The partnership between Lightning Lab and Microsoft New Zealand has been funding some of New Zealand’s most promising startup companies and is now worth over $20 million in cloud credits.
Startups who make it into Lightning Lab programmes will now each have access to an open cheque worth over $500,000 to use on the Microsoft Azure platform over three years. This funding will be available to up to 20 companies in Lightning Lab XX’s female-founder accelerator programme and Lightning Lab Auckland’s digital accelerator programme in 2016.
Seventeen companies that participated in the 2015 programmes from Lightning Lab Christchurch and Lightning Lab Manufacturing can unlock the Azure credits immediately.
“We are excited for the startups in New Zealand. Microsoft is one of our key partners, and this level of support shows that Lightning Lab has solidified its place as a vital component in the New Zealand startup ecosystem”, says Brett Holland, head of the Lightning Lab programme for Creative HQ.
As New Zealand’s representative in the Global Accelerator Network, Lightning Lab startups already have unparalleled access to international capital and networks.
“The support from Microsoft will amplify their ability to fast-track their early-stage business ventures and access global customers faster”, says Holland.
Microsoft has been onboard as a national partner with Lightning Lab since their inaugural programme ran in 2013. Together they share a sense of pride and a keen eye for the promising tech startups, who emerge from the accelerator to represent New Zealand’s entrepreneurial best-of-breed on the world stage.
“Startups burn cash fast because they grow fast. This extra support means they can focus their energy on customer acquisition and market validation knowing that they have a trusted and scalable technology platform behind them,” says Nigel Parker, Director of Developer Experience, Microsoft New Zealand.
“We believe in the power of startups to bring about the innovative change we all seek in New Zealand. We are also confident in Lightning Lab’s ability to give startups the best possible opportunities for growth and success”, Parker says.
Applications are now open for 2016 programmes Lightning Lab XX and Lightning Lab Auckland until December 18th – head to www.lightninglab.co.nz for more information.
Lightning Lab is run by Creative HQ, a unit of the recently formed Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency (WREDA), and supported by Callaghan Innovation.
The Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency has been formed to combine and amplify the activities of Grow Wellington, Positively Wellington Tourism, Positively Wellington Venues, Creative HQ and the Major Events unit
of Wellington City Council. The plan for integrating the team into one unit is currently under development.