Young Māori awarded for digital ideas

6:54 pm on 24 November 2015

A financial educational software programme for kids and an app that encourages face to face meetings with friends are two of the winning ideas of the DigMyIdea Māori Innovation Challenge.

Almost 100 ideas ranging from apps to web initiatives were submitted to the competition.

Entrants had to outline a digital business idea with a focus on economic outcomes for Māori and economic outcomes that may include opportunities for New Zealanders to earn incomes, create new business or export.

One of the winning entries KidsCoin is a software programme that teaches successful money management skills to students.

The financial educational software programme created by Brittany Teei of Ngai Tahu won the Mauri Tū section for people 19 years and over.

"KidsCoin teaches literacy and financial literacy to kids in schools and our philosophy is that by teaching kids while they are young, how to look after money and developing successful habits that they need to be able to do that in the future, we can help to inspire and empower our rangatahi." Ms Teei said.

She came up with the idea when helping at the school her mother taught at, and hoped her programme - which is being developed in English and Māori - would help school children around the country.

Two ideas were selected as joint winners in the Mauri Oho 15-18 years category. An app called Hang which encouraged users to socialise with their friends in real life pitched by Josh Arnold of Ngāpuhi decent living in Auckland.

The second winning idea was for a digital consultancy for small and medium companies called Kokiri Digital pitched by Winirangi Nicholas, Ripeka Nicholas and Tainakore Tapiata from Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Kura Kōkiri in Tauranga.

Ngā Pū Wāea - The National Māori Broadband Working Group chair Antony Royal said competition organisers were thrilled with the ideas submitted.

"The standard of ideas that we received for DigMyIdea was really impressive. The work that the finalists put into their ideas and the calibre of the final pitches made the judges' job very difficult.

"To be selected out of a group of more than 130 entrepreneurs is no small feat. Now the journey starts for these people to turn their ideas into a business with global potential, and we're looking forward to helping them along the way and watching them succeed."

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