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Set up by startup incubator Creative HQ and based in Wellington, the intensive 12-week programme backs entrepreneurs with $18,000 of seed money and pushes them to make their business idea fly. Along the way, they’re supported by leading entrepreneurs and business experts.
Companies involved have covered a range of ventures from pricing and recommendations tools for online auctions to a website changing the way sports clubs raise money.
It’s a full on process that aims to deliver. Lightning Lab is the only New Zealand member of the Global Accelerator Network, made up of the world’s top 51 accelerators.
“We might be smaller than other accelerators but we use a proven model and the ideas here are as good as anywhere else in the world,” says Stefan Korn.
The startups seem to appeal to investors too – after its launch in 2012, Lightning Lab companies raised $3 million from the equity market.
“It’s like being punched in the face repeatedly, whilst being shot out of a cannon after having been set on fire.”
So said entrepreneur Ollie Langridge on life in the Lightning Lab.
New Zealand’s first digital startup accelerator programme, the Lightning Lab supercharges 10 of the best business prospects each year.