Cash carrots for Dunedin startups with good UFB ideas

GigStart Fund has already allocated $147,000 to eight Dunedin startups

Dunedin startups with innovative ideas for new businesses that exploit UFB services are being called to apply for the fourth and final round of the GigStart Fund – a $200,000 cash fund given to Dunedin by Chorus and Nokia (formerly Alcatel-Lucent) as part of the city’s Gigatown prize.

Gigatown was a competition launched by Chorus in 2013 in which 50 towns vied to become the country’s first Gigatown and of which Dunedin was the eventual winner.

The fund, managed by Startup Dunedin, has already allocated $147,000 to eight Dunedin startups across a range of projects. To be eligible for funding, startup businesses must provide: a video description of the service concept; an outline of the business model that clearly outlines the methodology for building the proposed business; a clear description of what UFB technologies the service concept will use; an outline of the funding required to deliver the service to market.

A ‘Pitch Day’ event for finalists will be held in GigCity Dunedin, at which they will showcase their plans to a judging panel and the wider GigCity community. Chorus Dunedin liaison manager, Kim Stewart, said the judging panel would be looking for an idea with potential to change the lives of people in Dunedin by creating a new business or growing an existing business, ultimately creating new jobs. Applications close on 31 October.

Past GigStart winners have included Such Crowd and Petri Dish. Such Crowd is a crowd-sourcing platform for events that allows event planners to test demand before confirming events. People register their interest and are only charged for tickets if there is a sufficiently large response.

Petri Dish is a shared office space at 8 Stafford Street Dunedin, developed for tech and creative media startups, small businesses and individuals. Members receive access to Gigabit UFB and a central data room, which includes a system that allows large amounts of data to be moved around the world at speed.

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