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Who is 9Wire?

A collection of Aotearoa’s key funders and innovation support organisations which share a passion and commitment for solving environmental problems. They have collaborated to create 9Wire, which leverages their collective strengths to help innovators bring their environmental solutions to life.

Organisations include WWF-New Zealand and their partners: Ākina, Auckland Council, Callaghan Innovation, Department of Conservation, Ministry for the Environment, and Ministry for Primary Industries.

What are the application criteria?

There are two criteria:

  1. You must be living in New Zealand and working on an innovation where the primary purpose is to positively impact, improve or regenerate New Zealand’s environment.

  2. You also need to be working on an innovation. We define innovation for this programme as a new, unique, different and/or thought-provoking:

  • product

  • service

  • process

  • business model

  • approach (this includes behaviour change and governance)

There are no criteria for stage, or type of organisation. We will ask for this information but only to gain further understanding of your work.

If you’re not sure what type of innovation you have, or if your organisation can apply, take a look at our examples of environmental innovation on the ‘Is 9Wire for you?’ page.


What are the key dates?

Applications open Sunday 26 May, 2019

Applications close Monday 8 July, 2019

Programme begins 31 August, 2019

Programme ends 29 February, 2020

What stage do you have to be at to apply?

Any stage or scale of innovation can apply, from idea, to early stage, to growth and commercialisation.

What is the application process?

The application form is a little different from what you might have used before. It is a combination of drop downs to collect general information, and a new online version of the social lean canvas.

During the application period (now until July 8), you will receive online feedback and additional questions on your application so that we receive the strongest application possible. We recommend applying as early as possible to ensure you get feedback. This is for your benefit and ours.

You will not need to prepare any additional supporting documents.

What is the social lean canvas?

The social lean canvas is a one page framework that outlines your business model and impact in one document. To get an overview of what you will need to fill in as part of the application, you can visit There are videos that explain each segment in the application portal.

Here are two examples of filled-out social lean canvases:

Toms Shoe Social Lean Example.JPG

How long will Applying take?

If you are already clear about the things that need to go in the canvas we expect the application time to be 2-3 hours. It may take longer if you need to discuss decisions with your team.

How does the assessment process work?

For more information about how our assessment process works, please see this document.

Who retains intellectual property (IP)?

You do! 9Wire is not taking your IP, but rather supporting you on your innovation journey.

We will make it clear during your application what parts of your submission will be publicised.

Should your innovation go through as one of our finalists, we will work with you to help protect your IP.

Is it an accelerator programme?

Not really. If you make it into the intensive support part of 9Wire then you will have 1-1 support from a venture manager to help unlock opportunities for your venture. If you are placed in 9Wire’s support pool your support might look like a lot of different things (see ‘This is how we help you’ for details).

Regardless of the support you get, 9Wire won’t have the traditional requirements of an accelerator programme. You won’t need to be living in or move to a specific location, you won’t need to be working on your innovation full-time, and 9Wire will not take equity in your venture or ask you to pay.

Can I still apply if I am already in another programme?

Yes, you can apply for 9Wire even if you are already in other programmes or receiving other support. 9Wire aims to be collaborative, and we can find additional opportunities for you.

Where will the support be given?

This  is a nationwide programme, and support will be given both in person and  online. We will be designing the support once we know what environmental innovation is happening in New Zealand, with the aim to keep the support where  the innovations are.

What sort of support will I get?

This will differ depending on the support that each innovation needs. We’re looking for a number of high-potential ventures which will receive intensive one on one support to access funding, as well as technical resources to accelerate their progress.

A larger group of innovations that don’t make it into the intensive programme will be accepted into a pool. Innovations in the pool will receive support during  the programme run time of August to February in the form of resources and support opportunities that best suit you.

Support may come in the form of:

●       Streamlining access to funding opportunities

●       Skill building for teams and individuals

●       Professional support such as legal, financial or marketing needs

●       Technical support to solve problems

●       Impact tracking and development

●       Connections and introductions

●       Webinars, articles and other resources


Where can I get more information?

We will be hosting information evenings around the country to help with applications and answer questions.

Receive updates on the programme by signing up to our mailing list.

You can also email