Venture Centre launched and established its place-based entrepreneur support and ecosystem building organisation in 2014. The goal – enabling enterprising people in the Bay of Plenty equality of opportunity to start their entrepreneurial journey and to support their progress.

Designed to address a market-failure, Venture Centre supplies ongoing support and guidance to people at the earliest stages of venture development before they become eligible for existing government-financed support, or can afford the professional service fees of experts.

Basestation was Venture Centre’s first product, a coworking space to reduce cost and simplify business logistics for entrepreneurs. It is still operating, now on three floors, with an event and maker space, an EV fleet. Basestation has now spun out as a separate company.

In 2020, Venture Centre evolved to become a charitable company with the help of an Advisory Council made up of local experts and successful entrepreneurs. In 2021 Venture Centre Community Trust was established as a Registered Charitable Trust.

Directed by two full-time founders, three part-time employees, multiple contractors, volunteers, pro-bono contributors and partners from across the Bay of Plenty and beyond, it helps people learn and grow, collaborate, share resources, create innovations together and help each other along the way. 

Venture Centre is a community-led organisation. It increases the resilience of the Bay of Plenty community by nurturing strengths-based groups. They form 'communities of opportunity’ who participate together in solution-focused learn-by-doing events, activities, experiences. They work on projects together, start ventures, doing work that’s worth it to solve challenges, together.

It serves to increase diversity and democracy dramatically; including more people in the economy, distributing resources, and providing pathways along which people have the opportunity to innovate together. 

Often they tackle intractable problems leading to new, generative enterprises, value chains and infrastructure intended to serve whanau and whenua for generations to come.


To tell the story of Venture Centre, we reached out to our local creative Bay of Plenty community. Kalou Koefoed regularly exhibits her work at The Incubator creative hub. Kalou has been part of the Venture Centre story since its launch. In May 2014, Kalou helped organise our launch event at Tauranga Art Gallery – Toi Tauranga. We are grateful she accepted the commission.

To get Kalou to help you tell your story, reach out to her here: https://rollingaskalou.com/

Professor Shaun Hendy, New Zealand’s leading complexity and data scientist, was the keynote speaker at this launch event.

Shaun delivered the prologue to Venture Centre’s story. He communicated how complex, diverse networks of people connected on-purpose co-create intellectual property, products and services, serving new markets, creating progress and prosperity in partnership. He articulated clearly the core hypothesis around which Venture Centre’s story has unfolded. 

Both Kalou and Shaun were critical to starting Venture Centre according to the intention of its founders. The development of the community-led, entrepreneurial ecosystem now in place owes a debt to these first generous contributors for helping it start-right and get going. Watch Professor Hendy’s presentation below. 


This product has been added to your cart