Mimicry Tech is an Invercargill-based startup that is bringing machine learning direct to regional museums, so what better place to develop the concept than with New Zealand's national museum, Te Papa.
The startup is one of 10 teams that is participating in this year's Mahuki innovation accelerator for a four-month programme based in Wellington's Te Papa.
The team is the first from Invercargill and one of the first from the South Island to join the programme. Its members will work remotely and commute to Te Papa to make the most of the programme.
According to founders Doug Thwaites, Louise Evans, and Rachel Butler, it's an exciting time for the team. They are looking forward to the wealth of resources they will be able to access.
“From a city with no permanent public art gallery or museum at present, having access to all of Te Papa, its people and research will be invaluable for Southland's arts and heritage scene,” comments Evans.
She says Mimicry Tech will use these resources and bring them to Southland in a number of ways. Live streams of guest speakers and hands-on workshops at the Cahoots coworking hub are just two of those events.
“These events aim to create a culture of innovation and startup in Southland, and foster community collaboration with Mimicry Tech at the core. Southland is primed to be a hub for innovation and technology – with low overheads, big ideas and endless potential,” Evans continues.
Mimicry Tech also plans to bring machine learning to regional New Zealand, by giving people the chance to collaborate with famous artists in real time.
“Art lovers will be able to finally drop the velvet ropes on untouchable art, and have their own drawings come to life in the style of these great artists.
Evans says this could work as a valuable learning tool and as a fun interactive exhibition tool.
Mimicry states that Te Papa's Mahuki programme offers access to researchers, angel investors and tech gurus to help grow businesses and bring their ideas to life.
Southland has its own accelerator programme through Creative HQ, the first region to be a satellite for the national programme, based in Wellington.
Creative HQ is supportive of Mimicry Tech and has extended its mentorship to them during the programme, Evans says.
Mahuki is supported by Callaghan Innovation, Morrison Kent, Deloitte Private and it is a member of the INCO network.