6-month startup accelerator programme backed by Vodafone
We fund and support great Kiwi teams with innovative technology and global ambitions – so you can focus on connecting your idea with the world.
The Vodafone xone is a 6-month startup accelerator programmed backed by Vodafone New Zealand, and is supported by Vodafone Group that have over 420M customers in more than 60 countries. Vodafone is passionate about innovation and technology in New Zealand and is committed to helping businesses achieve global success.
The inaugural xone programme in 2016 saw teams achieving great success – $7M in funding was raised during their time in the programme and sales figure reached $8.5M spanning across 12 countries, including New Zealand. 25 new jobs were also created across 10 teams since their participation in the programme. Examples of this include:
- Parking Sense winning the largest parking guidance contract awarded in California (over USD$5M);
- LINC-ED growing their customer base significantly – multiplying ten fold;
- Solar Bright finalising a deal for a commercial trial with Christchurch City Council;
- and IoTStream opening offices in Australia, the UK and India.
To date, 5 trials with Vodafone have been achieved with 2 moving on to commercial and strategic partnerships.
The xone accelerator is a 6-month programme valued at up to $150,000. The xone gives selected startups the best opportunity to develop their products and scale internationally.
Tailored to Your Startup
Every startup faces challenges, but those faced by Kiwi startups are unique given our population size and isolated geography. Over a 6-month period, the Vodafone xone will help startups to think ambitiously and work globally from day one.
Assistance is provided by Vodafone through the xone accelerator with a tailor-made programme based on each startups’ needs. This includes access to our customer testing panel, software/hardware vendors; our product design teams; research and development; connections to internal Vodafone employees and global expertise; and more.
The programme is divided into 3 key phases:
Is there a clear need or problem that you are looking to solve?
Do you have a solution that satisfies a validated market demand?
Is your business model robust and ready to scale through a partnership with Vodafone?
Progressing through each phase is no easy task. As a result, the xone programme includes a variety of modules to address key topics to help guide your thinking and decision making along the way. The programme integrates roughly 50% access to the xone team and programme modules, and 50% involvement with mentors, investors, and partners.
- $25K cash funding (0% equity) – terms to be agreed with successful applicants
- Co-working space and facilities in state-of-the-art new Christchurch HQ located in the new Innovation Precinct
- Vodafone xone Innovation Lab access (includes equipment use, technical engineer advice/consultation)
- Access to Vodafone Partnership network
- Access to internal Vodafone expertise both in NZ and globally
- Access to international and local mentors with industry and technical expertise
- Software credits
Vodafone’s New Zealand xone is a purpose built, collaborative space. We’ve designed the xone to allow startups to work together here in New Zealand, while gaining access to Vodafone’s global innovation community.
Beyond technical support, the Vodafone xone in Christchurch will draw on the knowledge and learnings from Vodafone xones in Silicon Valley, Amsterdam, London, Cairo, Dusseldorf and Milan.
Mentors for Advice and Guidance
Gain meaningful mentoring from some of the greatest business leaders and tech innovators from NZ and the world. As part of the xone accelerator programme, your startup will have access to mentors from both in New Zealand and around the world to help guide and shape your startup as it develops and grows.
Our Areas of Interest
The Vodafone xone accelerator supports early, later stage startups, or SMEs with outstanding, disruptive business ideas in areas including (but never limited to):
Internet of things
Exceedingly more devices beyond mobiles and computers are becoming part of the ever growing world of internet connected devices. The number of connected IoT devices is predicted to hit 20.8 billion devices in 2020.
An increasing amount of data points are being gathered and logged – interpreting large datasets is becoming an increasingly common and increasingly challenging task.
Neural networks are enabling programs to now tackle complicated multidimensional and cognitive tasks, previously best performed by humans. We’re interested in companies which leverage this emerging tech.
Smart homes and cities
Using smart technology in homes and integration into city infrastructural leads to increased awareness and monitoring of health safety, cost saving efficiencies, and other optimisations.
Improving the productivity, yield, and profitability on the farm is possible through the use of advancing tech and mobile-enabled devices with the potential to impact NZ’s largest export sector.
Using mobile and internet connected solutions to improve health and well-being in the home, outdoors, or in a clinical environment.
Mobile education and family
Using technology solutions to enhance education, learning, and safety of children and young families.
Mobile payments and commerce
Online retail reached $3 bn in New Zealand alone in 2015. With increasing adoption, emerging solutions are addressing security, ease of use, and deep integration.
SolarBright – A Case Study
Pat and Nicola joined the xone looking to take their Smart Cateyes product to the world. Vodafone helped with global connectivity, and bringing the technology to life during the xone programme.
Now they have 5 international trials lined up, and a law passed in NZ allowing these studs to be used on the road.