Are You Working To Build A Stronger Startup Ecosystem in New Zealand?

Partnership for the Start NZ Up Ecosystem Development Goals

Dan Khan
4 min readAug 9, 2020

Last Month, I launched a vision and action plan for a more innovative and entrepreneurial economy in New Zealand.

The core thesis behind this plan was that whilst the world is locked down, and may well be for the future, how do we take this time to reflect on how to transform our economy to be future-ready, and more resilient to whatever comes at us in the future.

My main contention was that putting innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of our recovery is the smartest way to do this, by investing in our people and future-capability.

The action plan seems to have resonated strongly with people who have fed back on it so far, particularly the top-level ecosystem development goals (EDGs).

I need your help next, to partner for the goals, so we can present a view of our collective impact as we continue discussions with policy makers.

The plan is based on 8 key ecosystem development goals (EDGs), which are a group of policy-level recommendations, which I believe, if thoughtfully implemented, could have significant impact on the development of the startup and innovation ecosystem in NZ.

Last week I launched the goals and the plan at their new permanent home at

  • Goal 01: NZ’s startup ecosystems need to be geographically concentrated & nationally connected
  • Goal 02: NZ needs a coordinated national entrepreneurship plan
  • Goal 03: NZ’s startups need capital to grow
  • Goal 04: NZ’s startups need access to world-class expertise
  • Goal 05: NZ startups need tech-savvy talent
  • Goal 06: NZ needs more entrepreneurs
  • Goal 07: NZ needs to reduce the cost of doing business with the rest of the world
  • Goal 08: NZ needs corporate participation in the startup ecosystem

Because the opportunity is so pertinent as we look to our post-pandemic recovery, I am keen not to let this action plan end up as just an opinion piece. I have, therefore, spent the last few weeks discussing it with community leaders, influencers, and policy makers who can use these goals and recommendations to inform meaningful policy.

Partnership For The Goals

But, as we all know, creating a more vibrant and entrepreneurial economy isn’t just the job of one person or organisation, there’s many of us on the ground already working towards similar goals one way or another.

I’m mindful that us startup-folk live in a bubble, and often others don’t see the startup ecosystem, or if they do, they conflate it with small business. I believe the next step is to show a collective voice of what others are already doing; what our impact has been so far; and how that impact could be amplified if we significantly change our access to resources.

To that end, if you’re working on one or more of the goals, I’d love your help to list your organisation on the Start NZ Up website as a partner for the goals.

Example partner listing on

If you’re working on building a stronger startup ecosystem in New Zealand, I’d love your help to:

1. List your organisation as a partner for the ecosystem development goals on the Start NZ Up website if relevant;

2. Feedback on the vision and action plan if you haven’t already;

3. Forward this email or send a link to to others you know who are working towards similar goals.

Partner with us to help us create a voice of collective impact

Lots of people are talking about the opportunity right now to put innovation and entrepreneurship at the heart of New Zealand’s recovery — how do we get this message to our politicians as they start to build out and announce their campaigns and key policies?

To paraphrase Anna Kominik, country director of NZ’s first autonomous electric air taxi network, Wisk, I heard recently on the NZ Tech podcast:

“As a nation, we should all ask ourselves what we want out of this opportunity that Covid has given us. As a team of 5 million, we’ve put ourselves in the best position to think about how we want the future to look.

How do we build our capability and attract fantastic people and businesses to work in- and start businesses here that are innovative, high-value, high-skilled, and contribute to a zero-carbon, and more equitable economy that we’re all striving for?”

That is indeed the question, and I couldn’t have said it better myself Anna!

So, if you’re working toward the same vision of a more entrepreneurial and innovative economy in New Zealand, get on board and partner for the ecosystem development goals so we can speak with a collective voice of impact back to Government.

Partner For The Goals



Dan Khan

Experienced startup CTO/CPO based in New Zealand; Built startup community & accelerator space in NZ; Passionate about helping Kiwi founders go global from NZ.