XX Wellington 2016
New Zealand’s first female founder focussed programme, Lightning Lab XX, ran in Wellington from March to July 2016. The cohort was made up of 9 teams, 18 individuals, and 7 lab techs from all over New Zealand.
The programme received the support of almost 100 mentors over the 14 week duration, who worked alongside the teams to help develop their ideas into investable companies with global potential. Mentors for the XX programme included Annette Presley, Kristen Lunman, and Dave Moskovitz.
Throughout the programme, the teams were surrounded by the connections and expertise they needed to move at Lightning Speed. Over 50 local and international speakers brought their specialised knowledge into the lab, and the teams had the opportunity to enlist the help of interns from Yoobee ACG School of Design.
After 100 days of intense programming, Lightning Lab XX 2016 showcased its 9 women-led startups at Demo Day on June 16th. The event was hosted at a packed-out Embassy Theatre in Wellington, and for the first time, the Wellington Startup Community were invited to attend and watch the pitches. Over 700 investors, mentors, alumni, and supporters from the entrepreneurial community came to witness the hard work of the companies.
The 9 companies are continuing on their Startup journey, raising money and closing sales to continue to grow and scale.
– Virginia Fay, Patternsnap
– Mel Langlotz, Geo AR Games
Little Yellow Bird is a company that supplies businesses with more than just a uniform. LYB produces high-quality workwear through a completely transparent and ethical supply chain. They have a wide range of workwear such as custom business shirts to t-shirts, hoodies to aprons. This provides companies with an opportunity to turn their uniforms into marketing.
Ama is a natural balm used by adventurers to hydrate their weathered skin after being exposed to the elements. Launching late 2015, Ama Balm is already featured in major surf, ski and adventure towns in NZ. The company aims to build a natural skin care range that serves the needs of adventurers across the globe.
NoticeMATCH helps any business ensure their customer’s final experience is achieved a timely and empathetic manner. Customers are given the tools to identify deceased customers quickly, empowering them to undertake their legal, moral or ethical obligations and build great relationships with the surviving families.
Patternsnap is a digital library of Interior Design samples for Designers and Showrooms. It provides a beautiful, simple tool to search for products and create schemes. Patternsnap saves Designers precious time, enabling access to a comprehensive database of unique samples. Currently available as an iOS app, Patternsnap is a virtual showroom in your pocket.
Geo AR Games gets kids off the couch and active outside using Outdoor Mixed Reality technology. Mixed Reality combines digital content with a real-time video feed to create immersive experiences. By pairing this with Motion Gaming, kids explore digital content by walking and running. This solution encourages healthy relationships with technology by creating games that kids love.
Music Ecademy is a web application that teaches music theory and aural skills in a fun and engaging way through interactive lessons, quizzes, and games. The application helps to engage students while also saving teachers valuable time and resources. The curriculum is relevant for music schools and teachers in Australia, NZ and the UK.
Sipreme is joyful future food – healthy, nutritionally complete, and super convenient. For busy people with cooler stuff to do than burn toast in the morning, this is it. It’s a fast, liquid meal that gives the adult body every nutrient it needs! The product iterates for each new batch, following customer feedback. It’s the perfect, healthy solution for unromantic, functional meals.
Liangma allows quality-sensitive buyers to order fresh, free-range chicken for home delivery. The company connects free-range farms with inner-city buyers through a digital platform and logistics network. This creates an easy and reliable way for their Chengdu-based customers to buy the best poultry products. Liangma’s promise of 24h delivery fits perfectly with the Chinese culture of eating the freshest, highest quality produce.
Hive brings communities together by connecting people who need a hand with those who have the time and skills to help. At the heart of Hive is the idea that trust is valuable, and that communities can build trust. Using a mobile app, Hive facilitates finding and matching jobs, and processing payments. The app helps to build a trusted community by connecting locals to get work done.
There are far fewer women in startups than we would expect. We believe diverse teams create stronger companies and we want to help bring more gender balance into our ecosystem. Data from various studies and reports also suggests that diverse teams perform better and generate higher returns. Therefore, our next programme in Wellington focuses on startups that have at least one female co-founder.
The accelerator will provide the right environment for founders to thrive through the challenge of starting a company while being supported by a diverse lineup of world-class role models, coaches and mentors.
We’re excited and committed to creating a more diverse ecosystem for New Zealand, to encourage more creative thinking, richer discussions and ultimately, a more productive entrepreneurial environment. We can only reach this goal through openness and inclusiveness, and we hope you’ll join us on this journey. For more information on the programme and Women in Tech/ Female Founder data visit the blog post here.
Sue McCabe, Chief Executive, National Council of Women New Zealand
Natalia Albert, TEDxWellingtonWomen
Mentors play an active role in Lightning Lab (and bring the magic). They are some of New Zealand’s top minds in business and will join the startups in the trenches – help you strategize, connect you to partners and customers, and coach you to run a scalable business. The list of mentors for Lightning Lab XX programme will be growing over the next few months, see all of them here.
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