Young Founders Incubator

An incubator programme for young entrepreneurs with big ideas

The Young Founders Incubator is a three-week incubator to help young entrepreneurs and teams.

During the programme, you’ll gain a better understanding of your options for funding and growth, you’ll create a strategy to best suit your startup and you’ll connect with experts, mentors and other startup founders.

In 2022 we had 7 teams of top-notch startup founders take part in the Young Founders Incubator. Applications are currently closed, but we’ll be back – register your interest below to stay up to date.

I didn’t think that I would come away with such a viable solution and problem that has the potential to become a reality.”

Finn McCabe
Young Founder Alumnus

Who can apply?

Applications of interest are open to those interested in learning more about entrepreneurship.

You don’t need to have a startup of your own – you will be partnered with one of the selected startup founders for the three-week programme. Working together, your team will learn how to take a startup to the next level by learning about options for funding and growth, creating a strategy to best suit the startup and connecting with experts, mentors and other startups.

We are looking for individuals:

  • 16–24 years old
  • based in Wellington for the duration of the programme
  • with a coachable mindset
  • interested in experiencing first hand what it takes to move a startup to the next level.

Organisations around the world are increasingly using innovation tools to understand unmet customer needs and deliver better outcomes. The likes of Apple, Coca-Cola and Tesla – all credit their success to their innovation and design-led approach.

Group of young innovators sitting on a couch


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

What’s the time commitment?

We expect participants to commit their time, hearts and minds to the Incubator between 9 am–5 pm Monday–Friday for three weeks. From time to time, we will also have fun, optional events planned for weeknight evenings. 

Since the participants will be running a startup in the background, we’ve built flexible working time into the programme as much as we can, so you can apply your learning and have time to manage a startup.

What does it cost to participate in the programme?

This programme is free for all participants. Please note the programme will not be fully catered, you will need to bring lunch and snacks with you most days for the three weeks.

Can I join the programme if I live outside Wellington?

Young people from all over New Zealand are invited to apply for the Young Founders Incubator. The programme will run in Wellington, in person. You will need to stay in Wellington for the duration of the programme (three weeks).