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Celebrating 10 years of business incubation

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Incubators New Zealand

Celebrating 10 years of business incubation

29 November 2011: 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of business incubators in New Zealand. The milestone is being celebrated this week to coincide with an international conference that brings together a network of experts and practitioners on science-based regional development and business incubation and is being held in Auckland for the first time.

“In 10 years, New Zealand’s incubation network has gone from strength to strength. Our incubators are internationally recognised as some of the best in the world,” says Richard White, Manager Incubator Development, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

“In 2001 we started with four incubators – The ICEHOUSE, AUT Business Innovation Centre and ecentre in Auckland and PowerHouse Ventures in Christchurch. All have been incredibly successful, with PowerHouse Ventures named the 2011 NBIA Incubation Innovation of the Year and the Asian Incubator of the Year in 2009 and The ICEHOUSE named as one of Forbes Magazine’s top 10 technology incubators in 2010. They have since been joined by Creative HQ in Wellington, Upstart in Dunedin, the Bio-Commerce Centre in Palmerston North and SODA in Hamilton.”

Chair of Incubators New Zealand and CEO of ecentre, Steve Corbett says that incubators are important dynamos in the transformation of the New Zealand economy and the development and growth of technology based ventures and entrepreneurs.

“Over the past 10 years, more than 250 ventures have graduated from an incubator; 69 percent of these have raised external investment, 71 percent are still trading, and 57 percent are exporting. Along the way over 1100 high value jobs have been created.

“The statistics speak for themselves really, and indicate that the resources, networks and support provided by incubators and which are needed by businesses to help them succeed, quickly and sustainably have a measurable and tangible impact on a business’ overall success.

“We have achieved a huge amount in the past 10 years, and I am confident and optimistic about what the next 10 years hold for incubators, and for start-ups, in New Zealand,” Mr Corbett says.

Mr White says that the strength of incubators in New Zealand draws on the breadth and depth of relationships they have with all aspects of the business community.

“Our incubators are the result of broad community support, university affiliations, highly committed angel investment networks and experienced, entrepreneurially focused management teams, combined with a high level of innovation and great emerging technologies.”

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise has provided a range of support for incubators since 2001 through its Incubator Support Programme. The Programme is designed to enable the development and growth of successful business incubators throughout New Zealand, and:
• provides funding assistance to seven business incubators around New Zealand;
• promotes best practice among New Zealand incubators
• helps connect incubator managers and organisations with an interest in incubation
• can help businesses using incubators to access other government programmes, where appropriate.

Quick facts about incubators in New Zealand:

• There are eight incubators in New Zealand:
o AUT Business Innovation Centre, established 2001
o Ecentre, Auckland, established 2001
o The ICEHOUSE, Auckland, established 2001, named as one of Forbes Magazine’s top 10 technology incubators in 2010
o PowerHouse Ventures (formerly Canterbury Innovation Incubator), Christchurch, established 2001. Named the 2011 NBIA Incubation Innovation of the Year and the Asian Incubator of the Year in 2009.
o Creative HQ, Wellington, established 2003
o Upstart, Dunedin, established in 2004
o Bio-Commerce Centre (BCC), Palmerston North, established 2004
o SODA Inc, Hamilton, established 2009

• Between 2001 and 2011, 257 ventures graduated from incubators; 69 percent of these have raised external investment, 71 percent are still trading, and 57 percent are exporting

• In the past three years incubator graduates in New Zealand have:
o Reported $372 million in revenue generation of which almost half ($176 million) has been from exports.
o Raised more than $70 million to fund future growth
o Employed on average more than 1100 highly skilled FTEs
o Paid an estimated $45 million in PAYE and GST back to the government.


About Incubators New Zealand
Incubators New Zealand is the national body representing business incubation interests in New Zealand. As an organisation, they aim to promote, foster and grow the industry and provide it with a unified voice. A thriving incubation industry is important for New Zealand to successfully commercialise innovation and promote economic growth through entrepreneurship. Established in 2001, this year will mark ten years of Business Incubation in New Zealand. www.incubators.org.nz


About New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is New Zealand’s economic development and trade promotion agency. Our role is to help New Zealand businesses grow bigger, better, faster in international markets. We offer strategic advice, access to networks and influencers, research and market intelligence, and targeted financial support to help businesses on their international journey, and work to promote and support the growth of New Zealand business overseas. NZTE has provided a range of support for incubators in New Zealand for 10 years through its Incubator Support Programme. The Programme is designed to enable the development and growth of successful business incubators throughout New Zealand, and provides funding assistance to seven business incubators around New Zealand; promotes best practice among New Zealand incubators; helps connect incubator managers and organisations with an interest in incubation. www.nzte.govt.nz


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