Helping Kiwi hardware start-ups harden up

By Jesse Keith, National Network Manager – Design & Manufacturing


As Kiwis, we have a strong reputation for world-beating ideas, and taking them through to prototype stage. But turning them into successful business opportunities is another skill entirely – and this is where we can sometimes fall down.

Lightning Lab – Manufacturing” will be New Zealand’s first ever physical product and manufacturing accelerator that has an immersive programme designed to help teams focus on their value proposition, market validation, solution prototyping – all with the intent of developing an irresistible pitch for “Demo Day” – a presentation to an incredible section of investors.

Teams will go through a selection process to ensure that an accelerator programme best meets their business growth requirements.

Industry mentors are being gathered to help inspire, coach and give guidance to the 10 successful teams. This accelerator isn’t aimed just at start-ups or early stage innovators, but existing ventures already producing small volumes or with a fully functioning prototype will benefit greatly from this programme.

Inspired by the highly successful Lightning Lab – Digital, Lightning Lab – Manufacturing will also be a 12-week immersive programme where teams get to work on-site from a collaborative headquarters in Lower Hutt’s Central Business District. Participants will have fantastic access to Wellington’s Science, Technology, Manufacturing, Business, Design and Creative industries all the with a focus on accelerating their ideas.

The programme will be directed by Shawn O’Keefe ( @shawnokeefe ) who brings many years of experience running the interactive programme for SXSW (South By South West) technology festival in Austin Texas. His international experience and global connections will bring something truly special to this event.


About Callaghan Innovation

Business. Technology. Success.
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