Upcoming Events and Programmes
Who We Are
We are a cross-border venture building and investment hub led by investors and entrepreneurs. We are the first entrepreneurs’ service platform in NZ supporting NZ-based tech companies to grow and scale to Asia Pacific markets. We have a strong passion in building a supportive APAC-focused cross-border innovator network in NZ that is inclusive of startups, tech companies, mentors, investors, enterprises, incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, media companies, event organisers, startup associations, universities, R&D institutions and government bodies.
CEO of Zino Ventures
We are looking for interns nationwide who share the same vision and passion as us. If this sounds like you, email us your LinkedIn profile and tell us about your future plans with us!
What We Do
We accelerate the growth and scaling of NZ-based tech companies with high growth potential to APAC region:
- Chinese-speaking markets such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore
- Other Asian markets such as Malaysia, Thailand, Japan
Asia Fast Track (AFT)
Scalability is a recurring pain for most startups operating in a smaller domestic market. As founders and investors are eager to push their startups to quickly grow and scale beyond the national border, there has been an increasing demand for quality programmes that fully appreciate the intricate business challenges associated in helping startups with such needs.
For NZ startups attempting to enter any foreign market, they tend to consider two DIY options when it comes to running the operation in such foreign market: either send headquarter staff with no local know-how or hire local staff with insufficient appreciation of the business nature and complexities of the parent organization. Historically, failure rate of such options is high because these startups usually misunderstood and/or misjudged the resources, efforts, and even processes needed to make things work.
The better approach is for these expansion-ready NZ startups to engage a startup expert with the right foreign market know-how and resources to systematically educate and guide them as they work their way through such foreign market in order to increase their chance of effectively tackling every business challenge encountered in entering such foreign market.
If you are a NZ startup willing and able to build your next phase of business in Asia, AFT provides advice, network, capital, and governance to fasttrack your Asia-bound expansion. We save you time and money through working with trustworthy and experienced startup/tech ecosystem partners (see AFT Partners Programme) and mentors (see AFT Mentors Programme) from various cities so that you don’t have to deal with the hassles of looking for the right help yourself.
Apply to become an AFT Member today (see AFT Members Programme)! We are looking for venture teams with the following criteria to venture-build:
● Your registered company is less than 5 years old (otherwise, case-by-case basis).
● Your business model has internet DNA or involves deep tech.
● Your company built and/or owns the rights to the technology/know-how.
● Your product/service has validated market or proven growth in NZ and/or beyond.
● Your team is willing and able to expand to (and/or fundraise in) Asia, and be coachable.
● Your company preferably has raised seed funding or has broke-even.
TO INVESTORS: If your portfolio companies need guidance with Asia expansion plan, contact us for an obligation-free consultation on whether our venture building capabilities are a good fit to their existing business circumstances. Let us demonstrate to you how AFT can deliver value.
We are looking for startup/tech ecosystem partners with one or more of the following three described capabilities and who have extensive experience working with foreign startups to help AFT Members enter the applicable domestic markets:
- MARKET ACCESS PARTNERS: mainly fixed-term reputable market access programs (include accelerators) that offer certain green passage to AFT Members; suitable for startups that wish to trial the market.
- SOFT LANDING PARTNERS: mainly co-working spaces that offer structured domestic ecosystem connections to AFT Members; suitable for startups that wish to have a longer term presence in the market.
- VENTURE BUILDING PARTNERS: mainly experienced startup growth advisory firms that offer initial remote consulting hour(s) free to AFT Members; suitable for startups that wish to growth-hack the market.
Depending on the needs, each AFT Member may engage more than one AFT Partners through various programmes co-created between such AFT Partners and AFT or via own commercial arrangement directly with such AFT Partners.
If you are the ecosystem partners we are looking for, we wish to talk to you about co-creating mutually-beneficial startup programmes and services.
