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Callaghan Innovation invites fresh thinking on start-up support

This article was published on 13 December 2016

The government’s business innovation agency says a tender process for start-up business support could unlock the next big export earners for New Zealand.

Following on from the launch of the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator and Flux digital accelerator in October, Callaghan Innovation is asking for proposals from service providers to run a programme of business incubators and accelerators from mid-2017.

Separate tenders will be run to find the providers for the founder incubator programme for 2017/18 and 2018/19, and the business accelerators for the same period. The accelerators will include a pilot programme focusing on Maori founders.

The tender process got underway on 12 December, and closes on 3 February 2017.

Callaghan Innovation Start-up Manager Elena Higgison says the programmes provide an important part of the start-up ecosystem in New Zealand, helping early stage businesses hone their product and business model in an environment that exposes them to plenty of guidance and inspiration.

“Technology is not just a potential earner for the New Zealand economy, it is rapidly becoming a central pillar, along with the primary sector.

“The latest Technology Investment Network (TIN) report shows the top 200 New Zealand tech companies brought in nearly $9.5 billion in the past year, at an average growth rate of 12 percent.

“These programmes help increase the likelihood of a successful launch of technology-focused businesses that could be the next big export earners for New Zealand.

“The open tender is an opportunity to test the market to see if there are innovative models on how to deliver this type of support to businesses, including extending further reach into regions.

“Running the two tender processes in tandem also creates the opportunity for a provider with capability in both accelerators and incubators to look to pitch some exciting concepts for complementary programmes.

“The pilot Maori founder-focused accelerator is also a concept rich in potential, with the prospect of tapping into a strong entrepreneurial streak among Maori in business across a broad range of sectors.

“The Māori accelerator is part of the government’s focus on Māori jobs and enterprise through He kai kei aku ringa, the Crown-Māori Economic Growth Partnership.”

Submit tenders via the GETS website

Tenders can be submitted on GETS, the government tendering website.

The direct link to the Incubators RfP is:

The direct link to the Accelerators RfP is: