Young Auckland entrepreneurs have been recognised and rewarded winning iDEAStarter, a competition which encourages young people to turn their energy and ideas into action.

Almost 200 entries were received this year, a record number in the competition’s three year history.

iDEAStarter is sponsored by the Tindall Foundation and delivered by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). iDEAStarter winners for 2017 were:

  • Polynesian Art Workshop – Central Auckland (15 – 18 year old category) – a social enterprise which aims to sustain pacific cultures through holding art workshop sessions focusing on the performing arts, dance and visual arts for 5-14 year olds. 
  • Aspire – East Auckland (19-24 year old category) - a web-based digital community which supports high school students by providing an online portal to help with NCEA.

iDEAStarter judge and AUT Business School, Director of Executive Education Programmes and Business Relations, Sarah Trotman, describes the winning entries as impressive saying business plans were very well considered and rivalled those of established companies operating in the commercial world.

“We are seeing a real ‘step-change’ in the popularity and calibre of youth entrepreneurial competitions such as iDEAStarter. It is a credit to all those involved in the ecosystem who are working collaboratively to truly engage with young people and teach them such important skills.”

ATEED General Manager, Business, Innovation and Skills, Patrick McVeigh, commends all those who entered iDEAStarter and congratulates the winners.

“Polynesian Art Workshop and Aspire really went the extra mile, presenting with confidence and we look forward to watching these business ideas progress,” he says.

iDEAStarter winners each receive up to $10,000 in business start-up support, which includes:

  • A nine-week entrepreneur programme with CO.STARTERS@AUT
  • Shared workspace for three months at ColabNZ
  • $1000 scholarship from Massey University
  • Equity mentoring from PledgeMe
  • Marketing production Mentoring from ATEED
  • Accounting mentoring from Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand
  • Accounting software from Xero
  • A technology package.


Anika Forsman
Senior Communications Advisor
Contact Anika