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Goal 4: Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

CreateBase – Enabling kids to access enjoyable tech education

CreateBase is on a mission to give the next generation the skills, tools and confidence necessary to unleash their inner technology creators and realise their future potential. They are building a digital platform that teachers and parents can provide to children to teach tangible technical skills through play.

Created by students of the University of Auckland, the start-up was formed to address the current critical moment in time where evolution in New Zealand’s technology education needs to happen. In order to be prepared for the jobs of tomorrow, and to build capability in people to address the grand challenges the world faces, the next generation needs to be empowered to be innovative and technically capable. The start-up was a finalist in the 2020 Velocity $100k challenge, delivered by the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Read more


Girls That Invest – The Journey to becoming the number one business podcast in the US

Girls That Invest is a podcast, co-founded by University of Auckland alumna Simran Kaur, that unpacks the complexity of investing into easy to understand basics.  Simran says “Despite investing platforms being more accessible than ever, studies show that in New Zealand women are still not taking up financial literacy and investing. Only 14% of Kiwi women were investing in the stock market in 2018 compared to 22% of men. It comes from our deep-rooted belief that investing is just not for us, or that we are not capable enough to understand the complexities. The jargon used in the world of investing is overwhelming and often feels exclusionary. Read more


Global Changemakers programme – Encouraging study abroad students’ to become global change makers

An innovative programme that merges sustainability education with an introduction to social entrepreneurship has been piloted with the latest influx of University of Auckland Study Abroad students.

In the first day of the programme participants learned about the scale of the climate challenge, the carbon footprint of studying abroad and how to travel more sustainably. They also developed a personal climate action plan, assessing their carbon footprint using a carbon calculator, and shared ideas for climate action on campus. In the second day, participants explored climate leadership and innovation, including concepts of changemaking, social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Read more



Kami – Transforming how educators and students engage in digital classrooms

Kami is transitioning classrooms into a paperless world. Kami’s cloud-based software application allows teachers and students to annotate, view, edit and collaborate on digital documents in their browser and complements existing office suites, cloud platforms and learning management systems.

The idea came from humble beginnings as a way for co-founders Alliv Samson, Jordan Thoms and Hengjie Wang to be able to collaborate on their own university study notes. After taking their venture idea through the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s Velocity programme the business has grown exponentially, particularly in the last year since the start of the spread of Covid-19. Kami users are in 180 countries worldwide, and in 2022 Kami was named by TIME magazine as one of the world’s top 100 most influential companies. Read more

Kara TechnologiesKara Technologies – Translating digital content into sign language

Kara Technologies has developed an online platform that translates content from different materials including books, audio and video, into sign language. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and hyper-realistic avatars, with a particular emphasis on making educational material accessible for deaf children.

The venture was developed by postgraduate Engineering students with the support of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Since its development through the University’s VentureLab incubator, Kara Technologies has gone on to be named one of the Top 100 Meaningful Businesses of 2020 in a ranking that celebrates leaders globally combining profit and purpose to help achieve the UN SDGs. Read more

Med student uses TikTok to teach Kiwis about personal finance

Medical and health science student, Junius Ong is the Director of Social Media Marketing at MoneyHub, a free online resource dedicated to helping New Zealanders make important financial decisions. They give comprehensive, objective, and up-to-date information to help people make the best decisions for their needs, and direct people to relevant financial products and services.

Junius got involved after posting a video to his personal TikTok account were he mentioning he often used MoneyHub as a resource. MoneyHub founder Christopher Walsh reached out to say thanks, and Junius took it as an opportunity to pitch the idea of MoneyHub getting onto TikTok. It began with him simply summarising the guides already on the website, writing scripts, recording voiceovers, and finding stock videos. However, building trust over time has led to Junius having more creative freedom over the account, and he is now involved with strategising campaigns for some of their clients. Read more



Kiwrious – Making science serious fun

Researchers have created a low cost, ‘lab in the pocket’ for school children, a technology to spark and nurture a scientifically inquiring mind, allowing them to take scientific measurements of the world around and within them such as the quality of the water they drink, the air that they breathe, the pace of their beating hearts and more.

