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Young would-be Auckland entrepreneurs now have the chance to find out if they really do have the next big business idea thanks to IdeaStarter – a new competition which backs young people to turn their energy and ideas into opportunities.

IdeaStarter is open to all Aucklanders aged 15-24 who have a great business idea for a new product or service, and is designed to include young people who are not in formal education programmes or employed.

They can enter individually or as a team, and entries close on 15 May. There will be Idea Generator sessions to help people crystalise and progress their ideas before they enter.

IdeaStarter is part of Youth Connections, supporting youth employment and enterprise in Auckland, which is primarily funded by The Tindall Foundation and Auckland Council.

The Tindall Foundation Co-founder Sir Stephen Tindall says: “Many young Aucklanders with incredible business ideas are just waiting for the chance to express and explore them.

“I’m looking forward to seeing what ideas for new products and services come up during the competition, and seeing young entreprenuers start their journey to turn their dreams into reality,” says Sir Stephen.

The competition judges will award prize packs – including a tablet and sessions with an expert business mentor – to 15 entries they think have the potential to be the next big thing.

Patrick McVeigh, ATEED General Manager Economic Growth, says Auckland’s goal is to become an innovation hub of the Asia-Pacific region: “IdeaStarter is one of a range of new initiatives which are designed to achieve two major priorities for Auckland – to grow a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and enable talent.

“The key is to provide opportunities for young people to succeed and innovate, and IdeaStarter will do that.”

The IdeaStarter winners will be announced at a showcase event on 28 May. They will get to take part in the IdeaStarter Summit to build connections with potential business partners, and grow their entrepreneurial skills.

Council’s Youth Connections team leads a range of initiatives to promote youth employment. Auckland Council’s Manager, Community Development & Safety Leora Hirsh, says the competition is also designed to help entrants develop the skills they need to secure jobs.

“To succeed in the competition, young entrepreneurs will need to be creative, enthusiastic and determined. They will have a chance to build connections and absorb advice from experts. Those are all attributes every young person needs in the modern world, whether they are a job seeker or starting a business.”

For full details on IdeaStarter and the entry criteria, go to