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Notice Type
Notice Title

Direction to Callaghan Innovation—Administration of the Founder Incubator and Accelerator Programme

Under section 103 of the Crown Entities Act 2004, I direct Callaghan Innovation to give effect to government policy in the administration of a programme to support founders of startup firms as specified in this direction.

In this direction I clarify the policy objective and note the funding to be used to achieve that objective. I set out criteria for Callaghan Innovation to apply when operating the programme. I also specify the information that Callaghan Innovation should collect and make available to other entities.

This notice uses the following format:

  • Policy objective;
  • Funding to be allocated by Callaghan Innovation;
  • Programme requirements;
  • Procurement for services;
  • Collection and provision of information, and reporting.

Policy Objective

The objective of this programme is to build startup founder capability and grow high-potential startups, leading to an increase in the quality and scale of New Zealand’s startup ecosystem.

Funding to be Allocated by Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation will use funds from the “Research, Science and Innovation: Repayable Grants” appropriation to obtain services from providers and to cover the costs of administering the programme. Callaghan Innovation may charge up to five percent of the total amount charged to the appropriation to cover costs for administering the programme.

Programme Requirements

Through the programme, Callaghan Innovation will award operational funding to organisations who support current and aspiring founders and startups.

Callaghan Innovation will require providers to provide one or both of the following services:

  • Early-stage support to founders and startups. This will support building entrepreneurial capability, leading to more, high quality early-stage founders and startups. After engaging with these services, a founder or startup will be in a stronger position to enter an accelerator or take the next steps in growing their business.
  • Intensive support for startup growth. This will accelerate the growth of quality high-potential startups by helping founders develop their skills, connect with mentors and investors, and grow their startups and wider entrepreneurial businesses.

Callaghan Innovation will encourage proposals that recognise and address the needs of Māori entrepreneurs and startups, including kaupapa Māori services. Māori startups are often differentiated by their values of kaitiakitanga, rangatiratanga, manaakitanga and whanaungatanga, and may not be well serviced by mainstream founder and startup support services.

Callaghan Innovation will encourage all providers to ensure their services have diverse and inclusive participation, particularly regarding Māori, women, and Pacific founders and entrepreneurs.

Callaghan Innovation will require providers to work with Callaghan Innovation and with other providers towards common goals of achieving local and national startup objectives.

Callaghan Innovation will ensure contracted providers have private sources of funding available to co-fund the programmes they deliver.

Procurement for Services

Callaghan Innovation will procure services through a competitive tender process in accordance with the Government Procurement Rules.

Callaghan Innovation must ensure that all decisions are made in accordance with the Public Finance Act 1989 and the Government Procurement Rules.

Collection and Provision of Information, and Reporting

Collection of Information From Providers

Callaghan Innovation will require providers to collect and make available on a regular basis information relevant for the monitoring and evaluation of the programme, policy development more generally, and other related research. In particular, Callaghan Innovation will require providers to supply:

  • Information on the services provided under this scheme, and number and aggregate demographic statistics for participants in each service;
  • Information on the individuals who participated in either type of service (eg. name, relevant demographics, services received/participated in, organisation with which the individual is associated, etc.) and those individual’s experience with the service (eg. the results of an independently conducted, standardised survey of customer satisfaction); and
  • Other information, as agreed with MBIE.

Callaghan Innovation will ensure that providers obtain the necessary consent to collect and share this information as described above.

Provision of Information to Other Agencies

Callaghan Innovation will make the information described above, and any other information collected or generated as consequence of administering the programme, available:

  • To MBIE, upon request, for the purposes of monitoring and evaluation of the programme and policy development more generally;
  • To Statistics New Zealand, on a regular basis, for the purpose of making it available to researchers on a de-identified basis through the Integrated Data Infrastructure and/or the Longitudinal Business Database.


Callaghan Innovation will provide the Minister of Research, Science and Innovation and MBIE with regular reports on the programme, including annual reports and a report to support an early evaluation of the new programme to be undertaken in 2022.

Dated this 19th day of January 2022.

Hon MEGAN WOODS, Minister of Research, Science and Innovation.