Venture Southland has partnered with CreativeHQ to run a Business Accelerator Programme in Southland.

The programme works with start-ups and entrepreneurs, giving them the tools and resources they need to succeed in Southland’s business climate. 

Programme participants will develop innovative ideas through a series of weekly or bi-weekly sessions, over the course of a three month period. In these sessions agile methods are applied to build a lean canvas business model that helps establish a winning pitch for potential investors. 

Venture Southland will work closely with Creative HQ, who is funded by Callaghan Innovation, to ensure a business innovation platform tailored for Southland businesses is established.

If you have an idea for a business startup, new product or spinoff from an existing business then fill out this form so that Venture Southland can help.

Social Enterprises Pilot

Venture Southland is also piloting social enterprises in the Business Accelerator programme.

Social enterprises differ to other businesses in the programme in that they are seeking societal impact as opposed to pure commercial gain.

The pilot will enable a structured accelerator programme to be established for social enterprises and will be an important contribution to innovation in New Zealand.

Read more about the social enterprise pilot here

Innovation Ecosystem 

Participation in the Business Accelerator Programme is one thing but what really encourages innovation is a vibrant and active ecosystem. 

To help people learn from each other and work together Venture Southland is putting together a programme of innovation events. The programme will encourage local innovators and entrepreneurs to meet up, exchange ideas and hear inspiring advice from invited speakers. 

Events Programme

2018 Innovation Events Calendar

Date Event
March 6

FoundX Meetup, Innov8HQ, Dunedin

Investor-themed session with Prue Halstead (InvestSouth) and Nigel Bamford (Escea) incorporating a “pitch session” from local Dunedin start-ups.

March 7

Back9 Creative, Southland Chamber of Commerce, Invercargill

Presentation on digital marketing.

March 6-7

What On Earth Colloquium, Te Papa, Wellington

Flagship event to bring together a wide variety of sectors to set future directions for environmental management, precision agriculture, primary industries, civil infrastructure that leverage big data and NZ’s emerging space industries.

14 March

Callaghan Innovation Regional Roadshow Breakfast, Venture Southland, Invercargill

How businesses can take advantage of technology change and convergence. Including presentations from Rosalie Nelson, Jesse Keith, Robert Blache and Nathan Stantiall on how businesses can get ahead of the curve.

20 March 

MYOB Startup Breakfast, Meccaspresso, Invercargill

The opportunity to meet other new business owners in the Southland and hear insights from experts on how to build a successful business including investment pathways and what it takes to get a great idea off the ground. 

Followed by a session with JT-H on connecting startups to investment.

27 March

Mahuki - Te Papa GLAM Accelerator visit, Invercargill Brewery, Invercargill

As part of their roadshow Priscilla Loong and Sulu Fiti from Mahuki will drive participation and encourage submissions of the Mahuki residency programme for the July, 2018 intake.

13 April

Design Thinking Workshops

Saskia van der Geest (van der Geest Consulting) will present on design thinking and unlocking fresh customer insights that allow teams to better meet the needs of their customers.

20-22 April

Startup Weekend, Dunedin

A group from Invercargill will be attending and participating in this event.

22 May

National co-working day

Coworking spaces taking part in National Coworking Day 2018 will provide FREE coworking facilities on Tuesday 22 May during their usual business hours

24 May

Ideation Workshop, Invercargill Airport

This full-day workshop will bring together a wide variety of practitioners, creative, policy makers and others to  attempt to solve tourism-related problems. There will be a strong emphasis on producing viable results that can be taken forward by self-selected committed groups.

If you are interested in obtaining further information about the Business Accelerator Programme, of the programme of events then please contact