We’ve been so busy helping companies tell their stories, we almost forgot to tell ours…

We are Xstart. New Zealand’s newest Founder Incubator. Based in Christchurch and powered by Callaghan Innovation, with a mandate to grow businesses and the bold ambition to take them to the world.

A founding partnership between local heavyweights, University of Canterbury (rated in the top 1% of Business Schools worldwide) and ChristchurchNZ (NZ’s newest regional Economic Development and Attraction Agency). We have since evolved with further national and international expertise and investor connections.

We spent our first year building our own team, working with our first intake of companies, curating our network and refining our approach. We’re still learning and don’t claim to have it all figured out, but we’re convinced we’re onto something as we witness the transformation in founders; their level of ambition and capability to deliver. These businesses ARE growing.

For me as a relative newcomer to Christchurch, it’s been a blast uncovering so much local talent and playing my part in bringing together the forces which can really impact founder and company growth.

Having cut my teeth on youth entrepreneurship, and then corporate innovation, at Wellington’s Founder Incubator Creative HQ, I’ve since worked in or with many other NZ cities in the startup space and have seen first hand the stimulation of innovation and acceleration of progress when these agencies get it right. It’s magic.

So you’ll be hearing more from us, as we share stories about the companies we help to grow, the partners who power us, the tools and tactics we swear by, and the learnings we pick up along the way – forever and always in the name of… Growing Businesses with Impact.


Oliviah Theyers-Collins
Xstart Programme Manager