Lightning Lab XX - New Zealand's First Women's Accelerator Programme

Lightning Lab XX - New Zealand's First Women's Accelerator Programme

Lightning Lab have announced that they are developing an accelerator programme to run in Wellington next year that will be specifically tailored towards female founders, and startup teams with women in executive leadership positions.

Running parallel to an Auckland-based standard Lightning Lab cohort, this will be a high ­profile programme with a global focus, with the goal of creating a more diverse ecosystem in New Zealand, encouraging more creative thinking, richer discussions and a more productive entrepreneurial environment. The programme will be looking to attract women from all over the world to come to Wellington to participate in this world-leading accelerator.

When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.
— Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo

As the the lack of gender equality in startup communities is a well-documented issue, so too is the growing recognition that diversity in startup teams often helps them perform better financially.

Female-focused programmes have started appearing around the United States, while Chile, a country renowned in tech circles for its proactive approach to supporting entrepreneurs, has recently launched a pre-accelerator programme for female founders. Start-Up Chile Executive Director Sebastian Vidal explained of their programme, “this is not a gender equality programme, this is a diversity programme.”

Similarly, Lightning Lab's women's programme is not about providing special treatment for women, but rather raising the bar for all, and providing the right environment for female founders to thrive. Startup teams are offered a crash course in personal development and entrepreneurial skill building, and have the opportunity to develop their business, while being surrounded by other accomplished founders, CEOs and coaches. 

This is not a gender equality programme, this is a diversity programme.
— Sebastian Vidal, Executive Director, on Start-Up Chile’s Women’s Pre-accelerator Programme.

Alongside the announcement, Lightning Lab has opened a public forum for interested female founders and teams to access information about the programme, ask questions, and connect with other interested candidates.

You are invited to contribute your thoughts and ideas to the development of this concept, including selecting a name for the programme, which is currently being referred to as Lightning Lab ‘XX’. 

Please add your thoughts to the conversation here, and share the forum link to any individuals or teams you think might be interested in applying.

Applications for Lightning Lab XX open 18th September.

 

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