Lightning Lab readies for second burst

Lightning Lab readies for second burst

The Wellington-based Lightning Lab accelerator, the first of its kind for Kiwi tech startups, will be back for another round early next year.

Applications open in November to find ten startups to base themselves in Wellington from next March to next May. Teams get $18,000 in seed capital and access to a network of more than 100 mentors.

The accelerator was set up last year by Wellington incubator Creative HQ. 

Founding investor and mentor Phil McCaw, managing partner of Movac, says the Lightning Lab's Demo Day earlier this year was the best he'd attended out of the many he's attended in the last decade.

Of the nine teams in the first accelerator, four secured investment. They were LearnKo, which closed its investment round oversubscribed at $700,000; Wipster (then called WIP Videos), which netted $600,000; Publons, with $350,000 and Expander, with $500,000.

Teamisto was accepted into the Startup Chile community and gained US$40,000 capital, while another team, KidsGoMobile, hopes to have investment by the end of the year. It also plans a Kickstarter campaign.

“It is encouraging for the New Zealand investment scene to see increasing commitment from the private equity sector for 
this type of investment," says Creative HQ CEO Stefan Korn. "Startups are high risk, and people who watched round one with interest are now putting up their hands and getting ready to pull out their chequebooks."