A new series of PowerUp Masterclasses, unveiled by Te Puna Umanga Venture Taranaki is proving to be a popular initiative for budding Taranaki entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to supercharge their capabilities.

As part of the Regional Development Agency’s flagship PowerUp programme, these half-day Masterclasses offer an interactive classroom for participants to enhance their knowledge and gain practical skills that can be applied to their enterprises.

Led by industry experts, the PowerUp Masterclasses cover an array of topics relevant to today’s dynamic business landscape, from raising capital for growth to the intricate world of artificial intelligence.

“It’s clear there is a strong appetite among our local entrepreneurs to build their knowledge, with the first two PowerUp Masterclasses in our four-part series being sell-out events,” says Natacha Dunn, Enterprise Programme Lead at Venture Taranaki.

Venture Taranaki
Jamie Moore and Jeremy Suisted, Mosaic Partners.

The latest Masterclass ‘Understanding and Applying AI for Business’ proved so popular that it prompted Venture Taranaki to put on a second afternoon session to meet demand.

Led by the talented team at Mosaic Partners, Jeremy Suisted and Jamie Moore, this Masterclass delved into the world of artificial intelligence, equipping participants with the skills to effectively prompt AI tools to save time, generate new possibilities, and stay at the forefront of new technologies.

Andrea Leadbetter, Co-owner of TGM Creative, a full-service boutique creative agency in Taranaki, attended to explore ways TGM could implement AI technologies to add more value for their clients.

Leadbetter says, “As business owners of a number of companies, it is key we ensure we understand how new technologies like this can be utilised, as well as the limitations and security concerns relating to AI use.”

“The Masterclass facilitators provided us with enough information so that we can more confidently explore AI as a tool, understanding how we can utilise it to add real value to the services and products we offer clients, as well as marketing ourselves more effectively.”

Participants also heard real-world insights and advice from local guest speaker, Bevan Broughton, General Manager at La Nuova, New Zealand’s most automated laundromat.

Broughton’s experiences demonstrated the practical applications of AI in a local context, while exploring potential opportunities for AI in the future.

Dunn comments, “Our sessions have an emphasis on practical hands-on learning and guidance from industry experts, as we want participants to walk away with the confidence to apply their new learnings to their everyday work to make a real impact.”

PowerUp is all about building a strong ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation in Taranaki.

Dunn adds “These Masterclasses encourage a culture of continuous learning, providing an opportunity for our business community to connect, learn, and build their capabilities to unleash their potential.”

Building on this momentum, Venture Taranaki is preparing to release registrations for their final two Masterclasses of 2024, which will cover investment readiness (May 2024), and leadership (June 2024).

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