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Young and Daring: The Welly Edit


Few buzzwords generate as much excitement as ‘start-up’. There was definitely excitement and energy in the air as young professionals and creative enthusiasts with an interest in China gathered in Wellington for Young and Daring: The Welly Edit.

The idea for Young and Daring came up during a coffee chat between Diana Tam and Eva Lu. There was an appetite to learn about start-ups among our networks, yet for many they remained a mystery. How could we share the stories of successful local businesses? The answer: a start-up panel.

We had five speakers from diverse backgrounds: rising stars in the local start-up scene, experts from incubators, and more established businesses. Our speakers pondered over the future of start-ups, discussed their successes and challenges, fielded questions from the audience, and shared trips and tricks. Memorably, we heard both “Don’t quit your day job!” and “Do quit your day job!”

Vicki Young took the plunge to leave work and study to start her own cake-making business: Vicki Eats. She explained how her passion for baking started from a young age, and grew from a hobby to a business.

Rupert Gillies balances a day job as an Associate in the Employment team at Kensington Swan with being the founder of Spooked Kooks. For Rupert, who’s been hitting the waves for years, design is key – “Some of the surfboards out there are developed by people who obviously don’t surf!”

Priscilla Loong spoke on her experiences as Activation Manager at Mahuki (Innovation Hub of Te Papa) and co-founder of The Misprint Co, a social enterprise start-up focused on repurposing paper waste into notebooks and stationery.

Fleur Nicol, Sales Marketing Manager at Matahiwi Estate Winery, shared her perspectives on the importance of a strong brand identity and exporting to China.

Lingy Au, Innovation Consultant at Creative HQ, led the discussions as facilitator and MC for the night. SebastienVoerman was our roving photographer.

The event was co-hosted by the Wellington branches of Future Dragonz and the New Zealand China Friendship Society, with the support of the New Zealand China Trade Association. A special thanks to our speakers, and to Russell McVeagh for providing the venue.

Photo caption L-R: Priscilla Loong, Fleur Nicol, Rupert Gillies, Diana Tam, Eva Lu, Vicki Young, Lingy Au, Luke Qin, Dan Joe, Nathalie Harrington.

By Diana Tam, NZCTA YA Wellington