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Callaghan Innovation selects six new suppliers for its Founder and Startup Support Programme

This article was published on 29 July 2022

Callaghan Innovation has signed up six businesses to run its new Founder and Startup
Support Programme, aimed at helping founders, startups and entrepreneurs to get their
businesses up and running.

Te Wananga o Aotearoa Kōkiri, Creative HQ, HTK Group, Icehouse Ventures, Ministry of
Awesome consortia, and Sprout Agritech Accelerator have been selected to deliver the
programme across Aotearoa for the coming five years.

The programme combines Callaghan Innovation’s previous founder incubator and accelerator
programmes, and expands support to include entrepreneurs in the early stages of launching a
business. The programme pairs Callaghan Innovation with highly experienced startup support
organisations to provide founders, startups and entrepreneurs with the skills, tools, mentors
and networks they need to succeed, across all stages of growth.

Under the terms of the agreement, each of the providers is required to double Callaghan
Innovation’s $2.8m yearly investment into the programme – taking the annual total
programme funding up to $5.6m per year across the six providers.

Callaghan Innovation’s interim Chief Executive Officer, Stefan Korn, says it’s exciting to see a
revised initiative that focuses on supporting founders regardless of the type of programme
offered by providers.

“We’re really proud to have supported close to 3,000 founders and entrepreneurs through
previous accelerator and incubator programmes. This has led to some incredible outcomes,
including $290m in capital raised by ventures that have come through the programme, with
many going on to perform amongst New Zealand’s highest growth companies.
“The new programme is focused on providers who have the financial scale and capability to
deliver nationwide, while also providing more flexibility for them to deliver to their strengths in
terms of founder support. The result will be increased access to the programme for founders
across the country.”

“We’re also really thrilled to see the diversity of leadership this new cohort of providers
presents. This was a key focus of the procurement process, and we know that varied
approaches across providers really helps aspiring innovators from all walks of life to see
themselves as successful entrepreneurs.”

“One of Sir Paul Callaghan’s famous quotes was that 100 gifted entrepreneurs and startups

will turn this country around – it is our mission to make this happen and the revised Founder
and Startup Support Programme is designed to help make that vision a reality for Aotearoa.”
Learn more about the programme on Callaghan Innovation’s website.


Note to editors:

Please click here to download a photo of Acting Chief Executive Officer Stefan Korn.


Media contact

Callaghan Innovation Communications
e: | p: 027 291 9604

About Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is New Zealand’s innovation agency. The organisation’s primary
mandate is to activate innovation and accelerate commercialisation to help businesses grow
faster for a better New Zealand.

The government agency partners with ambitious businesses of all sizes, delivering a range of
innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of their growth.
Callaghan Innovation’s staff empower innovators by connecting people, opportunities and
networks, and providing tailored technical solutions, skills and capability development
programmes, and grants co-funding.

Callaghan Innovation also enhances the operation of New Zealand’s innovation ecosystem,
working closely with MBIE, NZTE, NZGCP, Crown Research Institutes, and other
organisations that help increase business investment in R&D and innovation. The agency
operates from four urban offices and a regional partner network in a further 12 locations
across Aotearoa.

Gracefield Innovation Quarter is home to more than 200 of New Zealand’s leading scientists,
researchers and technicians, along with a suite of tenant businesses. The site features state-
of-the-art specialist workshops, pilot plants, labs and equipment, and world-class
measurement facilities.

For more information visit