Venture Centre established its entrepreneurial ecosystem-enabling organisation in Tauranga Moana, Moana-a-Toi (Bay of Plenty), Aotearoa in 2014.

The goal – deliver enterprising people equality of opportunity to start their entrepreneurial journey, and access the technologies, skills and support to speed their progress.

Along our journey we are proud to have launched two foundational place-based organisations which continue to support the ecosystem and its people in our local community;

Basestation was Venture Centre’s first product, a co-working space to reduce cost and simplify business logistics for entrepreneurs. It is still operating, now on three floors, with an event and maker space, and its own EV fleet.

In 2022 Stand Tall a Registered Charitable Trust was its second spinout product. Its trustees were bought together, its team was built, and it was funded and launched by Venture Centre to serve the specific needs of young entrepreneurs while they are still engaged in higher education.

Venture Centre is run by experts with a wide range of knowledge and experience, multiple contractors, volunteers, pro-bono contributors and many network partners. It helps people learn and grow, collaborate, share resources and help each other along the way. 

Venture Centre is a community-led organisation. It increases the resilience of the communities it serves by nurturing strengths-based groups. They form 'communities of opportunity’ who participate in learn-by-doing events, activities, experiences, and share their skills and talents.

They work on projects, start ventures, doing work that’s worth it to increase prosperity, diversity and democracy by; including more people in the economy, distributing resources, decentralising governance and providing pathways along which more people can travel to innovate together. 

Often they tackle intractable problems leading to novel, generative ventures and infrastructures. They bring about new realities to serve whanau and whenua today, for the betterment of generations coming tomorrow.


Driven by creativity

To tell the story of Venture Centre and its purpose in a single visual metaphor, it was natural for us to reach out to our local creative Bay of Plenty community. Kalou Koefoed has been part of the Venture Centre story since its launch. In May 2014, she helped organise our launch event at Tauranga Art Gallery – Toi Tauranga. We are grateful she accepted the commission and lent us her image of Tauranga City's own railway bridge for our home page. It is this bridge which connected a very small, rural, beachside town to what has since become the biggest port in Aotearoa. An apt symbol of journeying entrepreneurially into the future.

Kalou regularly exhibits her work at The Incubator creative hub. To get Kalou to help you tell your story, reach out to her here: https://rollingaskalou.com/

From the beginning

Professor Shaun Hendy, New Zealand’s leading complexity and data scientist, was the keynote speaker at our launch event.

Shaun delivered the prologue to Venture Centre’s story. He communicated how complex, diverse networks of people connected on-purpose co-create intellectual property, products and services, serving new markets, creating progress and prosperity in partnership. He articulated clearly the core hypothesis around which Venture Centre’s story has unfolded. Watch Professor Hendy’s presentation below.

Both Kalou and Shaun were critical to starting Venture Centre according to the intention of its founders. The generation of the community-led, entrepreneurial ecosystem now in place here in Tauranga Moana owes a debt to these and many other generous contributors over the years for helping it start-right, get going and keep on track.


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