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We’ve been working really hard this year to get Kapiti Startup Weekend organised, and putting together all the ingredients to make it a fantastic weekend.

Kapiti is a fantastic place to live – the beaches, weather and the people…and a great new expressway – but it is also (unkindly) referred to as “God’s waiting room“. If you are in the 15-39 age group, you are a rarity. When we ask why, it seems to be because we don’t have enough of the range of businesses based here that mean that we can work here too. A lot of us who live in Kapiti commute to Wellington, Levin or Palmerston North to work.

In order to really thrive, we need a wide range of jobs that keep talented (15-39 year old) people here, as well as Kapiti being a great place to live for retirees. And a great place to start making this change, is by encouraging startups – right here in Kapiti. So that is our why.

But just being passionate about this hasn’t got us where we need to be…yet. We need YOU to throw us a lifeline, and support us by coming along to Kapiti Startup Weekend.

It’s hard to describe the atmosphere of a startup weekend. Even if you have been to a startup weekend, you can’t really describe it – because it is a different experience for everyone. Sure, you can describe the mechanics…

registration, dinner, mingling, ideas pitch, team forming, sleep! breakfast, getting out of the building and surveying people with a whole lot of questions, lunch, making stuff, figuring out costs and revenue, dinner, more hard work, less sleep! breakfast, figuring out your business model, market size, lunch, putting a slide deck together, final pitches, dinner and winners…

but that doesn’t describe the emotional rollercoaster you experience as you work through the weekend, nor the stretch outside your comfort zone, or the sheer excitement in making stuff happen, and really come to life.

Why you should attend is probably best captured in this infographic:

As for us, we are a keen bunch of locals, who are trying to build more than just startups. We want to support building a community of people who are interested in startups, and who accept that startups are an important part of our local ecosystem in Kapiti. We’ve already got some enthusiastic people having a go at incubating startup ideas through the Kapiti Digital Challenge (for under 24’s). And we are trying to get accelerator activity started here too. If we can succeed, then we can fundamentally change Kapiti from a playground economy, to an entrepreneurial economy.

So the question is – will you join us?

Rebecca Tayler