Young Founders Incubator

An incubator programme for young entrepreneurs with big ideas

Want to take your startup business to the next level, but not sure how? Join other young entrepreneurs on the Creative HQ Young Founders Incubator.

This free, Wellington-based programme has been designed to equip you and other young founders or teams aged 17-25, with the skills, tools, knowledge and networks to make your startup a sustainable success.

This year the programme will run alongside our Impact Accelerator. Watch and learn alongside other startups that are creating an impact in Aotearoa. You will get exposure to different industries, ideas and ways of running a startup business.

While you look to invest your time into creating something great, we are here to support you at every stage as you work to scale and grow your business.

Find out about the chosen teams below.

Key dates

2023 Young Founders Incubator teams

Meet the young entrepreneurs of the future.

Better Buzz

A lightly supplemented alcohol alternative beverage product designed to mimic some of the relaxing and creativity + sociability enhancing effects of alcohol without the negatives. Combined with natural New Zealand extracts and flavours for provenance appeal,  and premium taste. A beverage that isn’t just “an alternative” but a desirable experience of its own that is premium and sophisticated so that no one needs to feel left out for choosing not to drink.


At FINE, we provide sustainable chemicals and materials for industrial use, made from natural New Zealand’s natural fibres and by-products to reduce carbon emissions. Our approach to materials management helps optimise usage, lower waste and save money.

Beyond Education

Beyond Education is an online platform designed to level the playing field, expand students horizons, & accelerate their future, no matter their financial situation, cultural background, or ethnic group, by exposing students to a personalised list of extra-curricular opportunities that align with their passions, interests, goals & preferences. Beyond Education offers Students (especially those in low decile schools) a way to enrich their knowledge outside of the traditional education system.


MIDWÆY is a platform that helps creatives build sustainable careers in the arts. It connects artists with resources such as opportunities, communities, education, and web tools. The platform is being developed to address the challenges faced by artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, including rising costs, inconsistent income, and a lack of education in marketing, law, and business.

We aim to be the most accessible platform for creatives to connect with opportunities, including industry event experience/s(exhibitions, runways, concerts etc.), an artist marketplace, individual artist profiles & portfolios, an education centre, and easy creator tools such as marketing, accounting & rostering functionality.

Ayurveda Store NZ

Providing herbs and healthcare supplements sourced from overseas and having brand exclusivity. Customers couldn’t find these premium quality products that are trusted for purity, hence we provided it and made it accessible throughout NZ.

Kaha E Au

Kaha E Au is a sustainable protein powder business that incorporates rongoa. We will be based in Whangārei and will trade all over New Zealand. We  believe the right nutritional choices steeped in kaitiakitanga and tikanga, (guardianship and responsibility) should be available to everybody. Enabling you and the land to say ”Kaha E Au”, I am mighty.


Splashify is an online platform that connects pool owners with people who are looking for a refreshing and affordable way to enjoy the luxuries of a private pool and hot tub. Our solution solves a number of problems faced by pool owners and potential pool users. Splashify is committed to safety and quality, ensuring that all the pools listed on our platform meet certain standards. This gives our customers peace of mind while using our service, knowing that they can enjoy a safe and refreshing swim without any worries.

Where’s the Foody

Enabling you to share and find food/restaurants specific to your tastes.

People eat with their eyes. We intend to create a platform for people to share their experiences at a restaurant visually and instead of having to find food you like, food will essentially be recommended to you based on your taste.

Furthermore, it’s been shown that more people trust user generated content over content from companies. We’ve also found that people are more likely to try food outlets that their friends have recommended or they have seen their friends eat at. We will build our product around these insights by making it more of a social platform, as opposed to reviews from complete strangers.


Online marketplace for buying and selling vintage, streetwear and designer clothing in Aotearoa New Zealand.

We are looking to scale  (turned the MVP into a business that is ready to grow). We have launched the marketplace and it has  150+ users, 350+ listings.

Sun and Set

Sun & Set is a company that offers a unique and innovative product, dry shampoo with UV protection, that can be applied to the scalp and is reef safe. We offer our products in three different shades and package them in non-aerosol packaging that is fully recyclable. 

