Lightning Lab and Young Enterprise Trust create Venture Up

Lightning Lab and Young Enterprise Trust today announced that they have teamed up to run Venture Up, a new startup business accelerator programme for Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) graduates and alumni.

The six-week programme will take place from 12 January to 20 February 2015 in Wellington, and is designed to leapfrog a selection of Young Enterprise ventures and teams from graduating to high growth prospects.

A high-octane full time residential programme, Venture Up will focus on developing knowledge and experience of what’s required to build a startup team and accelerate a startup business – entrepreneurial learning, business mentoring, pitch coaching and more. A showcase event in February will see teams present their businesses’ potential and needs to attract support, mentorship and funding from the entrepreneurial, investment and business communities.

Venture Up does not charge applicants an entrance fee, but they are required to pay for their own food, transport, and accommodation for the duration of the 6 week programme. The programme will also not be taking equity in startups that pass through it.

Only those who have been involved with YES can apply to Venture Up, says Brittany Hodill, PR and Communications Manager for Creative HQ. Teams are encouraged to apply, she adds, and there is space available for 10 teams of 2-4 people.

“We are looking for business teams,” Brittany says, “but great teams are made up of great individuals! So if anyone is a sole founder or entrepreneur and wants to get involved they should register their interest here.

The Young Enterprise Trust works alongside hundreds of schools throughout New Zealand, inspiring, educating and transforming students through enterprise experiences. This programme aims to further support and develop YES graduates who show outstanding entrepreneurial talent and promise in their ventures.

“We have more than 2,500 students taking part in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme each year,” says Young Enterprise CEO Terry Shubkin. “They create approximately 600 new products and services each year, and many of these students would love to take the next step in their entrepreneurial journey. Venture Up gives them a unique opportunity to do just that.”

The structure of the programme is based on New Zealand’s leading accelerator programme, Lightning Lab, which was founded by startup incubator Creative HQ and has generated $5 million in investment for participating companies in two years.

“Young Enterprise has amazing young entrepreneurial talent right across New Zealand. We want to apply the success and experiential learning from Lightning Lab to hone these students’ skillsets, immerse them in an innovation environment, and provide them with tools to be the next wave of outstanding innovators and entrepreneurs,” says Creative HQ CEO Stefan Korn.

Sponsored by Wellington City Council, Venture Up’s application period will open in September.

“This is an exciting opportunity to bring talented youth to the Capital to connect with entrepreneurs and develop the next generation of innovative enterprises. Wellington is the home of the Forbes magazine’s top-ranked innovative company, Xero,” said Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

You can register your interest at the Venture Up website.

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