Now, more than ever, we need smart, bold entrepreneurs who are creating not just world-leading, but world-bettering companies. In other words, we need good innovation. Because that’s how we’ll help ensure intergenerational prosperity for Aotearoa New Zealand.

It's also why we're putting a special focus on people with ideas that will shift our country from a reliance on primary industries to a high-value, innovation-driven economy. We call them Frontier Ventures. 

So what’s a Frontier Venture? The answer lies within the name itself. 'Frontier' signifies the cutting edge of innovation, the boundary where disruption occurs and the status quo is challenged. 'Venture' implies an endeavour that’s fraught with uncertainty, yet brimming with the potential for substantial returns upon success. Calling these endeavours ventures also reflects the fact that innovation doesn’t only happen on the company level - a venture can be a team within a firm. 

These companies are the living embodiment of Sir Paul Callaghan's vision for Aotearoa New Zealand. They represent the innovative businesses that our nation excels at, ventures that resonate on a global scale. You’ll find others like them in the Sir Paul Callaghan 100 report, a celebration of frontier ventures that have already made a positive, world-leading impact for Aotearoa.

We know that there are many more out there and we actively seek them out and help them refine, develop and realise their ideas. 

Key questions answered

How do we decide what a Frontier Venture is?

Every idea, individual and business is unique. However, the Frontier Ventures we work with have a few things in common and these make up part of the criteria we use to assess others. They tend to be driven by novel and disruptive ideas or innovations that will make a positive impact, are committed to global growth and often invest highly in research and development.

How is this different from the innovators we already engage with?

Typically, innovators reach out to us when they recognize they need our help. However, with Frontier Ventures, we take the initiative and proactively pursue them. Given their early stage, they might not yet be aware of their needs or how to fulfil them, so we step in to guide and support them.

What do Frontier Ventures get from us?

They get exclusive and comprehensive wraparound support through our Grow product offering, complemented by a dedicated Customer Navigator to guide them through their journey with us. We work more intimately with them than our other customers, connect them to their peers and will tailor products and services specifically to address their needs. However, this intense focus doesn't mean we’ll look after our other customers less — supporting all of Aotearoa New Zealand’s innovators is what we’re here for.

What’s the difference between a Frontier Venture and a Frontier Firm?

Frontier Firms and Frontier Ventures both operate at the disruptive, cutting-edge we seek. However, Frontier Firms are already productive and making an impact while Frontier Ventures are often still in the early stages, full of untapped potential. They may not yet have a product or service on the market, but their promise is clear. We support both types of companies.

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