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Incubators and accelerators

Wellington is packed with creators, thinkers and dreamers. Our various incubator and 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.


Wellington's startup incubators bring budding startup teams into an entrepreneur community and surrounds them with the resources and support needed to turn an idea into a high-growth business. Creative HQ, Wellington's startup base, currently run the following incubator programmes:


Global growth programme

Designed for startups that dream big, this programme provides startups with access to the knowledge, networks and capital needed to take a new company global and create real value in the global market. 

Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp

Creative HQ teamed up with VicLink (Victoria University's commercialisation office) to run a twelve week bootcamp that provides students with entrepreneurial experience and apply the lean startup methodology to validate a viable business idea through to execution.


Startup ‘acceleration’ is where the urgency and energy of The Amazing Race meets the structure and rigor of business incubation, condensed into a short time frame - sometimes 6 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.

To date, Lightning Lab has guided 60 entrepreneurs (19 startups) through rigorous learning, mentoring and business development that resulted in $4.4 million in private investment at the programme’s investment events “Demo Day”.

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.

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