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Founder and Startup Support Programme

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A healthy, thriving innovation and startup environment is vital to our country’s future. Callaghan Innovation plays an important role as a catalyst for startups and entrepreneurs, by helping to fund startup support organisations to grow more high-quality startups and entrepreneurs.

We do this by building ‘entrepreneurial capability’ in aspiring entrepreneurs and accelerating the growth of quality high-impact startups.

This programme is designed to:

  • lift the productivity and performance of New Zealand startups

  • equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the mindset, skills and networks to succeed

  • create more and higher quality startups (including deep tech companies)

  • lift diversity in startups and entrepreneurship, especially Māori and female representation

  • increase the quality and scale of New Zealand’s startup support ecosystem.

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Provider organisations

To achieve this, we support the following organisations to deliver capability to entrepreneurs and startups from across New Zealand, with both virtual and in-person options.

HTK group - Growing and accelerating  business potential
Ministry of Awesome
Creative HQ
Icehouse Ventures is a venture capital firm backing brave kiwi founders with unique insights building global companies.

Not what you are looking for?

  • If your startup is a registered New Zealand business
  • and you are seeking additional support from Callaghan Innovation have a look at our contact page.

You can also check out our other products, Innovation Skills and Grants.

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Friends of the programme

We have plenty of friends in the startup ecosystem who can also offer you some fantastic support in your local area, here are a few to get you started:


  • Northland
    The Orchard Business and Event Hub - a collaborative business and event space for entrepreneurs, startups and established business professionals in Northland.

  • Taranaki
    Startup Taranaki is a team of motivated volunteers passionate about growing a strong, innovative & inclusive startup scene in the region.

  • Tairāwhiti
    Startup Weekend Tairāwhiti is an annual weekend-long event where entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts, developers, designers, marketers, product managers, passionate people and creative thinkers come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!

  • Dunedin
    Startup Dunedin - Turn your idea into reality.

  • Queenstown
    Startup Queenstown Lakes - Let’s turn your big idea into a reality

  • Invercargill
    COIN South is an innovation network for Southland start-ups looking to scale beyond the region.

  • Tauranga
    Venture Centre provides the opportunity for you to learn and activate key entrepreneurial skills including how to explore, test, measure, iterate and validate ideas.

  • Manawatu
    The Factory - Turn your idea into a business with us, or scale your start-up to be a business of tomorrow.

  • Hamilton
    Soda - We connect business of all sizes, industries and stages to the right advice, support, resources and funding, to accelerate business growth and drive innovation.

  • And more!


Updated: 8 August 2022