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Founder Incubators

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Do you have a great idea or an early stage, high-growth business? Founder incubators provide concentrated, core business support and extensive networks for you to accelerate your path to market.

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About Founder incubators

Founder incubators are for people with great ideas. They provide services to help you and your team validate your idea in the market and build a strong business around it.

Our extended network of incubators help start-ups with:

  • Technology and market validation
  • Business planning and development
  • Capability building
  • Investment preparation and access to networks
  • Governance and establishment of advisory board
  • Shared working spaces

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Funding support for incubated businesses

Founder incubators may invest in eligible businesses but the equity stake is typically small and not the primary means of funding the business. Often these founder incubators are affiliated with early stage business investment networks.

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Founder incubators funded by Callaghan Innovation

Talk with one of the incubators below to find out how you can get involved.

The Factory

The Factory

The Factory is a Palmerston North-based specialist business development organisation for start-ups in agriculture, agritech and agrifood. The team uses its expertise in start-ups, investment and innovation management to help entrepreneurs and innovators take products to market.

Find out more at The Factory website


Creative HQ

Creative HQ helps start-ups, businesses and government innovate effectively. They strive to build a vibrant economy fuelled by successful high growth ventures that operate internationally and contribute to New Zealand’s long term wealth.

Find out more at the Creative HQ website

soda inc logo


SODA Inc. works with founders from all industry sectors as good ideas and opportunities can be found anywhere. SODA matches expert advisors with founders to support them in building and growing a business around their goals. Headquartered in Hamilton, SODA Inc. operates part-time, remote and customised incubation programmes for clients located throughout New Zealand which gives founders the flexibility to work within their local start-up ecosystem.

Find out more at the SODA Inc. website

Icehouse Ventures logo

Icehouse Ventures

Icehouse Ventures enables the success of kiwi entrepreneurs at all stages of growth through access to connections, advice, acceleration and investment. Icehouse Ventures’s support is underpinned by a massively valuable network that includes NZ’s largest seed and angel investment network, industry leaders, successful entrepreneurs and world-class mentors. Icehouse Ventures actively invests in and adds value to high potential start-ups, giving them the support they need to win on the global stage.  

Find out more at the Icehouse Ventures website

ThincLab logo


ThincLab is Canterbury's dedicated Founder Incubator accelerating the growth of the regions most promising startups. Powered by the University of Canterbury's Centre for Entrepreneurship and ChristchurchNZ, ThincLab provides capability building for founders and teams, connection to industry experts and agencies, and pathways to growth and investment.

Find out more at the ThincLab website

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Improvements on the way!

The Founder Incubator programme has been reviewed recently and there are some exciting changes on the way for 2022. For information about the review and changes, see here

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Start-ups in the News

The Social Club - influencer marketing at its best

The Social Club was an early influencer agency founded in 2015, quickly growing to 14 staff to become the largest influencer marketing agency in the country. It connects influencers and brands using its own technology platform. Read and listen to more via The Spinoff

PICMI helps agriculture labour shortages

PICMI’s cloud-based software is designed to simplify the employment process for agricultural seasonal staff. PICMI worked with the Sprint Global incubator programme. Read more via

Genoapay attracts $1m investment 

Genoapay is a platform allowing shoppers to pay for their goods in weekly installments, and with no interest. Founder Shaun Quincey raised $1m following his pitch at the Flux Accelerator programme demo day (delivered by The Ice House). Read more via the NBR.

MyApiary awarded for beekeeping software

The MyApiary team were big winners at the Fieldays innovation awards, receiving four awards for their apiary performance and operations management software. Co-founder Darren Bainbridge received business mentoring and support from the Soda Inc programme. Read more via

For more updates, visit the Founder Incubator websites.

Updated: 15 September 2021