Learning And Evolving In Community

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Emelie Verseput

Our entrepreneur in the spotlight this month is Emelie Verseput, Venture Centre’s Entrepreneurship Support Project Lead. An invaluable member of our team and community, Emelie harnesses the benefits of being part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

During her three years at Venture Centre, we’ve watched Emelie say yes to learning and growing while helping fellow entrepreneurs in the Bay make their way.

Now, Emelie has an exciting new opportunity on the horizon as the new Community Manager for Phase One Ventures, Startup Investors working to make New Zealand a happier place. 

“First and foremost Phase One Ventures is a community for startups to come together, get support, and grow together as a whole. My role will be coordinating relationship-building and helping people connect on a deeper level through the channels we create.”

Emelie’s evolution as an entrepreneur began when she first crossed paths with Venture Centre. 

“Before I started working with Venture Centre, entrepreneurship was very new. My first touchpoint with Venture Centre was attending different workshops during my first year of uni. My curiosity evolved further when I participated in Startup Weekend Tauranga.”

Emelie worked with Cucumber and Priority One during her second year of university. This involved helping organise Groundswell Festival and because Startup Weekend was one of the events, Emelie joined the organiser team.

“I slipped into my role at Venture Centre naturally because I loved the space and how everything had a purpose and a deeper meaning. Venture Centre isn’t set up for economical gain, but for the community, helping people build on their dreams. I wanted to be part of its growth.”

Joining the team as Social Media Coordinator, Emelie created a new voice for Venture Centre’s digital presence. She learned more about successful event logistics and became interested in Youth Entrepreneurship leading to her role as Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Regional Coordinator.

“I’ve learnt so much by being in different rooms with different people. I’ve loved throwing myself into the deep end and saying yes to all opportunities even if I wasn’t very comfortable doing it.“

Being part of supporting others in their navigation of the entrepreneurial ecosystem has equipped Emelie with the tools to find her way too.

Emelie has also made many connections during her time at Venture Centre including Taiki Ē Impact House in Gisborne, Young Enterprise Trust and Startup Taranaki.

“I’m very grateful to work with people who have great ideas but have never thought about going into business before. Opening their eyes to what they can be and achieve is so rewarding.”

A big part of Emelie’s growth has been understanding what impact actually means to her in the work of social enterprises. 

“You don’t have to start a business from an economical perspective. You can focus on solving problems within your local community and go on to solve global problems.”

Her new season at Phase One Ventures will be a whole new world of learning, working with those in the investment stage.

“I want to learn every single step of the entrepreneurial journey. Hopefully, this will give me a better overall insight into what New Zealand startups actually need. I want to figure out how we can nurture the ones that really want to make moves.”

We have no doubts that Emelie will be of great value to the startups in her community. As an important member of our local ecosystem we’re excited to see her continued evolution and the impact she will have.


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