Southland’s first official presence during Techweek has been deemed a success.

The region’s involvement in the 2018 week-long national event from 20-26 May was led by Venture Southland.

Venture Southland business accelerator programme manager Stewart Fleming said participation in Techweek’18 had been a primary focus for the business accelerator programme since it launched in November 2017.

“As it was our first time being officially involved we took a relatively conservative approach to event participation,” Fleming said.

Venture Southland coordinated two events, a Tourism Futures workshop and a Tech Tour for secondary school students.

Fleming had deemed Southland’s involvement in Techweek a success after strong enthusiasm at the events.

The Tourism Futures workshop attracted 22 people that focused on innovation techniques in the tourism sector and 17 secondary school students took advantage of the Tech Tour organised by Southland Youth Futures.

Southland Youth Futures coordinator Allison Beckham said there was strong interest in the Tech Tour that visited Focus Technology, Digital Stock and Venture Southland’s Awarua satellite ground station.

“The success of the tour has encouraged us to make it an annual event, with initial interest already received for next year,” Beckham said.

Fleming and Beckham both said the region would benefit from future engagement with the Techweek initiative.

Techweek is a national initiative that focuses on finding local answers to global questions through technology and innovation in New Zealand

Venture Southland business services manager Alistair Adam said the event was a useful pilot for Southland’s involvement and would provide inspiration for future innovation-based events.