Starting out in the Ara entrepreneurial ecosystem

News News & events

20 Dec 2019

When an internship with Ministry of Awesome (MoA), based in Te Ōhaka (a partnership between Ara and MoA) presented itself, Tyler Culling threw himself out of his comfort zone and into Christchurch’s exciting and everchanging innovation ecosphere.

“My final paper in my Bachelor of Applied Management (majoring in Entrepreneurship and Innovation) was work-integrated learning,” Culling says.


Tyler (back middle) with the Ministry of Awesome team. 

In his five months at Te Ōhaka Culling assisted the MoA team with marketing, as well as community and events work.

“The innovation sphere in Canterbury has blown up big time! When the Te Ōhaka space opened it had only twelve people and now there are queues of small start-ups trying to get in. The ecosystem of people wanting to be involved is overwhelming and sectors like Agritech and food/beverage are massive in Canterbury.”

“I’ve learnt a lot about the entrepreneurial and start-up ecosystem in Christchurch, and alongside that I‘ve had the chance to network with business leaders and innovators from across a whole range of different sectors.”

For Culling’s final year project at Ara he produced a research paper on Te Ōhaka and how it could alter its offerings to better suit the needs of start-up companies.

Just as he stepped back from his internship to focus on his research, Culling was offered a new role at Te Ōhaka, as Executive Assistant for Limpidity. Limpidity is a company developing fog dispersal systems and solutions for airports.

“So I did my internship and then I moved into a full-time role with another start-up in the Te Ōhaka space: Limpidity Limited.”

“My ultimate personal goal is not related to business in any way. I’ve always wanted to be an author. I chose business because I saw the problem-solving skills as being the most universally valuable.”

“The current innovation ecosphere is indictive of a change in people’s mindsets and approach to working. People are a lot more willing now to roll the dice in regards to entrepreneurial ventures and if it doesn’t go their way, they’re confident they’ll find their way to bounce back. It’s quite inspiring to see.”

Ara in partnership with Ministry of Awesome have created a start-up and innovation hub called Te Ōhaka that Ara students and staff, commercial partners, and innovators benefit from.