Supporting startups with big ideas

Supporting impact-focused entrepreneurs solve some of our planet’s most urgent challenges.

Creative HQ's startup founders sitting and laughing during a workshop
Who we worked with

Climate focused startups

What we did together

12-week accelerator programme

The Climate Response Accelerator is a 12-week programme designed to help impact-focused entrepreneurs solve some of our planet’s most urgent challenges. With the Climate Crisis being increasingly more urgent for all, we focused our energy on supporting and accelerating some of the ideas that can really create a positive impact in our world. The programme was so successful that we’ve run a second edition in 2022!

For the 2021 programme we’ve set ourselves some key goals:

  1. To help increase the number of climate and CleanTech companies in New Zealand
  2. To help bring more funding into the New Zealand climate and CleanTech sector. 
  3. Build founder capability and establish a structured pathway for climate and CleanTech founders to validate their solutions, build investable propositions, raise investment capital and more easily connect with the public and private sector.

“The best part is that once the programme ends, the support doesn’t. You’re welcomed into a community of founders, mentors, experts, investors and friends who want you to succeed. Have an ask, put it out to the community and someone will answer it

Michal Garvey

How we did it

We’ve put out a call to New Zealand entrepreneurs working on clean tech and climate focus ventures. From almost 100 applications we’ve received, we selected eight teams from across New Zealand to join us in this new adventure. 

We were lucky enough to work with an incredible cohort, focused on a range of important issues: from a car sharing service to reduce individual car use, to a high-power wireless charging for electric vehicles and a venture aiming at commercialising aluminium-ion batteries to offer a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to the increasing battery demand.

We provided the teams with $20,000 in equity-free funding, mentorship and the tools and resources to help them advance at each stage of their growth.

To respond to the ongoing Covid challenges we’ve run this programme fully remotely, but still leaving the doors of our offices open to teams based in Wellington, that preferred to attend in-person. 

Meet the teams that took part in the 2021 Climate Response Accelerator: 


Cetogenix aims to revolutionise the treatment of waste organic matter, which is a significant environmental and economic problem globally. By commercialising an innovative process that converts waste into usable products, Cetogenix avoids the need for the waste to be taken to landfill or incinerated and instead can be on-sold for use in other industries.


Cleanery has developed incredibly effective cleaning and personal care products delivered as a powder that dissolves in water at home. In addition to the product itself, Cleanery has created a scalable manufacturing and commercial model to produce these products cost-effectively for mainstream consumers, brands, and businesses. Cleanery eliminates the need for single-use bottles, and the emissions, hassle, and cost of shipping bulky packaging and water around the world. 


Frankie is a SaaS product that enables property managers to prevent building breakdowns, extending the lifetime of embodied carbon e.g. steel and concrete. At its core, Frankie is maintenance software for busy people. They help property and operations managers deploy OPEX and CAPEX across industrial property portfolios.


Foodprint is a two-sided marketplace app where hospitality and retail sectors can sell surplus, imperfect and short-dated food to prevent it from being wasted. Our customers explore new eateries, purchase discounted meals and keep good food out of landfills. We seek to reduce the 50,000 tonnes of food wasted from these sectors annually and its contribution to the climate crisis. 


Everyday in New Zealand close to 5.5 million empty seats travel to and from work. Hitch is a digital platform that reduces empty seats by connecting car commuters heading in the same direction at the same time. Hitch a Ride makes car pooling flexible, convenient, and cost-effective, giving car commuters the opportunity to do their bit for the environment.


In the next ten years, automakers are expected to invest US$300 bn to accelerate electric transport- implying a shortage of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) for other applications. TasmanIon aims at commercialising aluminium-ion batteries (AIBs) that offer a cheaper and more sustainable alternative to the increasing battery demands.


IntDevice is developing high-power wireless charging for electric vehicles and industrial applications. The current plug-in charging method is manual and has safety issues associated with its use. Wireless charging enables fully autonomous charging, and can be integrated into digital control and data management. Without physical contact between the power source and power receiver, it is safe and reliable. Wireless charging is the future charging method for the future world.

Ruka Marine Turbine

Based on Mātauranga Māori, the Ruka Marine Turbine (RMT) works in deep or shallow river and tidal flows to capture the kinetic energy of moving water currents where other technology is not commercially viable. The manufacturing and deployment costs are considerably lower than wind turbines.  The RMT has a very low environmental impact and can power-up, but is not limited to, electrical generators, water pumps, and hydrogen production equipment etc.

The result

We’re very proud of the eight teams. Post-programme all  founders have kept working on their ventures. So far the teams have collectively raised $8,800,00 to help them scale and keep growing. 

Here are some of the key wins that these startups have achieved during or post-Climate Response Accelerator.

  • Cleanery launched their direct-to-consumer offering through their online store and launched in two supermarkets. They also raised $2,340,000!
  • Tasmanlon raised 750k, won a 200k grant and founder Shalini took on the role of CEO of her venture
  • Hitch signed up 16 large companies for their B2B car sharing trial, and raised 60k
  • Foodprint launched in Wellington with 4,000 new downloads in Wellington in the first two weeks. 
  • Frankie: launched a new roofing programme and raised $900,000.
  • IntDevice: Closed a pilot agreement for an industrial robotics company in Japan and is currently discussing partnerships with NZ companies.
  • Ruka Marine Turbine: established new connections, began the provisional patent process and started the first prototype building.
  • Cetogenix: closed pilot agreement for site in Canada and raised more than $4,500,000

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