Start-up Highlights: October 2015

Summer Park rounds up the best of the month on the start-up scene.


The first-ever Lean Start-up methodology conference in New Zealand. Curated by Creative HQ – Wellington-based founder incubator – and powered by Callaghan Innovation, Deloitte, Revera and others, this 3-day event attracted over 300 private and public sector delegates from around the world. LEAN 15 successfully united everyone through powerful and practical programmes with world renowned speakers, collaborative workshops, and interactive discussions.

At LEAN15 even the lunch tokens are hi-tech. This is a 3D-printed micro-spanner

At LEAN15 even the lunch tokens are hi-tech. This is a 3D-printed micro-spanner

Where is the “love” (you know, the capital)?

Having been immersed in the start-up space for a couple of months, two main themes became apparent: a general lack of capital for early stage tech start-ups, and the investors’ hunt for quality deal flow. Important note: we are improving to close this gap at an enormous rate. Recently New Zealand’s innovation sector has attracted love calls from various international early stage investors ranging from Australasia, China, North America, South East Asia and more. Watch this space for further updates.

  1. Spark $100k Challenge 2015

Entrepreneurship – innate or acquired? Regardless of the answer to this question, students at The University of Auckland are exposed to plenty of this rebellion through the entrepreneurial challenge, Spark.

Spark 100k

Fifteen finalists in this year’s programme eagerly awaited the results of the $100k Challenge at the Grand Prizegiving on Thursday last week. Guest speakers included Spark alumni Fady Mishriki, CEO and Co-founder of PowerbyProxi, Jiao Xie, CEO and Co-founder of Future Insight who also participated in Lightning Lab Auckland 2015, and Hamish Elmslie, CEO of Wine Grenade and start-up resident at The Icehouse.

eCentre Sprint Workshop

Sprint is the signature programme of this founder incubator located at the North Shore campus of Massey University. Designed for early stage businesses and/or those with great ideas, its name reflects the short, sharp and top-speed nature of the programme. In last week’s session we connected with various bright minds ranging from an ex in-house developer for EY now running 3 digital start-ups, the team behind an intricate English-as-a-second-language software tool, to a novel food delivery service start-up.

ecentre launch

Interesting fact of the day: Fraud protection software Vigilance, winner of the Best of the Best Enterprise prize at the 2015 Unitec Enterprise Challenge, is an alumnus of eCentre.

Asian Business Angel Forum

We pride ourselves for our connectedness – with no exception in the investment community. Earlier this month Angel Association New Zealand hosted the Asian Business Angel Forum in Queenstown.

John Travolta: a big investor from Asia... possibly

John Travolta enjoying Queenstown, possibly

The summit provided an amazing opportunity for local and international attendees representing both private and public sectors to discuss the future of early stage investment and network while enjoying the fabulous Queenstown backdrop.

Accelerator updates

Of the 65 applications, 23 teams have been shortlisted for the Sprout Agritech Accelerator based on the entrepreneurial capabilities, product and market opportunities.


Here is a great Idealog cover on Lightning Lab Manufacturing, and keep your eye on media releases for the Lightning Lab Christchurch Demo Day happening next week! And, if that weren’t enough, there’s a Lightning Lab Manufacturing/C-PRIZE demo double-header in Lower Hutt in November.


About Callaghan Innovation

Business. Technology. Success.
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