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Wellington startup accelerators

Wellington is packed with creators, thinkers and dreamers. Our various accelerator programmes aim to turn these big ideas into viable, high growth businesses that fuel New Zealand’s economy by providing access to the knowledge, networks and capital needed to take a new company global.

Startup ‘acceleration’

Where the urgency and energy of The Amazing Race meets the structure and rigor of business incubation, condensed into a short time frame - sometimes six weeks, sometimes 12.

Accelerators provide structure, skills and focused support for a business to successfully prove, build and launch their ideas into market.

Lightning Lab

Launched in Wellington in 2012, Lightning Lab is New Zealand's first digital accelerator programme. Lightning Lab’s aim is to create a great business at lightning speeds, with up to ten digital startups participating in the twelve week mentor-intensive programme.

During the twelve weeks, teams are given access to a network of more than 100 mentors, interns and advisors from around the world. The programme provides startups with structure, business skills and focused support to successfully build and launch their ideas into market.

Following the success of the original programme and expanding the scope to support the wider development of the entrepreneurial spirit, CreativeHQ currently run six branches of Lightning Lab; GovTech, Electric, XX, Manufacturing  and, Digital.

Venture Up

Venture Up is a new startup business accelerator programme for Young Enterprise Scheme graduates and alumni aged 16-21 years old. The programme is based on New Zealand’s leading accelerator programme, Lightning Lab.

R9 accelerator

Creative HQ has partnered up with New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on a new government accelerator – one of the first in the world. Bringing together entrepreneurs, developers, private sector specialists and government to work on projects that solve major pain points for New Zealand businesses and reduce their costs of interacting with government.

Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator

Both Kiwibank and Lightning Lab work to make life better for Kiwis.

The Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator is an opportunity for high impact businesses to contribute to making Kiwis, Kiwi companies and the NZ financial system better. They're interested in companies that can help bring everyone into the financial system, and gain the benefits, and are looking for people who have viable business models.

1st Assembly

1st Assembly are a development hub for high-growth startups and business. They'll give you business development tips and a space to build and grow your business. They are set up for those who need more than just a whiteboard and laptop to design - you'll also get access to their workshop and a VR area.