Alumni Spotlight – Te Miringa Parkes

Te Miringa Parkes

Te Miringa Parkes is an ambitious Wāhine from Auckland who, despite being a fulltime student, has founded multiple companies such as Ūkaipō, Blush Balloons Co, Glownz Events and Glownz Weddings. 

Studying Commerce and Arts at University and having a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, Te Miringa’s entrepreneurial journey began through a simple conversation with a lecturer, about a potential business venture. From that initial conversation, she was introduced to the world of entrepreneurship, and Te Miringa found herself competing in the 2020 Innovation challenge. 

Later that year, Te Miringa and her team came second place in the $100k Challenge with their innovative venture Ūkaipō, a venture inspired by her mother, that provides biodegradable, sustainable placenta packaging products that allow mothers to bury their child’s placenta; an important custom of many different iwi. After winning the runner up prize in the 2020 $100K Challenge, Ūkaipō has experienced immense growth. Ūkaipō now has fully developed their e-commerce platform, with their  products now available in market. Their venture has made meaningful connections with midwives and other birth communities, also recently exhibited at the Baby Show. 

Te Miringa says an important part of the experience of being in Velocity was hearing others’ confidence in her idea.

“Our business is a very unique business and has a unique offering so competing in a world where it feels very techy and sometimes feels like you have to have this disruptive new tech idea to be big was daunting, but I learned through this that business is business. If there’s a gap in the market that you think you can fill and have a plan moving forward, you can do it. You can compete and create a viable business!”

Currently, Te Miringa is running 4 amazing companies (Ūkaipō, Blush Balloons Co, Glownz Events and Glownz Weddings), and has made a significant and inspirational impact on the entrepreneurship space.  Competing in both the innovation challenge and the $100k challenge she has successfully found ways to turn her dreams into a reality. We can learn many things from her journey but one lesson remains strong, courage to do what most won’t, is an open door to achieve what others can’t.

“The biggest lesson I think I’ve learned so far is that the entrepreneurial journey is one where you are forever learning. The world is always changing, customer behaviours are always changing, strategies and approaches are always changing so we will never have all the answers. We’ll forever be learning, pivoting, failing, and growing.”

Ūkaipō now aims to develop their business into a global venture.