taranaki region as a whole, and for South Taranaki itself.
"We're always looking at doing things to boost businesses in South Taranaki. It's exciting to see what will come out of this weekend. It's great to bring in successful businesses that will collaborate with people and bring in new ideas. It's about local people creating something new, and exciting opportunities. "
Enterprise general manager at Venture Taranaki Michelle Jordan says enabling entrepreneurship is important for the future of Taranaki's economy as it will help weather the impacts of Covid-19.
"By enabling startups, it makes Taranaki a better place for everyone to work and play. We want to recover proactively from the impacts of Covid. The opportunity to participate in the weekend is not to be missed."
■ The event runs from November 13-15. To register interest for the event, visit startuptaranaki.nz. Once tickets are on sale, those who register will be notified.