Mahuki, an initiative of The National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, is the world’s first culture accelerator and was established to provide innovation and commercial leadership in the culture and heritage sector and reach beyond museum walls to connect people with their rich heritage.
Our purpose is to empower individuals and communities to use culture and technology to create sustainable prosperity. We bring New Zealand innovators to the world and enable them to succeed in New Zealand and beyond.
Who do you work with and what key challenges do you help them solve?
We help a wide range of business sizes and types, the key factor to participation is that the businesses must be creating innovations and solutions for the Culture and Heritage sector.
One of the greatest demonstrated values, judged by growing demand for services, is the methods by which Mahuki engages with community groups and empowers them to create economic prosperity from cultural opportunity. In some cases the impact has been immense, with life changing value to individuals and their communities by helping them to establish businesses or gain high value employment – thereby lighting paths for others in their network.
We have three work-streams at Mahuki:
1) Our pre-accelerator programme called Magnitude7, the purpose of this two day workshop is to give potential entrepreneurs a taster of start-up methodologies and accelerator programmes.
2) Our core business accelerator is a 4 month, intensive programme for up to 10 teams to participate every year. They will be co-located in the National Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, and have the opportunity to research, test, develop and refine their businesses and solutions. Mahuki will provide $20,000 seed funding per team for an option to take 6% equity in the business.
3) We have an alumni programme to continue to support the teams that graduate the Mahuki accelerator programme, this is usually focused on continuing sales and investment.
- Mahuki events run throughout the year and offer a wide range of experiences for attendees interested in innovation, culture and entrepreneurship.
In the last two years we’ve helped 18 teams develop their innovations and 61% have gone on to secure 22 paid deployments in NZ’s culture sector including within Te Papa.
What excites your team about the work you do?
Talent is everywhere. We want to reach out and find that kiwi talent to celebrate success from New Zealand’s smallest towns to our largest cities. As a consequence we have uncovered a wealth of talent from all parts of New Zealand, from Invercargill to Whangarei, and helped connect it with markets in and beyond the culture and heritage sector.
What message would you like to share with the NZ entrepreneur community?
Mahuki is a place where culture meets business meets innovation – by doing that we help communities thrive. That’s a long term game, but one that’s worth playing.
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