It’s called the Kiwrious kit and was designed by Associate Professor Suranga Nanayakkara and his team at the Augmented Human Lab (AHL) at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI), University of Auckland, in collaboration with Associate Professor Dawn Garbett from the Faculty of Education and Social Work. Importantly, Kiwrious gives school children access to scientific tools that would, for many, be out of economic reach. It also allows them to use the kit spontaneously outside the classroom, in their own time, when something about the world piques their interest. Read more

Solve it with 5G – Solving sustainability problems with 5G

Solve It with 5G is a week-long innovation sprint, administered by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, designed to get participants to think, ideate and create solutions to sustainability problems with 5G technology. Read more




Secondary school students unleash their creativity during women in engineering camp

Fifty secondary school students recently had the opportunity to participate in a Creative Inspiration and Design workshop at Unleash Space. The event was part of a 3 day Women in Engineering holiday camp held for Year 11 students from Auckland, Waikato and Whangarei.

The Engineering faculty’s Women in Engineering Network launched in 1993 to support more young women into careers as engineers. The University of Auckland now has one of the highest participation rates of women in tertiary-level engineering in Australia and New Zealand. Read more



The rise of LEGO play as a university teaching tool

LEGO® is being increasingly adopted at the University of Auckland as a teaching tool by educators looking to find new ways to engage with students who want active rather than passive learning experiences. The Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has become a champion of the technique, with sessions delivered at Unleash Space, one of its innovation hubs. Read more






Vanguard programme – Student innovators tour Silicon Valley

Each year a cohort of University of Auckland students travel to Silicon Valley for one week. The tour, developed by the Business Schools’ Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, includes visits to successful companies and innovative organisations, and connecting with the Silicon Valley start-up ecosystem. Read more





Zorbi – Bringing flashcards into the future

Flashcards are a tried and true method of studying for revision that has been souped-up through research and technology by University of Auckland student venture, Zorbi. Since Zorbi’s official launch in August 2021, Zorbi has grown to over 15,000 users with several schools on the platform, and over 300,000 flashcards reviewed per month.

Zorbi was founded by University of Auckland Engineering student Sukhans Asrani, who seeks to help others find the most efficient way possible of studying. Sukhans says “Zorbi makes studying easy and efficient through flashcards that can predict when you’ll forget them by asking users how difficult it was to answer each flashcard. Our algorithm uses their rating to figure out when they’ll forget that card. Students like studying this way because it streamlines the learning process. All they have to do is open Zorbi, hit “Study for 5-minutes”, and it re-teaches them the content that they don’t know.” Read more


Tech Hub launch – Robot scissors snip ribbon

The Business School officially unleashed the 5G-powered technology at the launch of Te Ahi Hangarau , where 5G-enabled technology education has become a regular part of the Business School’s education offering.

Te Ahi Hangarau is also activated through free extra-curricular and co-curricular workshops and equipment training, run by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). Workshops are free and open to all students and staff of the University of Auckland, no matter what they are studying.
At the launch of cutting-edge 5G technology hub Te Ahi Hangarau it was fitting that a pair of voice-activated, 5G-connected robot scissors cut the ceremonial ribbon. Read more


Doctoral Candidates unleash their entrepreneurial skills

Participants in the first-ever Doctoral Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme have tapped into their entrepreneurial potential and learned valuable skills to enhance their future careers – both in and out of the academic world. 

This programme is a new offering from CIE designed to help doctoral students develop an entrepreneurial mindset. A total of 21 students from various faculties at the University of Auckland took part in the programme for its debut this year. Judith Marecek, CIE Manager, says it’s been rewarding to see students making the most of it. 

While doctoral candidates are naturally laser-focused on their research subject of choice, the Doctoral Entrepreneurial Leadership programme is all about expanding their mindset and applying entrepreneurial thinking to their research pursuits. Read more


Entrepreneurial skills key to uplifting Aotearoa New Zealand 

Growing innovation and entrepreneurship capabilities on a wider scale will help unlock greater prosperity for all New Zealanders – and educational institutions like Waipapa Taumata Rau, the University of Auckland, have an important role to play in this journey. 

