Young Innovator Awards

YIA inspires and encourages the Bay of Plenty’s young people to become the innovators of the future.


The Young Innovator Awards were born from the vision to create tomorrow’s innovators. A group of fantastic partners came together to create engaging campaigns, a series of workshops, games and experiences, and a guided entry process, all to get students into the innovation mindset.

YIA is a hands-on innovation experience designed to arm kids with the skills of investigating and spotting opportunities, developing ideas and researching solutions, in order to create new products and services. Through out YIA’s lifetime, we have worked closely with schools and students to make innovation accessible.


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Young Innovator Awards


Five categories of research, communication, sustainability, innovation, and creativity ultimately guide students and young professionals through their ideation and development of their project.

A panel of innovation leaders is convened to judge the entries on the above criteria, and hand out the supreme winners in Junior and Senior Secondary School and Young Professional categories. The finalists will also be displayed in the public arena, resulting in a People’s Choice Award.

There is a huge pool of prizes to be won each year and as the awards grow, both entries and prizes become more rewarding. As part of our ongoing relationship, we host an internship for the Secondary School student entry that excites us the most and shows real commercial promise.


In 2013, we introduced the Innovation Forum. We saw it as a great opportunity to promote the awards and give local business people a chance to get together and hear the unique stories of our expert guest judges.

We are proud to have worked with Priority One and Woods Creative to drive this programme to the next level. The creative thinking and energy of the students inspire us and it’s a privilege to assist in nurturing that talent through the awards.

We continue to donate our time to making this event a success, growing its appeal and effectiveness year on year. We enjoy the time we get with interns, workshopping their ideas, engaging in product design and development with them, and helping them push towards a marketable solution. Creative thinking and innovation are what drives us and we delight in seeing the awards and students blossom.

This YIA process is incredibly important to young people today. Some of them will go on to develop and grow some fantastic businesses and will inspire many others to follow.

– David Darling, Pacific Edge, Keynote Speaker at YIA 2013


Kat Sutherland
Timothy Allan
Blythe Rees-Jones
Rogier Simons


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2014 Poster (4.8MB)