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Innovate 2 Business

Innovate 2 Business is a one-day entrepreneurship bootcamp designed to give a good understanding of the basics of building a business case and starting a venture. Free for everyone at the University of Auckland to participate. It is the ideal opportunity to get in good shape for participation in the Velocity $100k Challenge so that you can bring life to your ideas.

Tuesday 28 June – Unleash Space, 20 Symonds Street (Engineering building) Find us

Guest speakers

Duncan Ledwith – Market Validation Workshop

DuncanDuncan held senior leadership roles in Microsoft for more than a decade overseeing the work in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, SE Asia, Japan and Seattle. He has been an Executive in Residence and Angel Investor at the Icehouse, a lecturer at the University of Auckland and is currently Vice President, Global Partnerships at Boxer Worldwide.

An inspirational guest speaker for the afternoon is to be announced.

Programme Details

Attendees will need to attend the full day programme.

9.30 -10 am​ : Registration and coffee

Morning programme: Overview and introduction to the Lean Canvas and market validation

1-1.30pm: Lunch (BYO)

Afternoon programme: Inspirational guest speaker, Panel discussion and Q&A with a variety of entrepreneurial Velocity alumni, resources on how to build effective teams, tips for successful submissions to the Velocity $100k Challenge which will get winners access to mentors, start-up capital, co-working space and a variety of other resources to help you bring your venture to life.

4.45-5.15pm: Pizza!


5.15-7pm (Optional): Stay at Unleash Space and wrap up the day with a free, inspirational screening of start-up documentary. “The New Hustle” – the story of three of Australia’s fastest growing startups – SafetyCulture, Vinomofo, and Canva.


Meet the Facilitator


Deb ShepherdDr Deb Shepherd combines a variety of roles all of which have entrepreneurial SMEs and social enterprises at the centre. She is a part-time Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland’s Business School where her research and teaching focus on social entrepreneurship and innovation, the entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurial SMEs, and family businesses. She has been involved as a faculty member in the student-led entrepreneurship programme Velocity (previously Spark) since 2004.

Deb is a co-author of the book “Changing gears: How to take your kiwi business from the kitchen table to the board table” and “Gearing Up: Leading your Kiwi business into the future” (2020).

Deb is a founding faculty member of The ICEHOUSE Growth programmes and has been involved in the development, design and delivery of the Owner Manager business growth programmes for SMEs from all sectors and industries since 2001.

Deb is a part owner and on the board of her family business Biocell Corporation and sits on a number of Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards including Resero Group, Onguard, and Forrest Wines.

Deb is an investor and board member of Soul Capital (New Zealand’s first impact investment fund) and an investor in ICE Angels. In 2018 Deb was asked to be deputy chair of the government-appointed Small Business Council (SBC) which morphed into an advisory role to the Minister of Small Business as part of the Small Business Advisory group. She is an industry representative on the government-appointed Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB).



09 923 4526