Those are the findings from a recent PwC report entitled Building prosperity: A pathway to wellbeing for all of Aotearoa, which sketches out a series of strategic recommendations to improve our nation’s social and economic outcomes. The report states that “innovation and entrepreneurship are accepted unlockers of prosperity”, alongside other factors.   

It’s a conclusion echoed by the University’s own Rod McNaughton, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director of Innovation and Professional Development at the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), who was interviewed for the report.  Read more


Peter Rachor – Guiding New Zealand’s future innovators and entrepreneurs

Peter Rachor made his way to Auckland in 2019 to take up the inaugural position of the Hynds Entrepreneurial Teaching Fellow in the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).
Since Peter started, he has had a hand in training nearly 8000 students in some form of innovation or entrepreneurship in some way.

In the Faculty of Engineering, where Peter co-teaches two core courses of around 900 students from eight different engineering disciplines together to work on real-world issues using a ‘systems thinking’ approach. For instance, in 2022, students worked in teams to consider the challenges of climate adaptation, using the framework created by the Ministry of Environment’s 2022 plan to respond to some of the recent severe weather events; bridging the gap to Aotearoa’s commitment to Paris 2050. Read more

GreenSpot Technologies’ Ninna Granucci receives acclaim from the European Commission 

Dr Ninna Granucci is a scientist and CEO of Green Spot Technologies, which ferments and upcycles natural food byproducts from food processing industries to produce highly-nutritious ingredients. It’s a circular economy venture, which aims to help reduce the amount of plant-based product that is annually wasted, currently estimated at 32% by the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation. Green Spot’s responsible technology makes use of product such as brewery spent grains, winery grapes marc and beverage apple pomace while generating only clean water as waste. The resulting flours are high fibre (including prebiotics), high protein, rich in minerals and clean label. Read more


School students unlock innovation potential with CIE summer programmes 

Hundreds of young Kiwi school students were able to spark their innovative potential with two programmes supported by the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE): the Rotary National Science & Technology Forum and the MindPlus Clubs Day. 

The Rotary Forum took place from 7-21 January 2023 in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of New Zealand. Over the course of the two-week immersive programme, selected Year 12 students from around the country explored their passion for science, mathematics and technology, attending lectures and taking part in interactive workshops. 

On 18 January 2023, the University also hosted the first ever MindPlus Clubs Day in association with the New Zealand Centre for Gifted Education (NZCGE). The day brought together a total of 140 neurodiverse and gifted students from Years 3-10 to explore, learn and connect with each other. Read more

iCanStudy venture used globally for learning efficiency 

Dr Justin Sung’s venture iCanStudy aims to train users to learn like a genius. His research-informed venture is a cognitive retraining programme that incorporates concepts of higher-order learning and self-regulated learning. Servicing over 10,000 learners around the world, iCanStudy was used in 120 countries last year. Designed to be interacted with for a couple of hours per week, the programme teaches research-backed methods to upgrade how efficiently users process information and learn. 

The programme is designed for anyone wanting to improve their learning efficiency. Through synthesising insights from cognitive science, education, and learning research, the iCanStudy programme bridges gaps between typically isolated research domains, creating a novel learning theory that offers a unique approach to learning. Read more

Business School incorporates Artificial Intelligence into undergraduate teaching

A new wave of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies has the potential to revolutionise every aspect of life. The University of Auckland Business School has responded with agility, with teaching staff incorporating these new technologies into courses in time for first semester. Teaching resources have been created with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE).  

Within new course content, to make this both demonstrative and engaging, video is co-presented by CIE Maker Space Coordinator Hayden Moore and a digital human that Hayden built, Ava. Ava was created using ChatGPT for her brain, Midjourney for her face and ElevenLabs for her voice.Read more


Mike Evans – Inspiring the next generation of innovators 

It’s fair to say that tech entrepreneur and new CIE mentor Mike Evans has covered a lot of ground in his 25-year career – both literally and figuratively. Since graduating with a BCom/BSc in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from the University of Auckland Business School in 1997, Mike has worked in Auckland, London, Brussels, and Los Angeles in roles that ranged from a contract programming position with the European Commission to his most recent role as Senior Manager of Platform Products at Snap Inc (the parent company of Snapchat). 