Our product is aimed at the New Zealand and Australian market, where skin cancer rates are the highest in the world, and 20% of all skin cancer-related deaths are due to scalp melanoma.

You can reach us @sunandsetcreations on Linkedin, Tik Tok & Instagram and at

Melitta Skin

Melitta Skin is on a mission to shake up the sun care industry. Despite the plethora of sun care products on the market, everyday consumers still struggle to find a sunscreen that meets their needs. Traditional sunscreens often fall short on sun protection, sustainability, and consumer education, leaving many people exposed to harmful UV rays and unaware of the importance of validated SPF product use. 

Introducing Glow Guard SPF 50, a first-to-market sunscreen that offers double the sun protection of current sunscreens on the market, enabling Glow Guard to be excellently positioned to make a revolutionary impact in the sun care industry. Glow Guard has undergone extensive clinical trials to be inclusive of all skin types and deliver validated sun protection results without adverse reactions. 

Melitta Skin’s core values are centred around sustainability, transparency, and efficacy. Melitta Skin recognizes its responsibility to provide clinically validated products with sustainable production practices.

Two young women at the Innovation hack

“This programme has given me an opportunity to meet people and grow in a place I would have never been able to access otherwise at my age and experience.”

Is this for you?

The Young Founders Incubator programme is open to Aotearoa based startup founders aged 17-25 looking to scale and grow their startup.

We are looking for individuals with a coachable mindset and interested in experiencing first hand what it takes to move a startup to the next level. See what the last cohort had to say about it here.

If you get accepted in the Incubator you’ll get access to:

  • Equity free support
  • Sessions and continued access to subject matter experts 
  • Customised mentor matching
  • Connection with other young founders on the same journey as you
  • Learning from successful New Zealand startups like HNRY, Fix & Fogg and Sharesies

The Young Founders Incubator has been the best place to develop my personal and business skills. Connecting and making friends with like minded people was really encouraging. I’ve learned so many aspects of business that I’ll be able to put into practice, and now I have a plan on how to grow the startup further and open a branch in Wellington. Without this programme, this wouldn’t have been possible

The programme

You’ll learn how to scale your startup through immersive learning. Key topics will cover:

The essentials for scale and growth
  • Business validation
  • Strategy and future planning
  • Sales and marketing for startup growth
  • How to build an effective team
  • Juggling startup work and real life
  • Managing your wellbeing as a founder
  • Managing financial growth – what to think about and how to plan for it
  • Legal considerations for a startup
Networking and customised mentor support
  • Get your very own mentor – an expert in your field who will walk beside you while you scale and grow
  • Grow your network by connecting with other talented young founders
  • Connect with other founders on the Super Impact Accelerator
Practical tools for success
  • Providing access to an epic toolbox of frameworks and templates
  • The mindset, skills and networks to succeed


We tried to answer all your questions below. If you have a specific question get in touch.

Who can apply?

If you are aged 17-25 and based in Aotearoa, we want to hear from you. We’re looking for individuals with a coachable mindset and ready to take their idea to the next level. Apply now.

What’s the time commitment?

The programme starts on Tue 11th April and finishes end of June.

The programme will run full time in April, weekdays from 10am to 4pm. For participants enrolled in university in 2023, this will coincide with the uni break.

After that, sessions will run once a week for one hour, ending in a final showcase at the end of June. Outside the weekly session you are encouraged to keep working on your startup and apply your weekly learnings.

Throughout the period, we will also organise some fun, optional events that you may wish to attend.

What does it cost to participate in the programme?

This programme is free for all participants. However if you are based outside of Wellington, travel to Wellington and accommodation is not covered.

Can I join the programme if I live outside Wellington?

This is a hybrid programme. The first two weeks will be held at Creative HQ’s office in Wellington (7 Dixon Street, Te Aro), and online for participants based outside of Wellington.

The weekly one hour sessions that follow will be held online or in person  – based on what works for your schedule and location.

Group of young innovators sitting on a couch