Business Digest: Construction Pricing, Environmental Startup Funding, Biodegradable Nursery Pots


Bay of Plenty design studio, WOODS Agency, won a gold pin in the graphics category at this year’s Best Design Awards. Photo / Provided

Bay of Plenty startups first to receive new funding

Two Bay of Plenty startups have been named the first recipients to be funded under a new multi-million dollar initiative created to reduce the early failure rate of local social enterprises.

Mount Maunganui businesses were selected from over 500 businesses that entered a national competition for entrepreneurs who can help solve a societal or environmental problem.

Competition organizers We are now calling for more support for purpose-driven businesses in the Bay of Plenty area – with startups in the area saying specialist expertise is more valuable than a cash injection.

We is a new organization that provides mentorship, coaching, investment and marketing support for environmentally and socially focused New Zealand businesses in their early stages of growth, and is the creation of Brianne West .

Brianne West, Founder and CEO of Ethics.  Photo / Provided
Brianne West, Founder and CEO of Ethics. Photo / Provided

West founded and is the managing director of regenerative beauty products exporter, Ethique.

West launched the ‘Got Us’ competition during the first stage of the fund’s launch to help raise awareness of the challenges faced by social enterprises – which have a 95% failure rate in their first decade of business .

She said the caliber of Bay of Plenty starters was extremely high. But she said it was clear from the high number of entries that there was a chronic lack of local support infrastructure for startups seeking to address environmental issues.

Companies were invited to pitch their idea to a panel of experts, including identifying the social or sustainability issue they seek to change and explaining how to achieve it.

Winners of the competition, who will share a cash and mentorship prize pool worth $140,000, included Critical Supply, a Mount Maunganui-based fair trade instant coffee brand that has brought benefits to the local community and Come Clean , a local company producing an organic hemp-based sexual wellness product that aimed to de-stigmatize lube use.

Critical Supply co-founder Tom Lear said it was necessary to find expertise to guide them through the initial phase of their business lifecycle to support their growth.

He said while around 70% of coffee consumed in New Zealand is instant, there was a lack of support for fair trade suppliers in this niche of the industry.

“As a goal-driven startup, we were keen to avoid entering the market blind and incurring the costs of learning from our mistakes.

“The opportunity to work with experts who can help us overcome these pitfalls and develop an offer that will resonate with consumers will be invaluable to us over the coming months – it will provide a bigger boost than the financial contribution. “

West said analysis of the input data showed there were a large number of New Zealand startups with the potential to make a significant impact on key societal issues.

She said businesses like these need greater support to ensure they can grow to a scale at which they can have a meaningful impact on environmental rehabilitation.

West said a third recipient of the fund was Auckland’s Daisy Lab, which used microorganisms in precision fermentation to create an alternative to yogurt and cheese that produces up to 97% fewer emissions. than using cow’s milk.

Volunteering Bay of Plenty hands over local services to SociaLink
After 17 years of serving the voluntary sector and local communities, Volunteering Bay of Plenty (Volbop) has handed over to SociaLink.

Acting President Berenice Langson said both organizations believe in the vital importance of volunteerism and its contribution to society and our economy and are committed to ensuring that volunteerism is supported in the Bay of Abundance.

The two organizations negotiated a formal agreement which came into effect on October 3.

SociaLink chief executive Liz Davies said she was saddened that due to Covid-19 and increasing financial constraints, Volbop was no longer able to provide volunteer services.

“Volunteers are essential to the operation of the majority of non-profit organizations, many of which are completely dependent on volunteers.

“When Volbop approached SociaLink, we felt it was a good fit with other SociaLink services and wanted to ensure, where possible, that volunteering services were not lost to the Western Bay of Plenty.”

Langson also thanked Volbop CEO Vanessa Lister for her efforts and dedication to the organization and the voluntary sector.

Bay of Plenty company wins design award
Bay of Plenty design studio WOODS Agency walked away with a gold pin in the Graphic category of this year’s Best Design Awards.

It won the award for its work with the Pāpāmoa Boardriders Club, and it was the only regional agency to qualify as a finalist and faced over a thousand initial registrations.

