Topic: Technology

DigMyIdea calls out to Māori digital innovators

By Harata Brown

The digital arena continues to change the traditional business landscape both nationally and internationally and now it’s enticing Māori innovators.

A new contest "DigMyIdea" is calling out to entrepreneurs with great ideas to build digital businesses with export potential. The idea was sparked by Ngā Pū Wāea (The National Māori Broadband Working Group) in an effort to build Māori capacity in the digital environment.

Ngā Pū Wāea member Anthony Royal says, "What we want to do is make sure that Māori do not just become users. Māori are great creators and innovators, but we want them to become creators and innovators in the digital space as well."

DigMyIdea wants digital business concept submissions that have the potential to go global. Ideas can range from anything like an app, a web initiative, or ways to enhance or add digital elements to a more traditional enterprise. The event is run by The Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) alongside Ngā Pū Wāea and entries close on October 18. 

Charmaine Ngarimu, Manager of Communications and Media at ATEED says, "I suppose it's more about identifying what is out there, and who is out there. So you know you've got Ian Taylor, you've got Rhonda Kite, what next generation is out there and how can we help them."

Royal, who was previously a director of 2Degrees Mobile Ltd as well as The Web Initiatives Manager for the NZ Dairy Board (Fonterra) says finalists will have the opportunity to make their business concepts a reality.

"Maybe also something around like drone technology, or NFC (Near Field Communication) Technology or IOT, that's "Internet of Things'", sensors and farming. There are lots of different ways you can use technology to solve problems".  

Finalists will take part in 'DIGIwānanga', a weekend of workshops and mentoring from digital experts, is expected to take place in November. Winners will be announced sometime afterward.