We've joined forces with the Asia New Zealand Foundation to run Accelerate Southeast Asia - a programme designed to ensure that emerging Kiwi entrepreneurs have an opportunity to visit and engage with Southeast Asia.

Together we will work with New Zealand accelerator programmes to take entrepreneurs on targeted visits to Southeast Asia.

The purpose of Accelerate Southeast Asia is to:

  • Grow awareness of the business and entrepreneurial opportunities in Southeast Asia for the next generation of Kiwi emerging and startup entrepreneurs,
  • Deepen connections and build meaningful relationships that contribute to future business and entrepreneurial connections between New Zealand and Southeast Asia, and
  • Grow the confidence of the next generation of Kiwi emerging and startup entrepreneurs so that they can thrive in their future with Asia.

Accelerate Vietnam 2018

In the first initiative of the programme, we worked with Kōkiri, a business accelerator for Māori entrepreneurs, to send five Māori entrepreneurs to Ho Chi Minh City and Danang in November and December 2018.

They built networks in Vietnam’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and gained an understanding of the business culture and environment. In Danang, the group attended the Techfest conference, with around 5,000 other attendees.

The participating entrepreneurs were:

  • Damaris Coulter (Ngāti Kahu), CEO & founder, The Realness (a tool for finding owner-operated restaurants), Auckland
  • Adele Hauwai (Ngāti Kahungungu, Tūhoe, Tainui), CEO & founder of SeeCom (a digital interactive sign language game), Hamilton
  • Denym Harawira (Ngāti Awa, Ngāi Te Rangi, Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou), CIO, Arataki Cultural Trails (a proximity-based app to show sites of cultural significance) Tauranga
  • Nikora Ngaropo (Te Rarawa, Tūhoe, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Kahungunu), director and founder of NNMD and Young Animators (a Māori-led design & animation tech company), Hamilton
  • Kawana Wallace (Ngāti Uenuku, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Rangi), CEO and founder, myReo Studios (bilingual digital education games), Huntly

Read more about the Vietnam visit in the Asia New Zealand Foundation press release 31 October: "Māori tech entrepreneurs to explore opportunities in Vietnam"

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