Mike now volunteers at the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). As a mentor for CIE, Mike hopes to create a measurable impact at a more local level, bringing his entrepreneurial skills and wide-ranging experience to encourage and inspire the next generation of innovators. Read more 



Embracing identity and values key to Pacific entrepreneurship 

The 2023 Pasifika Innovation and Entrepreneurship Talanoa was hosted recently in Kura Matahuna Unleash Space, one of the innovation hubs run by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). The event was the result of a collaboration between Auckland University Pacific Island Student Association (AUPISA) and CIE’s Velocity entrepreneurship development programme. The evening featured a panel of three speakers who shared stories from their diverse entrepreneurial experiences, with their strong common thread of Pacific heritage woven throughout. It was an inspiring evening filled with authenticity, advice and plenty of laughter. Read more



RobogalsHacking the STEM diversity issue

Robogals is a global volunteer student-led organisation founded in 2008 with the goal of inspiring, engaging and empowering young women into engineering and related fields. The University of Auckland’s Robogals is an active chapter of this global network, and this year ran the annual Science and Engineering Day (SED) with great success at Kura Matahuna – Unleash Space, one of the innovation hubs managed by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE). 

The Science and Engineering Day was an in-person event held as part of the international Robogals Science Challenge competition, an international outreach initiative that engages young women and gender-diverse students aged 5-15 to become involved in STEM beyond the classroom. Activities are designed to promote innovation and exploration through hands-on projects, which can be completed with a friend, parent/guardian, or mentor. Read more 



Bethanie Maples: Shaking up education with Atypical AI 

A seismic jolt was felt in late 2022 when the power of large language models (LLMs) was unveiled to the general population in the form of OpenAI’s ChatGPT.  The aftershocks have been particularly strong for the education sector. Bethanie Maples, Founder and CEO of Atypical AI, one of the humans involved in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution, believes that education has been overdue for a shake-up and AI could be the necessary catalyst that accelerates its transformation. 

Bethanie has been studying and working extensively with AI and education, including many years as an executive working on scaling machine learning technologies, researching LLMs and embodied AI at the Stanford Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) labs, five years at Google AI and [Google] X, the Moonshot Factory, where she worked on the AI within Google Classroom, as well as advising the OECD, UNESCO and philanthropic foundations on AI policy, education and technology. Bethanie’s extensive experience positions her as a thought leader on the future of AI and education, making her well-placed to take an entrepreneurial leap and launch her own generative AI platform focused on the education sector. Read more 



Newmarket Innovation Precinct: Old brewery now a powerhouse of industry, innovation and entrepreneurship 

Formerly home to the iconic Lion Brewery, Waipapa Taumata Rau | University of Auckland purchased the 5.2-hectare Khyber Pass property in May 2013. Just over ten years later, many people are curious about what is happening inside the expansive facilities. Known as the Newmarket Campus, the area encompasses a wonderland of facilities, equipment and research capabilities to support the Faculties of Engineering and Science. The site also hosts the New Zealand Product Accelerator and is home to the University’s Newmarket Innovation Precinct (NIP), a multidisciplinary industry-facing research and development community. 

The Newmarket Campus is adjacent to the Grafton Campus, Auckland Hospital, Mercy Hospital, and local high schools, as well as a thriving retail district and excellent accessibility by public transport and community services. Its central location adds to the opportunities for effective collaboration both within the University and with the wider community. Read more 



Velocity programme wins Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ Award 

The University of Auckland I Waipapa Taumata Rau, has been recognised for the outstanding achievements of its Velocity entrepreneurship development programme by the Global Entrepreneurship Network New Zealand (GEN NZ). Velocity recently was awarded for Academic Initiative of the Year at an event held at GridAKL’s Future Lab. 

Velocity (previously Spark) is New Zealand’s longest running university entrepreneurship development programme, delivered by the University of Auckland Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) in partnership with a student-led committee and supported by New Zealand’s business community. Read more