I’m a born and bred Wellingtonian, and as such am fiercely proud of our city. It isn’t like anywhere else in the country and there’s nowhere else I’d rather live. Thinking about all the things I love about Wellington, the creative sector is definitely high on my list. By creative, I mean arts, design and innovation: start-up businesses, app builders and technology platforms.
Yes, I’m biased. Of course talent can be found all over the country, but from my experience of Wellington – and we’re talking my whole life – here is where it’s at. Wellington is where you need to be if innovation is your middle name.
They say pictures speak a thousand words, and aside from the recent Wellington logo debacle this appears to be true. Have you heard of Lumen Digital? A remarkably clever individual named Jared Forbes runs this show and, while their menu of offerings is plentiful, the most interesting product in their stable is the creation of theatrical experiences and game-like activities for museums and exhibitions. These sophisticated digital creations engage the user with a more connected – dare I say it, interactive – experience on the subject matter, whatever that is. Lumen are the designers behind many of the digital simulations at our own Te Papa. I think we take a lot of that sort of technology for granted, but it’s great to know that all of that amazingly clever stuff was designed by Forbes and his team and right here in Wellington.
There’s a reason why Wellington is often compared to Silicon Valley, and that is the nurturing and assistance given to start-up businesses. We are bursting with creativity and excellent ideas that are more than capable of dancing on the global stage. Business hubs like Grow Wellington, Creative HQ, Lightning Lab and, to a lesser extent, The BizDojo are like Wellington’s own cheer team for anyone who has a good idea but might need some help turning that idea into a business.
Once upon a time, if you were in the market for venture capital you had limited choices. Those choices have since grown, meaning that business loans from banks are now only one of many options for raising capital. Joint ventures are becoming more and more popular, especially in the technology sector, where a good idea can easily be matched up with someone who not only has the cash to flash at it, but the business brain to really make it fly. The Touchtech team lead by Adrian Falvey have a number of collaboration projects on the go with a key focus on helping new entrepreneurs, or even just people with good ideas, reach their potential.
And to top all of that, Wellington’s own Boosted has recently joined the crowdsourcing scene specifically to fund arts projects. As a big fan of Wellington’s performing arts scene, I’m looking forward to seeing even more creativity in our colourful capital city!