Ankit Sehgal, the founder of the NZ Tech Startups Ecosystem Facebook group, will pass leadership of the group to the Global Entrepreneurship Network Aotearoa New Zealand (GEN NZ) on 31 January.

Ankit started the group in July 2012, which has developed into an open community of nearly 20,000 entrepreneurs, designers, software developers, advisors, investors and other people interested in growing or being part of the NZ startups ecosystem. The main aim has been to connect like-minded people and support each other on their startup journey.

Ankit reflected on his stewardship of the group, “It’s been a long journey for me and it’s time for me to pass this baton to an organisation who would take this to the next level and I couldn’t have been prouder to pass this on to GEN NZ”

Ankit Sehgal, NZ Tech Startups Ecosystem Facebook group founder.

The Global Entrepreneurship Network is a non-profit organization operating in 200 countries, and GEN NZ is part of the wider global network, whose purpose is to “connect Kiwi startup entrepreneurs to the people and resources they need to thrive locally and globally.

GEN NZ Chair Dave Moskovitz, who has been a member of the Tech Startup group since it was formed, said “NZ Tech Startups Ecosystem has played an important role supporting many Kiwi entrepreneurial journeys, and fits in perfectly with our kaupapa of connecting entrepreneurs. We are very honoured and humbled that Ankit has entrusted us to be the kaitiaki or stewards of this community.”

Ankit said that he started the NZ Tech Startup Ecosystems group in 2012 when he struggled to connect with other tech entrepreneurs working on their own ideas. “I wanted to connect to other tech entrepreneurs but came to realize there wasn’t any such place at that time so I decided to start one using Facebook groups, which they had just launched in Oct 2010.” Being a founder, especially at very early stages, is a lonely journey and there are not many places you could go to, to share your ideas, your vision and to get honest feedback.

Dave Moskovitz, Chair of the Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ.

Since day one, Ankit envisioned this community to be a place for all startup entrepreneurs from all aspects of life here in Aotearoa to connect and to feel that they are part of a community, and GEN NZ aims to continue that kaupapa.

Ankit said that it’s hard work running a large group, managing conflict, resolving issues, right down to the administrative work of member approvals and content moderation. It’s taken a huge amount of time and effort, on a voluntary basis. “It will be great to have a team looking after the group, and taking it to the next level. I’m really proud of what this community represents, and thankful to our members who make it a welcoming forum for newbie entrepreneurs.”

GEN NZ Managing Director Katherine Blaney added, “The group does a great job of bringing together Kiwi entrepreneurs of all stripes in a supporting and affirming way. If it takes a village to raise a startup, this group is a key part of the village where noobs and experienced folk give and receive advice, find new gigs, get connected with investors, and share experiences. GEN NZ wants to continue to support and carry on this work, and has no plans to change anything about the group.”

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