Fledgling Kiwi startups dive into the world of tech as new Incubator programme kicks off at Creative HQ

Seven out of the ten startups in Creative HQ’s Incubator programme set to develop Software-as-a-Service products, one of New Zealand’s fastest-growing sectors.

Creative HQ's incubator teams hanging out

Wellington – 18 November 2021: Ten startups from across the country are bringing their digital product ideas to life as they kick off the 2021 Incubator programme today at Creative HQ, Wellington’s innovation hub.

This year’s Incubator cohort is loaded with fresh Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ideas, ranging from the smartphone app Flatties, which allows users to be matched with the perfect flatmate for their lifestyle, to Trimester Tracker, a digital platform designed to take the administrative load off busy midwives.

Creative HQ, Luke Ball, GM Startups says it’s exciting to see the class of 2021 start their startup journey.

“The Incubator is all about getting that first idea out of founders’ heads and into the real world. It gives them that solid foundation from which they can build a hopefully very successful business,” he says.

SaaS is New Zealand’s third-fastest growing tech sub-sector. According to this year’s TIN Report, two of the highest performing SaaS companies, Xero and PushPay, had a combined revenue of over $2.2 billion in 2021.

One of Creative HQ’s flagship startup programmes, the Incubator is an entirely virtual, intensive six-month course that helps participants sharpen up their idea and develop their products to be ready for market.

In the first three months, we actually ask our founders to invalidate their ideas – basically, poke as many holes in it as they possibly can. We’ve found that’s one of the best ways to determine whether your idea could succeed.

Luke Ball
GM Startups, Creative HQ

The cohort will benefit from innovation coaching with experts, group workshops, and Creative HQ’s network of mentors and alumni.

They will also receive $5,000 in funding to support founders while they work on their startup and the Incubator full-time. If based in Wellington, start-up teams can also work out of the Creative HQ central-city office.

Co-founder of produce subscription service Wonky Box, Katie Jackson, says she is excited to take her startup to the next level with the help of Creative HQ.

“We are ready to take onboard all support we can get to scale our business around Wellington and beyond,” she says.

“We are looking forward to getting our heads together with our mentors and coach to scale Wonky so we can save more produce, support more farmers and deliver more fruit and veg to local households. My co-founder Angus and I come from completely different backgrounds, we have no idea about starting a business, so there is some comfort in being part of the CHQ community.”

Past Incubator alumni include Samantha Jones of sustainable clothing line Little Yellow Bird, which has saved an estimated 5,800 kilograms of textile waste being sent to landfill, and Spout Milk founder Jo Mohan, who has diverted nearly 15,000 plastic bottles from the bin by supplying milk to Kiwi cafes in reusable kegs.

Complete list of teams: 

  • AoteaCamN (Muru Odiathevar & Duncan Cameron). AoteaCamN is developing AI cameras that detect traffic accidents, near-misses and assess the density of road users to take appropriate action instantly.
  • Chillsy (Charizze Austin & Mohammed Bohra). A digital platform enabling students to connect with a community of peers who are seeking adventures and new friends to share them with.
  • Flatties (Charlotte Munro & James Gaddum). An app that takes the stress out of flat hunting, helping users find the perfect flat or flatmate by matching users based on their social and lifestyle preferences.
  • Flow Deck (Nick Hutchins). Flow Deck uses software solutions to make computational fluid dynamics software for engineering more widely available, faster, and easier to use.
  • Insidery (Robbie Allen). A two-sided career insights platform for both employers and young people looking to get the inside word on any job.
  • Speak (Madeleine Patel & Ankit Patel) A technology-enabled beauty company that matches customers to the right scents for them.
  • Trimester Tracker (Kahleea Daprini) A digital platform designed to significantly reduce the administrational workload of midwives.
  • UpdateCove (Hayley Fung & Nathanuel Mills) A community engagement and AI sentiment analysis platform that provides users with multi-channel tools to share updates on projects with the public, track community sentiment and make data-driven decisions to improve engagement.
  • Wonky Box (Katie Jackson & Angus Simms). An online food rescue business that sources odd-looking or surplus fresh produce from local suppliers and distributes them to subscribers.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Ciara Craig
GM Engagement
021 450 209

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