1. AgTech Silicon Valley Forum


Sprout and WNT Ventures team representatives recently attended the AgTechSVForum ‘How Digital Technology is Transforming AgTech’ in Silicon Valley on April 21st, in association with Callaghan Innovation and Wharf 42.

It provided New Zealand AgTech and AgBusiness leaders with the opportunity to meet and engage with leading food and farming executives from across the region. Keynotes and case studies from New Zealand explained how Kiwis are addressing some of the key challenges facing the agriculture sector. The future of AgTech and the impact that advancing digital technologies are having on the industry was a major focus.

Simon Brown AgTechCallaghan Innovation’s Simon Brown – General Manager Accelerator Services – at the AgTechSV Forum. Photo:


  1. Sprout


The Sprout teams attended the Mobiletech Primary Industries 2016 event in Rotorua on March 30th to 31st. Established in 2013, it is now a major industry event for showcasing new technologies designed to increase the productivity of New Zealand’s primary food and fibre industries.

Mobile tech RotoruaThe Mobiletech event in Rotorua. Photo:

The 2015 Sprout companies are now preparing for the Sprout Investor Showcase in Hamilton on May 11th. Investors will listen to the companies pitch and hear more about their Sprout journey. Registrations are now open for the 2016 Sprout programme.


  1. Te Papa Mahuki Business Innovation Hub


On Wednesday April 20th Te Papa launched its new innovation hub, Mahuki.

Mahuki will offer New Zealand entrepreneurs a residential programme where they can develop the next generation of experiences for the culture, heritage and learning sectors. Te Papa will invest around $1 million to establish Mahuki. Applications are now open and will close at 9am on Friday 9 June 2016.

Te Papa Mahuki launchAttendees at the Te Papa Mahuki Launch. Photo:


  1. Creative HQ


Creative HQ has a number of interesting things on the go, including the opening of 1st Assembly, a space for hardware-focussed Hutt startups to work and collaborate. 1st Assembly’s second monthly Startup Garage event was held on the 26th of April, featuring Andrew Sinclair from Motovated Design and Analysis.

The R9 Accelerator, powered by Better for Business and Creative HQ, is a 12 week programme to turn government project opportunities into innovative and impactful solutions. Now coming out of its sixth week, key updates can be found through Creative HQ here.

Creative HQ Accelerator 9CoHelix’s  Nicole, Dan, Alex at the R9 AcceleratorPhoto:×677.jpg


  1. Lightning Lab XX


Check out the latest featured team from Lightning Lab XX, Patternsnap. This start-up has developed an interior design app that allows designers to browse wallpaper and fabric samples.

The teams also had the pleasure of hearing talks from Lightning Lab XX Mentor Pallas Hupe Cotter and Soraya Darabi, co-founder of Zady.

Paula hupe cotterPallas Hupe Cotter talks to the teams about personal motivations


  1. Wintec Innes48 Competition Results


The fifth Wintec Innes48 Competition, powered by Soda Inc, has come to a close following 48 hours of innovation, idea thrashing and challenging the status quo during April 8th – 10th. Winners of the ‘Most Viable Business’, ‘Gallagher Craziest Idea That Might Just Work’, and ‘Best Pitch’ awards are listed on the competition blog post.

Dose DirectWinner of the Most Viable Business Award, DoseDirect. Photo:


  1. The Icehouse


The Icehouse and ICE Angels have announced the launch of a $10m fund called Tuhua which will invest in 25 leading kiwi start-ups over the next three years.

Tuhua has received investment from a network of world class kiwi business leaders including more than 50 ICE Angels’ members as well as a number of kiwi entrepreneurs, corporate executives and professional investors.


  1. Lightning Lab Auckland


The latest from Lightning Lab Digital in Auckland has seen teams celebrating small wins. Teams such as Waywiser, and Sonnar. Other highlights include the lunch event with Microsoft and 14 MPs, and an evening with 70 Ice Angel investors. More found here.

Brittany from WaywiserBrittany from Waywiser pitching to Microsoft and MPs. Photo:

About Callaghan Innovation

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