Incubator fund coughs up

New Zealand's burgeoning number of incubators has received a boost from government coffers that dates back to the Shipley government's promises made under the Bright Future package.

New Zealand's burgeoning number of incubators has received a boost from government coffers that dates back to the Shipley government's promises made under the Bright Future package.

Twelve incubators receive a share of just under $1 million ranging from $10,000 for the Aotearoa Charitable Trust for Fashion Designers up to $125,000 for the University of Auckland's Institute of Entrepreneurship.

A fund was initially set up in 1999 to help kick-start incubators, however the change of government and the overwhelming demand for capital saw the Ministry of Economic Development put its incubator programme on hold. That initiative was taken up by the newly formed Industry NZ department and in this year's budget the $1 million was allocated.

Unitec's dean of the faculty of business studies Gael McDonald says the amount is "fair enough - everyone's still in that developmental stage and the spread of money seems quite fair and equitable. " Unitec's centre for innovation and entrepreneurship received $100,000 from the fund.

"We'll be using it for a range of things from our events programme to developing our existing incubation programme and developing a workshop for other incubator managers and developers."

McDonald says Unitec's ultimate goal is to be a developer of incubators for others rather than running one itself. In the year that Unitec's incubator has been operating it has been approached for help with new projects.

"Our specialisation is in the technology area and we've been approached by other areas to help them - design and organics to name two."

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