Lightning Lab Manufacturing

The catalyst for product innovation
Lightning Lab Manufacturing is New Zealand’s first hardware accelerator, where seven startup ventures with products as diverse as motion capture technology and sustainable surfboards, were given three months to build and scale businesses based on physical products.

The accelerator came out of a partnership between Creative HQ, Callaghan Innovation, the Hutt City Council and Grow Wellington, giving startups with a physical product the opportunity to rapidly grow their companies through a special combination of seed funding, world-class mentoring, mind-expanding workshops and intensive business development.

Harnessing Kiwi creativity and the “no. 8 wire” attitude, Lightning Lab Manufacturing was a 3-month boot camp environment where participants were required to be on-site for the duration of the programme. Teams went through a rigorous application and selection process to ensure that an acceleration programme was a good match for their needs and could significantly boost their progress.

I would definitely do it again if I could, You just get so much more done that you would expect in twelve weeks. It’s a pressure cooker to make you realise the potential of your company.

Jess Rollison-Purchase, Ebee

We thoroughly enjoyed the Lightning Lab Manufacturing experience; everything was new, extremely challenging, and we loved it.
We were definitely pushed to the limit, and without the programme our team wouldn’t be nearly as close as we are today.

Jenny & Kareena, The Misprint Co


Smart baby products that can adapt to the needs of parents and baby

Bpod is a portable, connected feeding device that provides parents with more freedom over when and where baby feeds.

The smart baby products provide a solution giving parents more freedom over when and where baby feeds and utilises proprietary algorithms to make feeding time easier, safer and even adaptable to baby’s needs.

Audio effects units combining analogue and digital electronics

Modern music exists in a heavily digitised environment, but many musicians still want that lush analogue sound.

Dogmatek’s effects pedals give the guitarist a pure analogue signal path, but with digital controls that provide the convenience and functionality of digital.

Eco-friendly beehive frames

Ebee is developing beehive hardware that will provide an alternative to their common plastic counterparts.

The designers and entrepreneurs behind the startup believe that hive hardware should be ecologically sound, as well as resilient, easy to use and cost-effective. The innovative natural materials they are developing for their frames combine the quality of wood with the strength and ease of plastic.

Wireless, outdoor motion capture technology

The technical challenges that camera operators face around holding focus through a complex shot can lead to many takes or else artistic compromises.

Kine6 are taking motion capture technology developed for the giants of the film industry (Weta Digital) and adapting it to solve the problems of the growing legions of smaller film-makers. The Kine6 focus system gives film-makers perfect focus every time, with the benefit of increased speed and reduced number of takes. This cost and competitive edge comes hand-in-hand with the capability to control complex transitions in focus with utter reliability – expanding the artistic options for both camera operator and director.

Business paper waste repurposed into notebooks

The Misprint Co. discovered that the paper recycling industry was missing an important element… Much of the paper that goes to recycling from universities and corporations has little or no actual printing on it.

The Misprint Co. collect and repurpose this paper waste, turning it into notebooks. By giving these pieces of paper a second life before they eventually go to be recycled, vast amounts of water and energy are saved. They are also finding that many firms are very enthusiastic about having their non-confidential waste paper repurposed as notebooks and then re-used internally in a thoughtful way that demonstrates their commitment to sustainable business.

Surfboards developed from organic materials

Commonly, surfboards are made from toxic materials which are hazardous to the shaper and the environment, have a short life expectancy as a surfboard, and then last forever in a landfill.

By mashing up digital and traditional manufacturing techniques, the industrial designers behind Organic Dynamic can make a sustainably-produced wooden surfboard which is stronger, more durable and longer lasting than a typical foam board.

Rifle stocks and bipods for long-range hunters and competition rifle shooters

Precision Platforms’ founders are avid long-range target and sports shooters who struggled for years to find a stock that would fit them.

Bringing a raft of digital manufacturing and composites technologies into play to address the problem, they have developed a customisable and adaptable aftermarket solution for the amateur who is seeking Olympic levels of precision, but without the eye-watering cost of a full competition stock.


David Cohen
Ian Fay
Jonathan Aumonier Ward

Kevin Fitzsimons
Matt Carrere
Nick Gerritsen