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The 2019 Innovate final was a terrific evening where eight entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas to a panel of experienced judges and a live audience, following an intensive 12-week journey at The Factory.

The Central Economic Development Agency (CEDA) is proud to sponsor the annual event, which this year received over 75 entries from Manawatū and the rest of New Zealand. Kicking off in July 2019, this entry pool is reduced to the Innovate top-eight and matched with mentors who together complete a 12-week market validation programme. At the conclusion of the 12 weeks most entrants have a substantial business model and even have paying customers.

CEDA would like to congratulate Mark Anderson, who took out the grand prize for Innovate 2019. Army medic Mark’s winning product UrsaMemedic is a simulated bleeding device, capable of creating life-like trauma in a real-life training environment. CEDA works closely with The Factory team, and this year’s Innovate winner was mentored by CEDA’s Business Growth Advisor, Research and Development, Peter Ellingham alongside fellow mentors Terry Southern; Beta Solutions and Rob Whitfield; Whitfield Design.

Mark Anderson Innovate Winner 2019

Mark Anderson, Innovate 2019 Winner

Peter says, “Building a strong team with complementary skills played a key role in Mark’s success and it was an exciting and rewarding experience to be a part of.

“Mark’s innovation has real global potential and has already attracted attention from a leading multinational corporation.”

This is the second year in a row a member of the CEDA team has mentored the winner of Innovate, with last year’s winner Chris Muller also supported by CEDA. Three of the eight Innovate 2019 finalists this year have engaged with CEDA’s business team.

Championing innovation, fresh ideas and new business ventures is a priority for CEDA. We are an enabler, partner and supporter of several programmes focused on nurturing personal and business growth so supporting Innovate is a key lever in helping to build an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

This year also saw two new prizes awarded, UCOL’s Rising Star Award, won by Grace Mainwaring and the Tech Tour prize, won by Neil Viviers who also won the Collective Intelligence prize on the night which brings with it a unique three-year scholarship.

Innovate’s Programme Director, Dave Craig, was also a winner on the night, presented by the Mayor with the inaugural Manawatū Innovation Ambassador award. This is a new award that recognises people who have made outstanding contributions to the innovation community. Dave was awarded the ambassadorship for his work with entrepreneurs and businesses through the Innovate programme over the last eight years.

The Factory’s Start-up Manager and investment coordinator, Nick Gain said, “Dave embodies the innovation spirit by encouraging hundreds of entrepreneurs and young innovators, as well as helping nurture over 60 businesses.”

This is the eighth year The Factory has run the Innovate competition and to date, has attracted 1,500 entries and has helped establish over 60 businesses. The programme, initially for Manawatū, has expanded to include the lower half of the North Island. In eight years, it has become the premier ideas accelerator in New Zealand.

Congratulations to all finalists – we look forward to seeing where this programme leads you.

For more information:
[email protected]
06 350 1830

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