DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge launches to seek out budding digital entrepreneurs

The second edition of the DIGMYIDEA Māori Innovation Challenge is underway with a call to all budding Māori digital entrepreneurs. 

DIGMYIDEA, which was first held in 2015, aims to inspire more Māori to engage in the digital economy by helping emerging Māori innovators turn their creative ideas into reality.

Individuals or teams of up to five people can enter DIGMYIDEA, with $10,000 worth of business start-up assistance going to the overall winning entries in two categories:

  • Mauri oho: youth category (15-25 year olds)
  • Mauri tū: open category (26 year olds and above)

Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Business, Innovation and Skills, Patrick McVeigh, says DIGMYIDEA entries must be exciting, innovative, digital and entrepreneurial. They can be anything from an app to a web programme, or even a digital extension of a more traditional business.

“Ideas should have the potential to create economic opportunities for Māori and other New Zealanders, as well as be considered for the export market,” he says.

“DIGMYIDEA aims to stimulate the interest and involvement of Māori within New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem, which is an important part of building the technology sector, and a unique point of difference both at home and on the world stage,” he says.

DIGMYIDEA 2015 winner Brittany Teei (Ngāi Tahu) from Auckland encourages people to be open-minded about entering the competition and to enjoy the experience.

“I didn’t know much about the tech sector when I entered by idea, Kids Coin; a digital literacy platform designed to teach kids about money in the classroom. DIGMYIDEA gave me the opportunity to build new networks and relationships with people in the industry,” she says.

Since launching two years ago, Kids Coin is now used in classrooms across Auckland and in the Cook Islands, and Brittany says they’ve even had interest in San Francisco.

“My advice to DIGMYIDEA entrants is to make sure you research your business idea thoroughly, learn as much as you can about your competitors, and have some fun,” Brittany Teei says.

DIGMYIDEA entries should be submitted through the website www.digmyidea.nz by 31 March 2017. Five finalists from each category will take part in a mentoring workshop known as DIGIwānanga on 13-14 of May.

The two overall DIGMYIDEA category winners will be announced at Techweek’17 on 14 May 2017.



  • DIGMYIDEA is designed and delivered by ATEED with support from He Kai Kei Aku Ringa (HKKAR); a Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership, Callaghan Innovation; the government’s business innovation agency; Te Wānanga o Aotearoa; a wānanga (an indigenous tertiary education provider) in New Zealand, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), the government’s international business development agency; and Poutama Trust; an independent charitable trust 
  • DIGMYIDEA is open to all Māori residing in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • The challenge can be entered by individuals, or as a team of up to five people. All entrants must reside in in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • Teams are required to enter the age category based on the age of the oldest team member at the time of the competition launch date (20.02.2017). Teams with non-Māori can participate as long as the team lead is of Māori descent and resides in Aotearoa/New Zealand.
  • ATEED is responsible for delivering the Whai Rawa – Māori economic wellbeing work stream of Auckland Council’s Te Toa Takitini initiative, which is a top-down approach to significantly lift Māori economic, social and cultural well-being across the region.
  • Entries will be judged by a panel of experts, with the top five entries for each age category announced on 24 April. Finalist entrants will take part in DIGIwānanga, a mentoring weekend of workshops in Auckland on 13-14 May.
  • Techweek’17 is a nationwide programme of events spanning next generation technology, designs and innovations.  DIGMYDIEA forms part of the Techweek’17 programme with the two overall category winners announced on 14 May.
  • For more details on Twechweek’17 visit www.techweek.co.nz.
  • A series of DIGMYIDEA animated videos have been developed. You can access this footage via the links below:

            Full animation video - youtu.be/ZUkzEiERwxQ
            Teaser 1 (Innovation) - youtu.be/3npHdfPZRmU
            Teaser 2 (Nurturing Ideas) - youtu.be/9jZcfyPu6H0
            Teaser 3 (Prizes) - youtu.be/DnORDq_WtAk

Published: 23 February 2017
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