Press Release: Edmund Hillary Fellowship Set To Deliver NZ's New Global Impact Visa

Press Release: Edmund Hillary Fellowship Set To Deliver NZ's New Global Impact Visa

** For immediate release - From Edmund Hillary Fellowship **   28 September 2016

Edmund Hillary Fellowship Set To Deliver New Zealand’s new Global Impact Visa

The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) is thrilled to be named the implementation partner to deliver the new Global Impact Visa programme for New Zealand, as announced by Minister of Immigration Hon. Michael Woodhouse this morning.

“EHF offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for high-calibre entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams to come to New Zealand to create scalable, global impact,” says Yoseph Ayele, Chief Executive of EHF.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a unique opportunity to be a world leader in developing transformative solutions for humanity’s most pressing economic, social and environmental issues. Visionary entrepreneurs with fresh new ideas and different ways of doing business can help New Zealand get there.”

EHF is a three-year fellowship programme being offered to up to 100 high-calibre international entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams, along with 20 Kiwi individuals, to incubate and support innovative businesses with global impact potential. The organisation will work alongside Immigration New Zealand, which will process and issue Global Impact Visas (GIVs), an innovative new visa category that the New Zealand Government announced in April.

Providing Fellows with connections to mentors, investment opportunities and settlement support for new migrants, EHF aims to work with key players in entrepreneurship across New Zealand, research and development institutions, business leaders, and innovation communities across New Zealand’s regions.

“More than 200 international and Kiwi entrepreneurs, investors, and innovation experts have contributed valuable insights into the design of EHF,” says Ayele.

“We’ve also incorporated what we’ve learned from leading offshore programmes such as Endeavor, Y Combinator and the Unreasonable Institute that have succeeded at identifying and supporting exceptional entrepreneurs.”

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says the need to attract high value talent to New Zealand calls for a creative approach.

“Having the Edmund Hillary Fellowship implement the Global Impact Visa programme is an innovative answer to New Zealand’s pressing need for more highly developed products, more technologies and higher-level skills,” says Hope.

Another supporter is Julie Fry, co-author of recently published book Going Places: Migration, Economics and the Future of New Zealand.

“The Edmund Hillary Fellowship's end-to-end approach is a smart innovation that gives New Zealand a real chance to compete in the global race for entrepreneurial talent."

Nano-scientist and tech educator Dr Michelle Dickinson is also behind the fellowship.

“Imagine the mentoring, experience, knowledge and creativity that could take place in local businesses if New Zealand brought in a few highly talented entrepreneurs and investors who already wanted to live here. That’s exactly what EHF can provide,” says Dickinson

EHF is the result of a partnership between Kiwi Connect and the Hillary Institute for International Leadership. After launching in Antarctica with Sir Edmund Hillary and former prime-minister Helen Clark in 2007, the Hillary Institute has spent the last ten years identifying and celebrating exceptional mid-career leaders working on significant global challenges, through its international Hillary Laureate programme.

"After a decade’s work on the global stage with our ongoing Laureate programme, the Institute is delighted to now also look directly homeward, adding further value to New Zealand,” says Institute Founding Director Mark Prain.

“We bring to this unique partnership the spirit and values held by our namesake, Sir Edmund Hillary, including authenticity, audacity, humility and the relentless pursuit of accomplishing the extraordinary.

“The Edmund Hillary Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity in these challenging but exciting times to model a world-class, global impact initiative, incubated on home soil."

Kiwi Connect works to promote and connect high-impact entrepreneurship in New Zealand. The organisation was founded by a group of entrepreneurs and investors who moved from Silicon Valley and settled in New Zealand, bringing experience in building and scaling technology companies.

Kiwi Connect regularly brings together international and Kiwi entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, government leaders and creative minds to create new opportunities for New Zealand and share lessons with the local startup community. In the past two years, the organisation has hosted high profile entrepreneurs and investors such as Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator; Jason Green, Managing Partner at Emergence Capital; and Scott Nolan of Founders Fund.

EHF will officially launch in early 2017, with its first cohort of fellows being selected by the second half of that year.

“We’re looking forward to releasing details around the design of the programme, the selection criteria and additional information on this unique opportunity over the coming months,” says Ayele.

