8 Key Ecosystem Development Goals (EDGs)

Each EDG is a group of policy-recommendations, which, if thoughtfully implemented, could have significant impact on the development of the startup and innovation ecosystem in NZ






NZ startups need tech-savvy talent






NZ needs more entrepreneurs

Context To The Goals

Based on 15 years of insight actively growing the startup community in New Zealand

The silver-lining the Covid-19 pandemic has given us is the singular opportunity in our lifetime to diversify and enhance New Zealand’s economy in new ways. In a global recession with the world locked down and struggling economically to create new jobs, New Zealand could see a huge uplift in the number of people starting new companies with people no longer being able to travel to find work, and the looming shadow of a global recession hanging over us.

There’s no doubt that digital technology, entrepreneurship, and rapid-innovation has been at the forefront of the pandemic response efforts both at home and abroad. The biggest opportunity for New Zealand right now is not just recovery and rebuilding, it’s transforming our people into a workforce that can create the jobs of tomorrow, not just today. And that means leaning in to put innovation and entrepreneurship at the forefront of our economic strategy. How? By retooling our people to be more capable, tech-savvy, and ultimately, more future-ready.

After spending 15 years leading the local startup community in New Zealand, we see myriad opportunities for Government to meaningfully intervene by investing in people and entrepreneurial capability to help people better execute on their ideas for commercial, social, and personal success. We can take lessons from mature innovation ecosystems on how to create the critical entrepreneurial-density that allows 'engineered serendipity' to happen at scale, thus creating the ideal environment for more entrepreneurs to flourish in New Zealand.

Whilst we’ve already done a lot to encourage the growth of the startup ecosystem in New Zealand, it is ultimately sub-scale, because New Zealand is sub-scale. There's not much more we can do at a grassroots-level without significant top-down support. Start NZ Up therefore takes a lead from the seminal Startup Crossroads work by StartupAUS in Australia, and inspiration from the format of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, to create a similar call to action for the opportunity here in Aotearoa.

Start NZ Up - An Action Plan For a More Entrepreneurial Economy in Aotearoa New Zealand by Dan Khan

Partnership For The Goals

Are you actively working on one or more of these ecosystem development goals?

If you're already working towards some or all the ecosystem development goals, please consider listing your details below so we can link to you as a partner for those goals. Our overall aim is to collate a list of those working towards each goal in an effort to facilitate cross-collaboration, and to measure our collective impact in building a more vibrant startup and innovation ecosystem in New Zealand.

Which ecosystem development goals are you actively working on?


NZ's startup ecosystems need to be geographically concentrated and nationally connected


NZ needs a coordinated national entrepreneurship plan


NZ's startups need capital to grow


NZ's startups need access to world-class expertise


NZ startups need tech-savvy talent


NZ needs more entrepreneurs


NZ needs to reduce the cost of doing business with the rest of the world


NZ needs corporate participation in the startup ecosystem

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