Business start-up Agency ‘COIN South’ Established In Southland

Jul 09, 2019
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Business start-ups and eagle-eyed investors rejoice: Southland is set to become your playground.

COIN South has just launched and will be Southland’s go-to when it comes to start-ups.

Whether you’re the one with the next big idea or the person wanting to support new business growth in the south, COIN South is a collaborative innovation network that equips Southland entrepreneurs with the skills, networks and funding they need to grow sustainable and successful high growth businesses from Southland.

Chief Starter Prue Halstead said COIN South was rooted in the objectives of the Southland Regional Development Strategy (SoRDS).

After seeing the strides that the start-up space was making and the growing level of investment being poured in across the country, the SoRDS innovation team thought it was time Southland got its bit of the action.

“In New Zealand investment in start-ups has gone from $30 million in 2008 to more than $100 million in 2018,” she said.

“Southland has some fantastic innovators and there’s people out there looking for a diverse investment portfolio – COIN is going to bring these people together.”

A membership-based investment and support network, Halstead said it would form a robust and connected ecosystem in Southland to help fund and drive innovation projects.

Chief Starter Prue Halstead. photo: supplied

Halstead, who is also the Executive Officer of Invest South, had seen many promising proposals which would have been perfect for a start-up situation in the past, but Southland previously lacked the proper support networks to cultivate such ideas.

“I’ve always been a big fan of organisations like Startup Dunedin and the breadth and depth of talent and innovation that comes out of the woodwork in that city,” she said.

“We knew we had the same level of quality ideas quietly bubbling away in Southland, so we wanted to create a network where those people had one-stop-shop to pitch their ideas and access the resources they need to get their ideas off the ground.”

Working closely with Southland entrepreneurs will be Louise Evans, who has been appointed as Chief Activator.

Evans is the creative director of advertising agency, Lemon Creative and founder of local co-working space, Cahoots.

“I’m so impressed by the overwhelming support COIN has received – it’s wonderful to see so many organisations recognise that we have such talent brewing away down here,” Evans said.

“It’s going to be very exciting to see who comes forward with the next big idea and to be able to support them on their journey to success.”

Nikki Dermody is also joining the team as Chief Storyteller. photo: supplied

Nikki Dermody is also joining the team as Chief Storyteller. Dermody has most recently worked for Community Trust South as their Marketing and Communications Advisor; prior to this, she held similar roles at the Southland Chamber of Commerce and Venture Southland.

With more than 15 years of experience in various marketing roles she is passionate about the power of positive storytelling, which is an integral part of building successful businesses.

COIN South’s establishment comes from the support and financial assistance of its Strategic Partners – Community Trust South, Environment Southland, the Southern Institute of Technology, the Southland Chamber of Commerce and Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu. It is a not-for-profit incorporated society with both corporate and individual members, supported by a management team.

Those wanting to explore working with COIN South or become a member can visit its website, coinsouth.nz

COIN South will be operating out of its new offices at 42 Don St from the beginning of August. The team are planning a launch event to celebrate the activation of Southland’s budding start-up culture.

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