Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Immigrants Blog

French-Born Tauranga Entrepreneur Inspires Innovation
31 July 2015
French-Born Tauranga Entrepreneur Inspires Innovation



French-Born Tauranga Entrepreneur Inspires Innovation

"It is a hard road being an entrepreneur. You need more than inspiration to get an innovative idea off the ground." ~ Pascale Hyboud-Peron

I’d like you to meet Pascale Hyboud-Peron.

Pascale is a Tauranga import from European who moved here 15 years ago with a one-way ticket, too much luggage and a taste for adventure.

Tauranga has been good to her.

She found love here, a sense of place, a collaborative community, a beautiful natural playground and a career path that led her from teaching to entrepreneurship.

But as in most good relationships, it works both ways.

 Pascale has been good to Tauranga.   

She is a respected and well-liked local who is always to be found at the heartbeat of anything innovative in the city. 

She is a co-founder of Venture Centre and its collaborative communication and technology focused co-working space Basestation.

So, if you are thinking of coming back to Tauranga and starting your own thing, chances are you will bump into Pascale at some point.

She’ll be the dynamic woman in the crowd with the short dark hair, intelligent eyes, friendly smile and wonderfully French/Kiwi fusion accent!

Here’s Pascale with the low-down on how Venture Centre might be part of YOUR story.


How can Venture Centre help start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs? 

The motivation for co-founding Venture Centre came from seeing, and working with so many talented people here in Tauranga. 

As a teacher I worked with young people, as a consultant with clients, and as a co-founder with colleagues with incredible potential. All formed the grass roots of a truly entrepreneurial city. 

But these talented people had little hands-on help to start or continue their entrepreneurial journey. 

The services on offer were for later stages or were too formal, expensive or old fashioned - something had to be done!

It is proven the world over that entrepreneurs solve problems, form companies, create value and jobs, increase the well being and prosperity of their community and attract other entrepreneurs.  

So I had all the motivation I needed to come together with my co-founders to begin, connect, and grow a community from the 'bottom-up'. 

It is a hard road being an entrepreneur. You need more than inspiration to get an innovative idea off the ground. 

We launched Venture Centre to help people ‘navigate their future’, to make their enterprising journey easier.

Venture Centre products and services deliver the means to learn by doing with workshops and learning experiences. 

They equip participants with foundational startup tools and skills, not as theoretical exercises but through turning their ideas into reality, to make commercially viable successes. 

A year on, we have opened our co-working space, Basestation on Durham Street, where people connect with other people, share skills and work on projects with peers, meet experienced mentors and potential investors. 

I find it fabulous to have come thus far in so little time powered by associates and co-founders’ private investment (and long days in the office!).

Strong ecosystems of entrepreneurs have emerged and matured in many places in New Zealand and abroad.  

All have had a deliberate helping hand of public leadership that has come in behind to support the entrepreneurial activity generated by its people.

The timing for our city and regional leadership to join with its people is just right. 

There is huge people’s potential in our city, ready to be realised faster and better by working together.

Come and join us!

How has Tauranga changed since you immigrated here 15 years ago? 

I’m not quite sure if it’s Tauranga or I who has changed the most! 

I would say my appreciation and understanding of the place have evolved. 

Tauranga has grown more important to me.

It has given me a sense of place that I had not felt before, and with it a sense of belonging to a community. Alongside this, a sense of responsibility to contribute to its growth and appeal. 

Both community activities and the art scene have become more visible. 

The people are increasingly diverse and come from a wide range of horizons. 

Tauranga is varied both in its geography and its population, and some growing pain symptoms are that access to wealth is unevenly distributed and that the changing demographics needs are only slowly met.  


What has certainly changed is the urban landscape surrounding the city.  Big developments are continuously underway in the suburbs. This may have been to the detriment of the city centre, which needs re-inventing.  

I would describe Tauranga as ‘work in progress’, a good time for people who seek to get involved and make a difference, either socially or in business.

What do you enjoy about living in Tauranga? 


  • I enjoy the size, the fact that appointments are only 5 minutes away. And, that I can get there on my bike!

  • I enjoy that I can greet lots of people I know when walking down Devonport Road, and that people know my name in my favourite shops.

  • I enjoy the walkway along the harbour near our house in Bureta that links the city centre to Bethlehem. 

  • I enjoy that the city is getting more diverse, mature and confident and that people are giving things a go without waiting for things to be done for them. 

  • I enjoy that there is a genuine attempt at collaboration across various institutions, organisations and businesses to bring about the change needed to find sustainable ways to continue to move the city forward. 

  • I also enjoy that some things do not change - a somewhat general relaxed approach, a wholesome attitude to life.


Gets You Thinking Doesn't It?

No-one can tell you when you're ready for a change of lifestyle...but when you are, we'd love to have you in Tauranga!

1. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaurangaWelcomesYou

2. Subscribe to our montly e-newsletter to receive stories just like this one about people who have already made the big move you are thinking of making. 

Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz

Contact Annie

Contact Annie

Need help? Contact Annie

Send us your 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesses who are on the lookout for good people! annie@priorityone.co.nz

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Tauranga Welcomes You


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About Kathryn

About Kathryn


Kathryn Overall is the friendly voice behind the 'Wish You Were Working Here' stories and Facebook posts.  Each month she chats with returned Kiwi expats,  Auckland imports and New Zealand immigrants who have moved to Tauranga, collecting their stories and advice to share with you. 

CLICK HERE to read her own story of reluctant homecoming!


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