Rotorua, New Zealand
Founder Digital Natives Academy, 4 Company B, Digital Basecamp, Nativez Esports, Tangatawhenua.com
“Ruia taitea, kia tu ko taikaka anake” - Shake off the sapwood, and let the hard heart-wood only stand.
These rallying words were said by my ancestor Tunohopu when faced with overwhelming numbers many years ago and today, they will guide me through 2019.
Kia ora! My wife and I co-founded Digital Natives Academy in the heart of Rotorua to inspire tamariki & rangatahi to support them to be our next generation of digital leaders. From eSports to Animation, Programming to Game Dev, we want to prove that talent lives and grows out here in the provinces.
In 2016, we launched Digital Basecamp as a co-working space for Rotorua IT devs & creatives. By building a community on Hinemoa Street, our larger goal is to create GEEK STREET and really want to encourage more national & global companies to set up in Rotorua (and set up on Hinemoa Street pleeeeeease).
It was also presented an opportunity to start telling digital Maori stories after finishing at the Animation College, so a group of us formed 4 Company B (4CB) - crucial at a time when Maori IP was being used, popularised and commercially exploited. We decided to start telling our stories using global tech and sharing those immersive & interactive Indigenous stories with our whanau. This has encouraged us to reach further into Animation Production, Digital Maori Tourism and Digital Content Production.
We have a number of projects on the build and I’ll be keen to share our journey over these next few months.
Ka nui aroha ki a koe. Chur chur