“EHF is designed to be accessible to visionary candidates who often don’t fit inside a box, but have huge potential. We want to find them from all corners of the world, and offer them a platform to succeed from New Zealand.”

- Ends -

For more information, please get in touch, or see www.ehf.org

Additional supporting quotes from entrepreneurial leaders in New Zealand:

"The fellowship aspect of the new visa is a revolutionary approach to immigration that will enable both kiwis and immigrants to work together and add value to our country. It's not just a ticket in the door, it’s a supportive system to help entrepreneur immigrants quickly add value by growing their companies from NZ. It's been a privilege to have been involved in the co-creation of the Hillary Fellowship." - Sam Johnson, Community Entrepreneur

“We know that strong networks and connections are increasingly important to economic activity, and that attracting talented migrants can help to transform our economy over time. The Edmund Hillary Fellowship builds on a story about the power of special individuals working within a supportive environment. It could help New Zealand become a smart, creative, ambitious, connected nation that takes new ideas to the world.” - Hayden Glass, Economist

“I'm delighted that GIVs is moving ahead and particularly delighted that the Edmund Hillary Fellowship is going to be spearheading this important programme. I know that EHF will be looking for people who reflect a vast array of talent, who bring a diversity of thinking and experiences, and who will be powerful contributors as New Zealand continues to embrace this rapidly changing world. I can't wait to see and work alongside this next wave of creative entrepreneurs!” - Kaila Colbin, Singularity University

“I spend a lot of time talking with entrepreneurs from around the world and am extremely excited about the potential for the Edmund Hillary Fellowship to attract much needed talent to New Zealand. The future of entrepreneurship is a focus on impact and this is a field which we really want to be at the front of. The future is being created and shaped by entrepreneurs everywhere and with this programme I believe we will see the amount of that future (and the jobs that go with it) being created in NZ increasing. Fantastic work everyone involved in getting this off the ground, I'm 100% in support."  - Joshua Vial, Founder, Enspiral

“The Edmund Hillary Fellowship will provide a highly attractive new pathway for new investment into solutions to New Zealand’s most complex problems, as well as making the country a more attractive base for working on them globally. It provides exactly the sort of support that social entrepreneurs with big ideas are looking for.”  - Bill Kermode, CEO, NEXT Foundation and EHF Board Member

"I am really delighted to see NZ pioneer these impact visas. We are already one of the easiest countries in the world to create businesses and jobs. It is great to see us expand that out and make it easy for people who want to make a global impact to be able to come here and do it. The world needs more social entrepreneurs, more people who see a problem that needs to be solved and going out there and taking it on. Whether they come to help us solve our own issues – relating to inequality, poverty, domestic violence, climate – or solve these for the world, I am proud to come from a country with the vision to attract global change-makers." - Melissa Clark-Reynolds, OMNZ, Entrepreneur

"The GIVs initiative is a really important milestone of opportunity for New Zealand. We all know and recognise how great a place NZ is to live. We also know that we need to increase our global earnings to maintain this lifestyle and to care for our community. What we lack often is connection to global markets and also connection to expertise. GIVs and EHF are going to bring both connections and expertise to help NZ on so many fronts. The Icehouse is pretty excited to see what is going to happen from this movement.” - Andy Hamilton, CEO, The Icehouse

"Imagine - attracting global talent to create solutions to our biggest challenges, for New Zealand and the world" - Guy Ryan, Inspiring Stories

“We need business leadership and innovation to deliver our shared Sustainable Development Goals. EHF will be a critical enabler, bringing global capability, investment and relationships that could help New Zealand and the world find solutions faster.” - Abbie Reynolds, Executive Director, Sustainable Business Council

“Attracting global talent is important for growing value and creativity in manufacturing. The Global Impact Visa approach has the potential to deliver much value to manufacturing in New Zealand.” - Catherine Beard, Executive Director, ManufacturingNZ

“BizDojo has been home to over 1000 companies over the last seven years. Many of our residents come from all over the world and we've experienced firsthand the challenge that some people can face around securing the right type of visa. In this age of digital connection and digital nomads, NZ has a potential with EHF and GIVs to pave the way to being one of the most sought after countries in the world for digital nomads and knowledge economy workers.” - Nick Shewring, Co-founder, BizDoj

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