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Innovation in Wellington

Wellington is an internationally competitive region led by innovation, driven by technology and focused on exports.

Global reputation for innovation

Kiwi entrepreneurs are world renowned for cutting edge creativity, high tech innovation and for challenging the norm.

Wellington in particular has blazed a trail by creating a supportive network to ensure the success and global reach of the exciting enterprises based here. 

Xero, the most innovative company in the world, as ranked by Forbes in 2014, started and has their headquarters in Wellington. Wellington companies in the TIN 100, an index of New Zealand high tech businesses, grew close to three times faster than any other region across New Zealand.

We rank No. 1 nationally for research

Innovation often results form top quality research. Wellington is home to three universities, three institutes of technology and 12 private training establishments. Victoria University was ranked ahead of all 27 tertiary education organisations for research in the most recent NZ government statistics.

Commercial innovation is our specialty 

New Zealand has approximately 500 organisations directly involved in commercialising innovation, with the highest concentration of those right here in Wellington.

One of the most important organisations is Callaghan Innovation, where 400 researchers, scientists, engineers, technologists and investment managers help businesses realise their potential. Approximately $140 million a year in funding is channelled through the following three programmes:

Once your business is established in Wellington, accessing this funding is managed through Grow Wellington.

Innovative talent across many sectors 

Wellington is home to a long list of innovative businesses across many sectors, built on a history of ideas and creativity, including:


Garage Project - Craft beer innovators

Most breweries develop a set range of beers to distribute - but Garage Project have chosen experimentation over certainty. And local beer lovers have come to expect, and appreciate, the surprising results.

Volpara Solutions - Breast screening technology

Volpara's world leading breast imaging software increases the accuracy of information about breast density so radiologists can make better clinical decisions and therefore detect breast cancer earlier.

8i - Making Virtual Reality more human

8i is a virtual reality startup that has created ground-breaking new technology. Founded in Wellington in 2014, they’ve just secured $20 million in investment from Samsung Ventures and Ashton Kutcher's Sound Ventures.

Stansborough - Creative textile success

Local and international textile success story, Stansborough designed and produced material for costumes in international blockbusters such as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and The Chronicles of Narnia. 

Vega Industries - Optics aiding navigation

From the Panama Canal, Port Louis, and Long Beach Island, to the English Channel and the Port of Durban - Vega's innovative lights and beacons can be found on almost every coastline around the world.

ReGen - Agricultural business decisions

ReGen’s ambition to help farmers make smarter decisions for the benefit of their land led the company to develop an innovative system for managing dairy effluent.