28 Jun 2016
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Opportunity awaits for young Auckland entrepreneurs

By Sam Worthington

Aspiring young entrepreneurs based in Auckland now have the opportunity to turn their creative business ideas into a reality. 

The Tertiary Student Entrepreneurship Programme 2016 is aimed to support Auckland students, equipping them with the tools and added confidence to succeed. 

Auckland Tourism and Events and Economic Development (ATEED), on behalf of Auckland Council are behind the big launch. Under the programme, ATEED will provide financial support for 10 new entrepreneurial opportunities being run by Auckland tertiary institutes. 

The University of Auckland, Auckland UniServices Limited, Return On Science®, Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Media Design School and Unitec are all behind the scheme. 

A total of almost 240 students have already signed up for courses and more than 500 students will be actively involved in, or complete the courses by the end of this year. 

One of AUT's programmes, Co.Starters, is a world-leading programme. It's designed to provide potential entrepreneurs with the insights, relationships and skills needed to put their ideas into action. 

Martin Bell is AUT's director of Co.Starters, he affirms that without ATEED, none of this would be possible. 

“ATEED’s support has enabled us to offer the exceptional Co.Starters programme to our students. Twenty-seven people completed two Co.Starters cohorts earlier this year, with one participant going on to win Auckland’s Startup Weekend with an app that connects charities and volunteers, and another quitting her job so she can turn her idea into a business,” says Bell. 

At this stage, Co.starters is based solely in central Auckland, but Bell would like to spread the entrepreneurial love. 

“Our next move is to expand the AUT Co.starters programme to South Auckland," he says. 

This next stage will commence in August, and the main focus will be on helping aspiring Maori and Pacific Island entrepreneurs reach their goals. 

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