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$2.7 million boost for business incubators

22 June 2004 Media Statement

$2.7 million boost for business incubators

Eleven business incubators have been given a combined $2.7 million funding boost, an increase of 50 per cent over last year, Prime Minister Helen Clark and Associate Minister for Industry and Regional Development Pete Hodgson announced today.

The announcement was made as Helen Clark opened new premises for Wellington’s Creative HQ, which has been granted an additional $285,000 from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s Incubator Support Programme.

Helen Clark and Pete Hodgson said Creative HQ is an example of the success of the incubator project.

“In March last year, Creative HQ comprised nine companies and 15 staff. It now has 17 fully resident companies, with another six companies under its umbrella, and a combined staff of 47. One Creative HQ company, Virtual Katy, has today announced a deal to export its sound editing software under licence to Hollywood.

"The Incubator Support Programme, launched in 2001, is proving to be extremely successful.

"In the last year an average growth rate of 228 per cent was recorded in the annual turnover of the 101 companies in incubators which have received government funding under this programme.

“These companies have also, on average, more than doubled their staff numbers and raised more than $5 million in equity funding in the last 12 months, and a total of $16.6 million since September 2002.

“The government’s $2.7 million funding boost will continue to help improve the growth and survival rates of even more new companies. It is pleasing to see that the government’s partnership approach is fostering innovation and real job growth.”

Incubators typically provide workspace, support services, an intensive mentoring programme and access to capital for entrepreneurs and new businesses at the start-up and early stages of development.

The NZTE programme has been designed to assist with the establishment of a network of incubators in New Zealand and to help ensure their long-term survival by encouraging best practice in incubator management. The $2.7 million granted in the latest round of funding will be used to help cover incubators’ operational costs and best practice initiatives. Incubators housing high-growth potential companies with export opportunities are targeted for support.

In addition to grants for individual incubators a further $250,000 has been set aside for funding special incubator projects, designed to further enhance the incubators’ ability to offer services to international best practice standards.

To find out more about the Incubator Support Programme please visit
www.nzte.govt.nz/incubators

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