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600my_homeI’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!


Peta Walker

Peta is FishHead's enterprise writer. A born and bred Wellingtonian, Walker is owner of BW Chartered Accountants and a long-term business adviser - she is currently fighting all the usual accounting stereotypes.. and winning. Loving long walks in the hills, her long-term ambition is to walk the entire Te Araroa walkway: at about 100 kilometres per year this is a 30-year project. She lives on a Makara lifestyle property that is also home to Pester and Lester the chickens, and cows French, Door, Blue and Vein.

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