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If you're thinking of starting a business in New Zealand, getting connected is the best way to set yourself up for success so you can ask questions, get support and find networking opportunities.

As a city where businesses flourish, Ōtautahi Christchurch offers all of this, plus a strong economy, cheaper rents and access to talent from three world-class universities and five skills and technology campuses. This means starting up in Christchurch can open the door even wider.

Home to high-growth startups, the city’s startup eco-system is globally ranked in the top 250 cities and you can access tailor-made support that is dedicated to shaping your business and taking it past start mode.

Whatever category your business idea falls into, you can take it from go to grow in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

Take Your Business Idea To The Next Level

Te Ohaka

Early Stage Start-Up?

If your business is in its early stages of development, it’s likely Te Ōhaka is where you'll find your best fit. 

Ideally you'll already have a minimum viable product, fewer than five FTEs, less than $500,000 in investment, and revenue of less than $100,000. But there is wiggle room. Ideally your business would be part of a Cluster.

Te Ohaka and Ara also offer two courses on business innovation, validation and commercialisation.

I'm an Early Stage Start-up - Te Ōhaka
HTK Meeting


HTK is a Māori organisation that specialises in working with indigenous cultures to build better futures through collaboration and support.

They work alongside businesses, corporates, hapū/iwi, institutions, not-for-profits, and startups, creating tailor-made, innovative, and dynamic solutions for businesses offering a full range of support services, capability building programmes and innovation incubators.

Find Out More About HTK
ThincLab Space

Past The Early Start-Up Stage?

If your business is past the early start-up stage, you will be better suited to ThincLab.

ThincLab, at the University of Canterbury, works with start-ups and scale-ups that have evidence of market validation and are operating as a business. You might be ready to export, grow, or land a first or second round of investment.

I’m Further Along but Still Need Support - ThincLab
Business Mentoring Young Graduate

Business Mentors

Business Mentors NZ is an independent, not-for-profit organization, committed to helping small business owners, startup entrepreneurs and not-for-profit decision makers succeed.  A small registration fee provides 12 months access to a Business Mentor, available to provide support by sharing skills, knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be successful. In Canterbury we have 300 Business Mentors who gift their time to assist our business owners.  

Register for a Mentor
Christchurch Business Events Team

Groups And Networks

Ōtautahi Christchurch has a vast array of business meetups and co-working spaces to help you get connected.
Discover Groups and Networks
  • There is so much that you don’t know that you don’t know and a mentor can really point you in the right direction of what you do need to know
    Alice Brown, Resuscitation Matters

Accelerator Courses

Accelerate your business ideas. Download the brochure to find out more.

Business Accelerator
Learn to start, validate and commercialise your business ideas with this new, 10-week, hands-on course at Ara, delivered by Te Ōhaka.

Innovation Accelerator
Equip yourself with the tools and skills to identify and implement transformative innovation opportunities within an organisation or industry with this 10-week short course at Ara.