NZ has a thriving technology start-up ecosystem with many organisations working together to provide Kiwi founders with support, knowledge, funding and connections throughout their entrepreneurial journeys. In this four-part series by NZ Growth Capital Partners we meet technology start-ups from a range of industries and the people helping them grow. This week, Tectonus.

About Tectonus

Tectonus believes in saving lives and livelihoods. Their unique technology helps buildings withstand multiple earthquake events, with devices that self-centre the building back to its original position, with minimal disruption to owners and occupants. Their solution goes beyond the ‘life safety’ standard specified in the engineering code. 

Tectonus is a University of Auckland spin-out and Velocity Challenge winner that was founded in the wake of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake tragedy.  Founders Professor Pierre Quenneville and Pouyan Zarnani focused their research efforts to develop a system that would better protect people, places and businesses from structural damage witnessed post seismic event. 

With two commercialised categories to date (structural devices and storage tanks devices); serving multi-storey buildings and liquid storage tank markets, Tectonus solutions have been implemented in greenfield projects in New Zealand and Canada including the likes of Nelson Airport, Lincoln University, Oxford Terrace, Hutt Valley Health Hub, Cathedral College and Fast + Epp HQ in Vancouver, with more projects in the pipeline.

Tectonus is a great example of the type of opportunity UniServices supports – clever products based on research that meet a clear problem/need with significant potential for financial and societal impact. Together with an excellent team of complementary skills this gives it the best chance of success. UniServices backs ideas from staff and students of the University of Auckland providing education, advisory, networks and capital to nurture early ideas.

Stephen Flint – Director of Commercialisation, UniServices


Programmes and partners

Velocity:  Velocity LaunchPad Programme, $100k Challenge Programme (Winner) 

UniServices: Research partners / investors 

AUT Ventures: Research partners 

NZTE: Advisory / Grants

Callaghan Innovation: Interns via R&D grants


NZGCP, UniServices, K1W1, Lindsay Investments, Angel HQ, Nelson Angels, Pacific Channel, Pierre Quenneville (Founder)

About NZ Growth Capital Partners

NZGCP is a Government entity that exists to support New Zealand early-stage businesses and investors to be world-class. We operate two funds:

Our Aspire NZ Seed Fund invests directly into early-stage Kiwi technology start-ups alongside other like-minded investors.

Our Elevate NZ Venture Fund is a fund of funds, investing into venture capital firms; aimed at filling the Series A and B capital gap for high-growth New Zealand technology companies.

Check out the new Start-up Resources content on NZGCP’s website to find support for founders and investors within our technology start-up ecosystem

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