Innovate Fund

The Innovate Fund is a specialised proof-of-concept fund enabling the assessment, de-risking and delivery of a number of new deep-technology businesses emerging from Wellington UniVentures' development pipeline. Funds will be dedicated towards translating early-stage research through to commercial results.

Wellington UniVentures is seeking to amplify the commercial impact of Victoria University of Wellington's research by developing the Innovate Fund, an opportunity to contribute to supporting research translation with significant impact.

Find out more about the world-leading research that the Innovate Fund is supporting in this video


How does the Innovate Fund Work?

Wellington UniVentures' robust approach to research translation identifies early-stage IP that would benefit from acceleration through funding. This process is underpinned by independent validation through the Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) Investment Committee, a New Zealand Government funded organisation supporting research commercialisation in New Zealand.

This early-stage IP becomes a pipeline project and Wellington UniVentures wraps support around to develop the entrepreneurial skills of academics and grow their idea to a commercial outcome.

Donations are made into the Innovate Fund, and deployment of funds is managed by Wellington UniVentures. Interest and a proportion of returns from resulting spin-out companies are reinvested in the fund. The fund has a dedicated fund manager and development opportunities are independently assessed against pre-agreed criteria via the KiwiNet Investment Committee.


How can you get involved?

Wellington UniVentures is seeking individuals focused on contributing to the translation of world-leading science and technology research into tangible outcomes. If you are curious about the innovation coming out of New Zealand, then a contribution to the Innovate Fund will allow you to be part of research translation from the very beginning. 

The Innovate Fund will appeal to a wide range of individuals seeking economic, social or human impact: 

How can you get involved

Economic Impact
  • Commercial outcomes
  • Future investment opportunities
  • Development of a knowledge economy
  • Job creation
  • Wealth creation

New technology that deploys highly sensitive detection devices in the field for rapid actionable results. The inventor, Dr Shalen Kumar, sees this platform becoming a >$100m global industry leader.

Social Impact
  • Philanthropic opportunities with a social angle
  • Contribute to strong social outcomes
  • Translating science and technology research for social good

World-class chemistry experts within the Ferrier Research Institute have a vision to create a world where your body can cure cancer. A recent success is a drug called Mundesine®.

Human Impact
  • Direct impact on people development
  • Positive outcomes for people
  • Leverage connections and networks
  • Contribute to teams and individuals 
  • Mentoring, governance, supporting scholarships

Academic entrepreneur, Dr Brendan Darby credits mentorship from Wellington UniVentures with helping him become a first time CEO of Wellington UniVentures spin-out, Marama Labs.



Donations over NZ$10,000 are welcomed.

Thank you for your interest in joining the Innovate Fund ecosystem. Please contact Wellington UniVentures' CEO, Anne Barnett to discuss your donation and any mentoring opportunities we might have available.

Anne would be happy to discuss your interests and unique expertise as well as your donation, and how that will be used to accelerate the translation of world-leading research from Victoria University of Wellington.

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Pierre Malou


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