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Interest in the programmes and services, run by Startup Dunedin, has grown steadily over the past few years, so much so that demand was now beginning to outstrip supply, Startup Dunedin said.
The organisation will no longer have a once-a-year "Challenger" programme where three winners are selected to complete the programme and gain access to a network of experts as well as credit at Deloitte, Galloway Cook Allan, plus cash from Startup Dunedin.
Instead the challenger programme will be known as The Distiller Incubator and offer more targeted prizes and support for 20 business ideas.
"Now that our programme has matured and we’ve proven the quality of companies coming from Dunedin, the rest of the country has taken notice" Startup Dunedin chairwoman Sarah Ramsay said.
The organisation had two contingents from Callaghan Innovation and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment visit in 2019 to see the programme in
Following this, those government entities decided to extend and increase funding towards Startup Dunedin for the 2020-21 financial year.
"In addition to funding we look forward to greater involvement from both Callaghan and Creative HQ through the provision of access to mentors and investors from across their network," Ms Ramsay said.
Programme sponsors Deloitte and Gallaway Cook Allan have extended their commitment and increased their prize contribution with Firebrand coming on board as a new sponsor, bringing the total prize pool to $100,000.
Startup Dunedin has also recently appointed Gallaway Cook Allan senior solicitor Wade Pearson, Petridish co-founder Jason Lindsey and Otago Polytechnic director of marketing Leanne Ross to its board.