Bay of Plenty design studio, WOODS Agency, won a gold pin in the graphics category at this year's Best Design Awards.  Photo / Provided
Bay of Plenty design studio, WOODS Agency, won a gold pin in the graphics category at this year’s Best Design Awards. Photo / Provided

Winners were honored at an awards ceremony at the Aotea Center in Auckland, hosted by Jenifer Ward-Lealand and attended by over 1,000 designers.

Winners received either a purple or gold pin for their superb achievements in their field or the illustrious black pin to honor an enduring commitment to the world of design.

This year’s entries included a wide range of projects, from a visual map of forgotten Maori history in the center of Hawke’s Bay, a contribution to this year’s first-ever Matariki celebrations, a chair that walks lightly on the planet and a campaign that encouraged people to support local small businesses in the depths of lockdown.

Scion is developing a solution to tackle plastic waste for nurseries
Scion scientists have helped develop and test biodegradable nursery pots that will help nurseries and gardeners reduce plastic waste and its impact on the environment.

The biodegradable pots, made from biopolymers and biofiller, will provide an alternative to the estimated 350 million potted plants produced each year by New Zealand nurseries.

Manufacturing of the pots will ramp up once production processes are refined with funding received from the government’s recently announced Plastics Innovation Fund. The jars are expected to be commercially available by September 2023.

Scion scientists Maxime Barbier and Gerty Gielen have been instrumental in the development of biodegradable plant pots for nurseries.  Photo / Provided
Scion scientists Maxime Barbier and Gerty Gielen have been instrumental in the development of biodegradable plant pots for nurseries. Photo / Provided

The successful prototype, PolBionix, was developed over four years at Scion as part of a project with commercial customer Wilson and Ross Limited.

Director Peter Wilson has engaged the services of Scion’s team of experts in biomaterials and biodegradable testing to develop and test a formulation for a product that meets the requirements of a nursery, last at least 12 months above ground then, after being planted in the ground, continues to biodegrade. The pot then provides fertilizer for the plant as it decomposes, which promotes plant growth.

Bay of Plenty CCNZ Hynds Construction Awards
Held earlier this month at Trinity Wharf, Tauranga, 180 attendees gathered to celebrate excellence in projects and people, showcasing achievements within the industry.

There were 29 entrants across all award categories, including three individual categories and three project categories.

Civil Contractors NZ Managing Director Alan Pollard said the awards night was an outstanding success, showcasing incredible projects, passionate and committed people, and an industry in the region that is well engaged and focused on achieving the best results for their communities.

“It was not just an evening of celebration, but of reconnecting following the disruption of the past two years. Very privileged to have been a part of it.”

Bay of Plenty Vice President Mike Speed ​​said it was an amazing night.

GT Civil won the top prize at the Bay of Plenty CCNZ Hynds Construction Awards.  photo / Provided
GT Civil won the top prize at the Bay of Plenty CCNZ Hynds Construction Awards. photo / Provided

“After so many years of deliberation on whether or not to host our own event, we finally pulled it off.

“The evening provided such a unique way to celebrate the success and development of our people, and I’m confident that future events will receive even greater support.”

He thanked and congratulated everyone who took the time to enter.

“To anyone wondering if they should attend next year – pull yourself together and go for it, you won’t be disappointed.”

Category A – Hirepool Sponsor – Less than $300,000 (Limited to a company with less than $25 million in revenue)
GT Civil – Sherwin Street Stormwater

Category B – Avertu Sponsor – $300k to $1m
Bridge It NZ – Kaiwaka Foot Bridge

Category C – GPIL – over $1 million
Downer NZ – SH30 Eastern Corridor Upgrades – Stage 1 (Sala Street to IIes Road)

Apprentice of the Year – Sponsor Higgins
Reegan Reid – Waiotahi Contractors
Strongly recommended
Meagan Verberne – Downer NZ
Strongly recommended
Sonny Collier – Downer NZ

Emerging Leader – Sponsor K&L Distributors Ltd
Mason Hohepa – Civilian Brian Perry
Strongly recommended
Nicola Turner – Downer NZ

Woman in civil winner
Sheridan Fathers – EPL Construction

Supreme Award
GT Civil – Sherwin Street Stormwater


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