Business graduate says Te Ōhaka is a gold-mine for students

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12 Jun 2020

When you work for a start-up company, problem-solving skills are key to success, says Enterprise and Digital Innovation (EDI) graduate Tyler Culling.

“The Bachelor of Applied Management degree taught me about practical, logical problem-solving. Being a small business with limited resources it’s a continual battle for us to keep on top of each potential issue before, or as it arises.”

Culling, who graduated from Ara in 2019, puts all these skills into practice as Project Manager for Limpidity Ltd, a start-up based out of Te Ōhaka - Centre for Growth and Innovation; a partnership between Ara and Ministry of Awesome (MoA) at Ara’s Madras Street campus.

The core Limpidity team- Athira Nair, Emily Blythe, Tyler Culling and Nick Jackson 

“Limpidity’s aim is to develop fog dispersal systems and solutions for airports. Most of my recent work has centred around the preparation and coordination of our prototype trials in Australia, liaising the transportation of equipment & personnel, as well as organising test sites, regulatory compliance and operational procedures.”

Culling returned to New Zealand prior to the COVID-19 lockdown and since then he’s continued to provide operational support for staff based in Australia and has picked up some of the company’s accounting and marketing work.

As a student Culling got his first break into Christchurch’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through an internship with MoA, based in Te Ōhaka.

“Te Ōhaka is invaluable to any student, from nearly any industry or background,” says Culling.
“As an EDI student my internship was an amazing opportunity to combine theoretical skills with the real-world. It gave me a chance to be hands-on and feel that my ideas and opinions were valued and impactful with a real company.”

“Within Te Ōhaka there are real-world companies working on Ara’s doorstep and many are open to hearing new approaches and feedback. It's almost a forge, where students can hone their skills and turn themselves into a refined and practiced employee.”

“The connections and practical experience there are worth just as much as any paper you will do. I urge any student to go and interact with these companies, to make the effort and meet the people. Te Ōhaka is not just a place for new companies, it’s a tool for bringing students and startups together. I believe there is a true gold mine of potential there for both sides. They just have to be willing to reach out and make it happen.”

Te Ohaka is presently hosting the ChristchurchNZ ‘Smart City Hackathon, a challenge in which the CCC, MOA and EDI are offering Ara EDI students the chance to take part in solution-finding for the growth of a ‘smart Christchurch’, with an emphasis on transportation, health, water management and waste management. In return for taking part students earn course credits towards their bachelor’s degree or graduate diploma in ICT.

Later in the month, Te Ohaka will also be taking part in the city’s ‘Healthtech Supernode Challenge’ by hosting the pre-accelerator programme, which begins on June 22nd.

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