Press Release 17 September 2018

Idea Summit Taranaki

The winner of this year’s Idea Summit Taranaki 2018 was Yonder, a tech company co-founded by Letitia Stevenson and James Donald. Yonder is a next-generation software tool for the tourism industry, which helps tourism businesses convert their website traffic to actual bookings, 24-7.

Mentor, Craig Oliver of ProjectHQ is proud to have been part of Yonder’s initial success and sees Idea Summit Taranaki as a revolutionary platform to launch start-up businesses like this one, into real-time activity.

Following an intensive 10-week programme of workshops, events and challenges for ‘undiscovered’ new businesses, the competition culminated in a final pitch to an erudite panel of judges. In true Dragons’ Den style judging format, the winner of the competition was announced last week at Novotel New Plymouth.

Over the ten-week countdown, five finalists utilised mentors and learnt strategies to develop ideas as diverse as kids’ toys, plant-based milk products, tourism software, rural water monitoring systems and high-end mushroom farming.

Each brainchild was presented by the local inventor, keen to prove the potential worth of their own brand of home-grown enterprise.

The inaugural launch of Idea Summit by Venture Taranaki in conjunction with BCC from Palmerston North (Building Clever Companies) saw 77 businesses enter the contest to vie for a $10,000 prize and the opportunity to gain investor interest.

It seems that Taranaki entrepreneurs have what it takes to seek and explore the start-up culture required to develop an innovative business idea into a fully-fledged profit-oriented company.

You can check out the winner at

You can also learn more about Craig Oliver and ProjectHQ at