Energy is at the cornerstone of Mark Unwin’s latest business venture, and it’s something the Devonport resident has in spades. The former co-owner and founder of Viaduct, the eftpos terminal provider, has finished cleaning the house and garden and now has his sights set on cornering the solar energy market with the forthcoming launch of iGenerate. Mark has recently taken up residence at Level One, providing him with the perfect opportunity to sit alongside businesses in a similar space, including Pure Advantage.
With power poverty an issue for many New Zealanders, Mark is focused on reducing the cost of monthly energy bills by making solar power more accessible for homeowners, and at the same time enhancing our clean, green image. More than two thirds of New Zealand’s electricity currently comes from renewable sources — including solar — with the Government’s energy policy aiming to up this figure to 90% in less than 10 years.
Due to the massive drop in solar power prices, solar power systems are now a more viable option and Mark is looking at covering a range of angles with iGenerate, including provision of finance packages and home storage of power. Ultimately, he’d like to see higher feed-in tariffs for solar power systems, but first he has the simple matter of a business to launch. Watch this space for more news!
Potter IP handily located both its Auckland offices within spitting distance of each side of the Devonport ferry crossing, and employees have been known to make mercy dashes across the water to retrieve forgotten laptop cables and other essentials. They’re the latest company to take up residence here at Level One HQ with two of the founders — Devonport residents Alan Potter and Narly Kalupahana — opting to spend part of their working week on home turf. Potter IP has a passion for start-ups and a penchant for regaling clients with an armoury of IP war stories. They work at the intersection of intellectual property and business, from sorting out your IP architecture (the shape of your IP), through to IP registration and day to day management. Blue chip clients include Fonterra, ASB, Mediaworks and a mix of other corporates. They also host IP training and strategy workshops, and advise on trade mark/patent applications and filings. Google Adwords IP is a particular specialty.
The culture of the two-year-old company combines flexibility and transparency with sharp thinking: They’ve invested heavily in tech to ensure staff are both self-sufficient and personally accountable. Hot-desking, paper-less offices, a resident dog and whiteboard-painted walls are the norm. Stop by for a chat!
A local jewellery designer has just taken up residence in Wanaka’s old police cells, but there’s nothing sinister about its activity. In fact, it’s one of the region’s biggest success stories. The Cell — housed in the former police station in central Wanaka – is home to a range of start-up entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals who work collaboratively but independently in this hotbed of co-working and networking. The roll call of 20 or so tenants features filmmakers, drone pilots, web architects, chair designers, IP lawyers, mentors, graphic designers and software developers to name but a few — the melting pot of diverse and creative talents is one of The Cell’s major drawcards. And it’s sure hard to beat those lakeside views…
As well as informal presentations by tenants and like-minded residents, The Cell also hosts the nine-week Co.Starters business development programme which is designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools to turn their business ideas into reality. The Cell’s Liz Hills says it’s been a huge success and they’re already into their third round; soon to boast nearly 30 graduates. “The diverse range of small business owners and innovators who utilise The Cell are benefiting from our range of programs, services and events”, she says. “We’re definitely seeing more entrepreneurial success stories emerge in our region, and a large part of that is due to the environment we provide them.”
“Legend” was just one of the many glowing accolades given business studies teacher Emma Johnson at the recent Product Launch for the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) at Takapuna Grammar School (TGS). Emma has run YES at TGS with the unbridled passion, enthusiasm and dedication of a start-up entrepreneur, and her students clearly love her for it.
In return, the students have enjoyed their “best year ever” with an extremely strong showing among North Shore contenders at this year’s Sanitarium Young Enterprise Scheme Auckland Regional Dragon’s Den competition.
Products and services created by entrepreneurial students at TGS this year include the following:
- Trident Weather App, which provides weather updates for fishermen, surfers and other marine users and has already had nearly 400 downloads since its launch around three weeks ago
- Half-Baked, which provides dry cookie mixes with gluten-free and dairy options, as well as a sweet collaboration with the Remarkable Chocolate Company (and which exhibited at the recent Auckland Food Show)
- Burgundy’s, which creates wine bottle holders and cheese boards from recycled wine barrels
- Cupcake Cravings, which provides bespoke cupcake options with a range of toppings and decorations