Partnering with Industry – How to set-up your own innovation program or co-working space

Tui Te Hau, Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand

Mahuki is Te Papa’s Innovation Hub. It is part of a growing movement among museums to partner with industry and entrepreneurs.

A structured entrepreneurial program, Mahuki is run annually over 4 to 6 months where up to ten teams (or 40 individuals) are based on site and work on sustainable solutions for the challenges facing cultural institutions globally.

Mahuki has a few unique features: it is based on the start-up business accelerator model, it includes a short term co-working model, Te Papa will take equity in the teams and a portion of the program is delivered offshore.

The aims of Mahuki are to support cultural institutions like Te Papa to –

•Speed up the innovation process, meet visitor expectations and remain relevant in an increasingly digital world;
•Keep delighting our audiences when they visit in person or digitally and enable them to go deeper into our collections – beyond what is on display;
•Engage with entrepreneurs and suppliers who can deliver sustainable business benefit rather than bespoke service contracts; and
•Deliver efficiency and identify commercial outcomes and new revenue streams

In this practical workshop we will take you behind the scenes of the set-up and running of the first program and will cover:

•Consideration of the different models of partnering with industry (co-working, innovation hub, IP commercialization, start-up weekends, hack-a-thons, tertiary engagement and spin outs);
•Exploration of funding and revenue models including equity, rental model, royalties etc;
•What’s involved, what it will cost (time and money);
•Who should you partner with?
•The lessons we have learnt and what we will do differently next time