Not yet sure if you should apply? Here are some frequently asked questions we get from aspiring founders about Founder Catalyst incubator.

Do I have to give up equity to participate?

No. Your participation in Founder Catalyst does not require you to give up any equity and is free of any fees on your part.

Founder Catalyst is made possible by a partnership between Ministry of Awesome, Ara Institute, and Christchurch NZ with the support of many national organizations to build a strong startup ecosystem in Aotearoa.

Do I receive any funding or investment by participating?

No. There is no grant or investment funding included with your participation. While you are not guarranteed to raise capital as a result of your participation, it has been our experience that most companies who complete the programme have either achieved a positive cash flow to sustain operations and/or have raised additional capital from angels or VC as a result of Founder Catalyst programming and support.

Do I have to be in Christchurch to participate?

No, it is not required to participate in person. Many of our founders who are based outside of Canterbury do make the decision to locate to the region on a full or part-time basis during the programme to take advantage of the face-to-face meetings and to experience the comraderie of founders in the cohort.

When do the cohorts start?

We have four cohorts, with a new cohort starting each quarter.

  • Winter – July
  • Spring – October
  • Summer – Jan
  • Autumn – April

Unlike other incubators and accelerators, we don’t have a firm start date. We understand that you may have unique requirements to delay a start by a few weeks or even start early if you’re ready to go. Our model for assessing, mentoring, and building startups means that we can easily onboard you in a way that helps you hit the ground running.

How do your Pitch Day work?

Because the founders in our incubator arrive at different points in their journey, we don’t conduct a climatic “pitch day” event.

Instead, you’ll be working throughout your participation to become investment ready and meeting with investors along the way. When you’re ready to raise, we facilitate your own pitch event that is about getting results, not just flashy stage time.

Do I need to be a tech focus to be accepted?

No, having a software or hardware solution is not required but admittedly we have found that startups with a tech-focus have a larger liklihood to scale and grow internationally.

Capital heavy startups that make, distribute, and sell physical goods are generally not the type of businesses we focus on but there are always exceptions to the rule. Not sure if your startup fits? Apply and let’s discuss!

What if I don’t have a solution built yet? Can I apply?

Yes, absolutely. If you’re early in the problem/solution validation stage and are still trying to determine what solution is best to bring to market, you may still meet our criteria.

The key things we want to see is whether or not the problem you’re tackling has global potential, if you have demonstrated that you’ve been working toward a solution (not just an idea in your head), and if you’re ready to commit full-time to tackling the problem at hand.

Can I apply if I’ve already raised money?

Yes, you can. Founder Catalyst is about moving you onward and upward no matter where you are in your entrepreneurial journey.

For founders who have a startup that’s already raised capital or have significant revenues, our resources will move further down the pathway that focuses on product market, customer acquisition, and building a strong growth story that will help you raise your next round.

Did we answer your questions? If not, you can always contact us.