Mentorship forms a huge part of our Lightning Lab programmes

Some of New Zealand’s top minds in business work alongside our ventures, connecting them to partners, providing industry expertise and helping the businesses prepare for investment.

% found the mentoring process rewarding
Lightning Lab Electric
Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2018
% learned or upskilled as a result of the programme
Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator 2018

Why become a mentor?

Becoming a mentor can be rewarding and a great learning experience

Mentoring can be an opportunity to give back to the community or for your own personal development, expanding your network and learning new skills, or simply for the satisfaction of supporting others as they develop.

Lightning Lab programmes have three types of mentors, as well as executive coaches, who work alongside the ventures.


Dependent on the programme, a mentor-in-residence may be brought in on a programme-wide commitment, to work with all of the ventures and provide industry-specific expertise.

Lead mentors

Work with a specific venture throughout a programme and spend time with them weekly – whether to share valuable personal experience, provide constructive feedback or be a sounding-board for the founders.

Expert mentors

Brought in as and when needed by ventures, usually when unique domain expertise is necessary and tend to work with multiple companies in a programme.

Executive coaches

Deliver executive leadership coaching to the CEO of each venture and provide a sounding-board for the human side of business development.

After Lightning Lab…

Signing up as a mentor means being committed throughout the programme, but after that the choice is yours. Some may want to extend the relationship beyond the end of the programme, potentially as part of a more formal advisory board or even as an investor.

I learn from my mentees. They have knowledge I don’t have, teach me new skills and technologies, and help me develop my coaching and leadership skills. In the process, I also learn more about myself.

Sam Parkin, Lightning Lab XX

It made me feel like I wasn’t
doing this alone, and that people believed in me.

Virginia Fay, Patternsnap

What do we look for in mentors?

Industry knowledge

Relevant advice, informed by in-depth knowledge of your industry.


Applied experience in your field.


Access to industry networks, and facilitation of new connections.


Time, presence, honesty, through the good times and the hard ones.