Incubators & Accelerators

"It always seems impossible until it's done." - Nelson Mandela

startup incubators nz

Startup incubators and accelerator programmes in New Zealand

Startup incubators and accelerator programmes play a vital role in startup ecosystems throughout the world and it’s no different here in New Zealand.

New Zealand has numerous incubators and accelerators, helping hundreds of entrepreneurs every year to identify and validate market opportunities, plan and build out their products and teams, and get “investment ready”. Some programmes are delivered by organisations dedicated to startup business incubation and acceleration, while others are delivered by organisations (such as Regional Economic Development Agencies) as part of a broader range of services.

While some are focused on helping founders across all industries, others may be focused on specific verticals or commercialising emerging technologies and scientific research.

As the name implies, incubators are generally focused on helping entrepreneurs in the very early stages of business formation – sometimes before a product or service has even been created. Market validation and business model development are a key focus, and the startup is generally provided with space in a dedicated shared workspace, with easy access to the incubators mentors and business support services, and allowing the startup to stay focused on the iterative process of product development and market fit.

Startup accelerators tend to be short, fixed term sprints of no more than 3-6 months focused on helping existing teams with potential to scale up, and may not require participant businesses to work onsite.

In addition to business development assistance, incubators and accelerators may invest seed money into participant companies in return for a share of the company, and programmes generally end with investment pitches to angel investors when the startup is considered investment ready.

Incubators and accelerators can be invaluable for entrepreneurs, allowing them to access years of entrepreneurial experience, knowledge, connections and investment they may otherwise not enjoy, and fast-track their development. If you have a business idea and are not sure what to do next, most incubators offer drop-in sessions and are happy to chat with you.


Callaghan Funded Founder Incubators

Northland Inc Whangarei


SODA Inc Hamilton

BCC Palmerston North

Creative HQ Wellington

ThincLab (formerly Xstart) Christchurch

Startup Queenstown Lakes Queenstown

Startup Dunedin Dunedin

COIN South Invercargill

Other Founder Incubators

Tai Tokerau Early Stage Programme/Startup Northland Whangarei

Rotorua X Rotorua

GreenXchange Nelson

The Hatchery (University of Canterbury) Christchurch

Click Queenstown Lakes


Callaghan Funded Tech Incubators

WNT Ventures Tauranga

Sprout Palmerston North

Brandon Capital Partners

Bridgewest Ventures

Callaghan Funded Accelerator Programmes

Flux Accelerator Auckland

Kokiri Te Awamutu

Sprout Accelerator Palmerston North

Lightning Lab Wellington

Other Accelerator Programmes

Health Innovation Hub Auckland & Christchurch

Meteoroid Tauranga

Venture Up Wellington

Corporate Accelerators

Fonterra Ventures Colab Auckland

Vodafone Xone Christchurch

Learn more Accelerators vs Incubators: What startups need to know Is a startup incubator or accelerator right for you? Government renews millions of funding for start-up incubators Wikipedia – Business Incubators Wikipedia – Startup Accelerators