So here we go! Venture Centre is now officially on the next leg of its mission to digitally empower people all across Tauranga and the Western Bay of Plenty.

It all kicked off on May 11 2017 with the launch of the Digital Enablement Project (DEP) for Tauranga and Western Bay where there was standing room only at our gorgeous venue, Tauranga Art Gallery. Checkout the BOP Times article that covered the event.

Both Mayors Brownless and Webber, Deputy Mayor Clout and Tauranga MP and Minister for Economic Development, Simon Bridges attended (his only Techweek appearance).

The stars of the show, John van der Zwan, Lisa Buck, John Miller – got the project off to a great start #sharing in detail how they use technology to create and capture value for their outstanding Bay-based businesses. See who was there with in our photo album.

So what can the Digital Enablement Project do for you?

Venture Centre is joining-up the right tools & tech from our wealth of local experts, and digital service providers, with the young people, business owners & startup founders who are the social and economic engine of the Bay – the #sharingeconomy way.

Building your capability and supporting you to reach further, faster, starts now with face to face workshops, events, experiences backed up with… guess what? Yup – a bit of digital tech in the back-end to create the feedback loops, collect the stories and spread the knowledge.

So how do you get some digital empowerment for yourself right now? Get involved with the Digital Enablement Project programmes introduced below.


PoweringON for business owners

If you are a business owner – book into  ‘PoweringON’ business owners workshops here

While you are there go online to poweringon.nz and take the online assessment to get a short, personalised action plan emailed to you.

There is a lot more goodness to come including Google workshops from the GoogleNZ team in July, OfficeHours – free 1on1 with local experts (legal, accounting, sales & marketing), and the Transformer programme – for when you’re ready to invest in going ‘digital first’. (coming up last quarter)

Message us here  and don’t forget to tell us what your most interested in!


Make-A-Dent Ventures for young people

If you are one of the region's youngest citizens, or a keen to help develop a young member of your whanau, MADVentures, our stream of work for youth includes Codebrite and Mashup. We are currently promoting two events  and two programmes you need to know about right now:

Young Innovators Awards with Priority One

A local awards programme for students in  the Tauranga/Western Bay of Plenty. Intermediate school students in Yr 7-8 build 'Home Alone' style machine to complete the most simple of tasks; secondary school students in Yr 9-13 come up with an idea for an innovative product or service that make the world a better place.  Winning entries win a YiA Scholarship combining money-can’t-buy work experience and cash prizes. Entries close 4th July.

Brightsparks with ASB

Brightsparks, now in its 17th year helps young people chase their dreams and passions in the exciting tech industry with cash prizes up to $10,000 on offer. Entries close Wednesday September 27th.

Codeclub Aotearoa - matching tech volunteers with schools to deliver coding tutorials

CodingNZ - after school coding course for kids and teens


Instigator for Startup founders 

Venture Centre is bringing three new programmes for founders to the region for the first time. You will gain capability and connections to launch new businesses from local mentors, peers and national network of support. 

CO.Starters – focusing on starting local businesses, facilitated by local business people who are willing to give back and take small groups of people through the steps necessary to get started and share their experience. [Starting August]

Zero-point – for those of you that identify a business to business, Software as a service (SaaS) opportunity. It aims to help you build digital ideas into million-dollar a year businesses in 2 years. [Start date to be announced]

And finally – Lift – for those of you who have already validated a new idea which could scale to international markets, and need the support and networks to launch and scale it. [Starting August]

Email here if you’re keen to get on the waitlist for any of these


Big thanks to everyone that supported Venture Centre and its community of entrepreneurs to get here. Together we’ll make a difference through the Digital Enablament Project - DEP and its projects in development.

Awesome to have so much support on this, the start of local, collective action to help people navigate an often complex and increasingly digital future. 

The Venture Centre Team
Delivering the Digital Enablement Project (DEP) for the Tauranga and Western Bay of Plenty community.


This product has been added to your cart