Innovate Fund

Help translate world-leading research into commercial reality for wide-ranging impact.

Two students sitting together and writing on a white board in a seminar room at the university’s Pipitea campus.

Our researchers are continually developing innovative ideas that can impact and help solve great challenges through commercial development and distribution, but they often face a funding gap in progressing these early-stage concepts into products that are market ready.

Wellington UniVentures, the University’s commercialisation office, uses its expertise in intellectual property and business development and its global network of contacts to help researchers transform their discoveries into products or services that are accessible and have real benefit to society. Wellington UniVentures identifies projects that would benefit from acceleration through funding, and which are independently validated by the Government’s KiwiNet Investment Committee. It has more than 60 active pipeline projects and its staff support the University’s researchers to test, protect, and develop their idea using a thorough assessment and market validation process.

Optimise for success

The University and Wellington UniVentures have set up the Innovate Fund to move exciting innovations through the development pipeline, optimising their chances of success, before they are launched publicly for the most impact. With the help of philanthropic investors, we seek to build up a $10 million non-endowed fund, maintained by the Victoria University of Wellington Foundation. We will reinvest all interest and a proportion of returns from any resulting spin-out companies back into the fund to ensure the availability of critical financing in perpetuity.

Your investment in the Innovate Fund can be matched dollar for dollar by the New Zealand Government via KiwiNet’s Pre-Seed Accelerator Fund, meaning your support will have an impact more quickly. You can also increase New Zealand’s talent base by contributing your skills, experience, and contacts to support our entrepreneurial academics.

"As part of Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington UniVenture is deeply connected to both research and ambition, acknowledging the power of trailblazing research, protecting its integrity and transforming it into valuable assets that sustainably grow our region and change lives."
Anne Barnett, CEO, Wellington UniVentures

Get in touch

We welcome the chance to talk to you about supporting research translation with significant impact through the Innovate Fund.

Patricia Danver profile picture photograph

Patricia Danver

Patricia Danver

Executive Director Development and Foundation
Victoria Foundation · Development Office

Anne Barnett profile picture photograph

Dr Anne Barnett

Dr Anne Barnett

Chief Executive Officer
Wellington UniVentures · Wellington UniVentures