Telecom supports Lightning Lab startups
Telecom supports Lightning Lab startups
New Zealand’s largest telecommunications and ICT company is supporting a number of small high-growth start-ups with a $50,000 investment into leading digital accelerator Lightning Lab.
Telecom’s innovation arm, Telecom Digital Ventures, will partner with other key players in the New Zealand startup community in supporting Lightning Lab 2014, the second programme of New Zealand’s top startup accelerator. They join other founding investors for 2014, including Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment fund K1W1 and some of the country’s highest profile angel investors, in backing Lightning Lab’s promise to turn out inspiring globally-focussed digital companies.
Lightning Lab was formed as a partnership between a founding group of professional investors, the Science and Innovation arm of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and startup incubator Creative HQ. Telecom is the first major corporate to get involved as a founding investor for the 2014 programme.
Lightning Lab 2013 saw four new startups attract $2.1 million in angel funding between them, after completing the 12-week startup programme and pitching to the largest collection of angel investors ever seen in New Zealand at Lightning Lab Demo Day in May.
mission to win the future and to develop new and innovative
business opportunities through its new Digital Ventures
operations is perfectly aligned with Lightning Lab’s ethos
to prove new digital companies and get them into market
within three months.
Telecom Digital Ventures head Rod Snodgrass says backing grass roots innovation means looking to where the smartest digital talent is and helping it to thrive.
“Lightning Lab 2014 will attract and shape great raw talent into solid startup ventures. Supporting and potentially partnering with the next generation of tech innovation is a part of what Digital Ventures was set up to do – so this is a natural partnership for us. While it’s a modest investment Lightning Lab offers us a highly leveraged way to put us in the room with the next generation of leading digital entrepreneurs and businesses from New Zealand.”
Stefan Korn, CEO of Creative HQ – founders of Lightning Lab - says Telecom’s commitment is a fantastic start to achieving real collaboration between corporates and startups.
“This sort of investment really supports the energy we are seeing from angel investors in the startup space, and shows the potential in the startup sector is increasingly evident to even the largest corporations. It’s a courageous shift in thinking and it is going to benefit the momentum around a strong innovation-led economy,” Korn says.
Lightning Lab’s series of pipeline meetups – starting October 8 - brings startup founders from the 2013 programme to talk about the Lightning Lab experience and how to apply for the 2014 programme. A co-founder dating session will assist entrepreneurs to find co-founders and teams.
Lightning Lab 2014 key dates:
· Applications open November 2013
· Programme runs March – May 2014.
· Wellington, Tues 8 October, 6-8pm Southern Cross, Abel Tasman St
· Auckland, Tues 15 October, 6-8pm TBC
· Christchurch, Tues 29 Oct, 6-8pm EPIC Centre, Manchester St
Register at www.LightningLab.co.nz
About Lightning Lab
Lightning Lab is the first digital
accelerator programme in New Zealand and will supercharge 10
digital startups within a network of more than 100 mentors
and an intensive 12-week pathway to prove, build and launch
their businesses into market. The programme puts up to
$18,000 of seed investment into teams of startup
entrepreneurs and pushes them to make their business idea
fly within three months, with support from a set of
dedicated support technical and business interns, and
mentorship from leading entrepreneurs and business experts
from around New Zealand.
Founded by startup incubator Creative HQ, Lightning Lab is open to teams of startup founders across New Zealand and the second programme will start March 2014. Applications open in November.
Lightning Lab is the exclusive New Zealand member of the Global Accelerator Network (GAN), which comprises 51 of the top accelerators globally. Patrick Riley, Executive Director of GAN says, “We know Lightning Lab will be one of the best accelerators in the world. Using a proven model to propel entrepreneurs to success and with connections already made with the country’s top mentors and investors, Kiwis are lucky to have an accelerator of this calibre in their country