If you’re an entrepreneur with the ambition and dedication to change the world, New Zealand offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to launch your new adventure.

 

The country is emerging as a next-generation technology hub and leading place to incubate new startups. After centuries at the “edge of the map”, Kiwis have used their ingenuity and pioneering spirit to solve problems with the resources at hand. They are not afraid to embrace big ideas. This creativity is perfect for startup culture. Where time and capital are limited, Kiwis know how to roll up their sleeves and get results.

Forward thinking and innovation are not limited to any part of the world; but they flourish in New Zealand - and in the mind of Kiwis.
— Time Magazine

Dream big, start small 

Any big success starts with small steps: shaping your idea, building prototypes, finding product/market fit, and assembling your team. New Zealand provides an engaged, developed market where you can iterate, pivot quickly, and build momentum before fully launching into the global scene.

Already, innovative technology companies like Facebook often roll out features in New Zealand first, before scaling to the rest of the globe. 

Tight networks

New Zealand’s tight social networks make it easy for startups to get access to high-level contacts who can help them be successful. Want to get feedback on your idea from a senior executive or major potential customer? In New Zealand, you’re just two degrees from anyone, and Kiwis are usually all too happy to help.

New Zealand also has strong trade agreements with both western and eastern economies, making it uniquely positioned for international growth.

Wellington and Auckland are melting pots for innovative new ideas and rich cultural empathy.

There are several technology incubators, accelerators and networks that can help you jump-start your idea from seed to sprout. Check out the Lightning LabThe IcehouseEnspiral, and CreativeHQ.

Wellington is becoming a world class innovation hub, thanks to the incredible network of tech talent, entrepreneurs and investors that New Zealand has attracted over the last decade. Kiwi Connect has been instrumental in nurturing this network — it was at one of their events that I first connected with Eugene d’Eon, who would become my cofounder, and at another event I was introduced one of our key investors and board member.
— Linc Gasking, Co-founder and CEO of 8i

National support

New Zealand is actively supporting innovation and new industry. The government has a range of generous startup-friendly finance programs, universities are investing in leading research, and the business community is eager to support new companies.

The country offers a unique regional advantage for companies that align with leading industries, especially agriculture, film/media, finance, health/medicine, and government. Alignment with these industries can give startups a competitive advantage when compared to other technology hubs.

Through the Venture Investment Fund, money that you raise from qualifying investors is matched dollar-for-dollar by the New Zealand Government. In other words, you may only need to raise half as much capital to reach your starting goal. The Government also has other grant and incentive programs, and is often an early customer for New Zealand startups.

Prominent venture capital funds in New Zealand include: MovacWebFundAngelHQ, and Valar Ventures.
 

Entrepreneur Visas

Immigration New Zealand has a special Entrepreneur Work Visa to help you develop your idea in New Zealand, and start on a path towards permanent residency. Kiwi Connect is also advising Immigration New Zealand on how the department might better use policy as a lever to boost  innovation and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Check out our Immigration and Visas page for more info.