CEO & Founder Mel Gollan and CTO Jesse Whitham headed to Turanganui-a-kiwa (Gisborne) to support Startup Weekend Tairawhiti.

Gisborne is home for Mel and where RIP Global was designed, so the city has a special place in Mel’s heart.

“This community deserves the very best we can deliver, and I think it is safe to say all of the mentors, volunteers and members of the community that get behind this initiative really understand this.  It warms my soul to see mentors from out of town say this is a startup weekend with massive mana and spirituality – no surprise to me, and there was a bit of sand in the eyes of a few mentors at then end of the weekend”.

Gisborne is classed as a “high deprivation” zone with shocking stats in mental health, suicide and physical health.

“A number of the ideas pitched were how to help this community with what most areas expect to see as basic rights and services.  Distance from service providers, limited employment and low pay has a huge impact on this community.  The people here have the magic, they have the answers, and they just need a little help in the right areas.”

“We are now working with local community leaders to facilitate the frameworks and templates needed to make a difference in this community. If not us, then who?”