We’ve noticed that almost all of the startups being funded through ICE Angels are founded and run by people well out of university. Not that there’s anything wrong with that of course (in many cases experienced founders can be the best ones), but as a group of young people, the Junior Venture Partners are interested in engaging more young student entrepreneurs.
Many of the most successful startups begin at university: think Facebook, Google or Snapchat. New Zealand has some of the brightest graduates in the world, and plenty of world-beating ideas. So why do we have very few university startups in New Zealand? It can be attributed to several factors, among them: underdeveloped support networks, lack of knowledge, and an overall less startup-orientated culture.
With the University Startup Challenge, we hope we can find and fund some of the best startups in New Zealand, while strengthening support networks for university students who want to take their ideas further. The competition will not only help provide funding, but also gives validation, feedback and experience for all involved, which we see as vital to the overall student startup ecosystem in New Zealand.