Spark your idea to life while the fire’s hot

Published: 26 April 2016
Filed under: Economic development, General news

People come up with ideas on how to do things better every day. The hard part comes from turning those ideas into a reality – and that’s where IDEAStarter comes in.

Young Auckland entrepreneurs (15-24 year olds) are being urged to enter IDEAStarter - a competition in its second year which backs young people to turn their business ideas into action.

Prizes include sessions with an expert business mentor and iPads. Entries are due by 2 May via

IDEAStarter 2015 winner Janet Akai, who came up with an idea for an app to teach children Pacific Island languages, describes the competition as an opportunity for young people to express themselves.

“My advice to young Aucklanders would be to have faith in yourself and give it a go. You never know what’s going to happen, you never know whose life you’re going to affect because of that one idea,” she says.

Patrick McVeigh, Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) General Manager Business, Innovation & Skills, says IDEAStarter enables young people to showcase the initial stages of their entrepreneurial thinking, and then with help, get their business idea off the ground.

“IDEAStarter is for creative, enthusiastic young people who are eager to learn and turn their ideas – no matter how big or small – into their own business”, he says.

Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Auckland software company Vend and co-founder of OMG Tech! (which helps kids access future technology) agrees, adding that developing business ideas is like being on a rollercoaster.

“You start with the euphoria that it has to be the best idea ever, then you start thinking about all the reasons why it wouldn’t work, but the most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who push through and come up with solutions,” he says.

For full details on IDEAStarter, or to submit an idea visit

IDEAStarter is sponsored by The Tindall Foundation and delivered by ATEED and Auckland Council’s Youth Connections.


  • IDEAStarter is one of a range of initiatives which are designed to achieve two major priorities for Auckland - to grow a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and enable talent.
  • Entries can be submitted by individuals or as part of a team
  • IDEAStarter is designed to complement the Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme, which is delivered for mainly year 12 and 13 students across Auckland by ATEED. In that programme, student teams build foundation skills for business by forming their own YES businesses at the start of the school year.
  • A short video interview with Janet Akai is available at
  • A short video interview with Vaughan Rowsell is available at