We are looking for the following types of seasoned startup/tech mentors who have extensive experience working with foreign startups to mentor AFT Members with respect to the applicable domestic markets:
- Seasoned founders, investors, corporate executives, business professionals.
Each AFT Member can opt to be paired with 1 to 3 AFT Mentors (recommended by AFT) who will form a dedicated AFT Mentor Board, with AFT staff sitting on it too. Each AFT Mentor Board provides pro bono monthly remote mentoring for 4 weeks (at least 1 hour each week), then decide whether to extend for another 4 weeks or replace with advisory agreement with agreed compensation (such as advisor equity).
If you are the mentors we are looking for, we wish to talk to you about how you can benefit from working with AFT Members.
Blockchain, Cleantech/Greentech, IoT
Taiwan, HK, US
Agritech, Biotech, Foodtech, Medtech, IoT, Robotics
Cleantech/Greentech, Enterprise, Fintech, Foodtech, Medtech, Mobile, IoT
Enterprise, Coworking Spaces, Proptech, Ecosystem Development
Singapore, Thailand, and general market knowledge and access across Southeast Asia
Agritech, AI/ML, Biotech, Blockchain, Enterprise, Fintech, Foodtech, Medtech, Mobile, IoT, Consumertech
China, Singapore, US, Taiwan, SEA
Biotech, Blockchain, Enterprise, Mobile, IoT
Agritech, Cleantech/Greentech, Medtech, IoT
Any Asia-bound startup or tech company is welcomed to apply to AFT Members Programme at any time:
- You will be prompted to create your startup profile on F6S.
- Complete creation of your startup profile.
- Then complete application on AFT Members Programme page on F6S.
- Qualified startups will be invited to a selection interview with AFT staff.
- AFT staff will inform the selection result to all applicants.
AFT Members shall enjoy the following member-only perks (non-exhaustive):
- Connection to networks and businesses, fundraising support, working with partners and mentors, go-to-market trainings, CEO roundtable, road show selection, talent sourcing.
Through events and activities, we cultivate and foster working relationships (a) between local/international investors and us, and (b) between investors in our networks and Asia-bound companies.
We are looking for investors who have extensive experience investing in foreign startups. If you are the investors we are looking for, we wish to talk to you about how you can benefit from working with us and our startups.
Scalability is a recurring pain for most startups, especially for Asian startups wishing to expand into the larger Western (English-speaking) markets such as Australia, UK, and US. Why not use NZ as a test market to validate the product market fit of your company before spending massive efforts and resources on such larger Western markets?
Global Lab works with innovative and promising startups and tech companies from Asia with (a) significant home market traction, (b) willingness and ability to expand globally, and (c) patience to validate assumptions in NZ market for 6 to 12 months. It is also beneficial if the business model of the participating companies contributes positively to the advancement of NZ economy and its local communities.
NZ is an attractive test market destination for the following reasons:
- Number 1 in the world when it comes to ease of doing business, according to World Bank rating.
- A mature service-oriented economy with great infrastructure, high internet penetration, and a population of close to 5 million.
- Nearly 30 million population when combined with Australia’s.
- Perhaps the most affordable test market before scaling globally to the larger Western (English-speaking) markets.
- It already shares similar customer profile as its other Western counterparts.
- Costs of doing business is not as high as other English-speaking countries.
- Its global-venturing companies are accustomed to working with the Western markets, which avail the country with plenty of talents experienced in selling to such markets.
- Its market is smaller but receptive, therefore way more manageable.
- For Asia-based companies, NZ is geographically closer to Asia than the US and EU markets and well connected to the major Asia hubs by flights.
- A popular immigration and tourist destination, making the country surprisingly diverse and full of cross-border opportunities.
- For US/EU-based companies, NZ has a competitive geographical position when it comes to expansion into Asia.
Examples of industry verticals of interest to NZ market (non-exhaustive):
- Agritech and foodtech
- Enterprise (NZ’s biggest global listed company is Xero, an accounting SaaS)
- Entertainment and lifestyle (Weta, a visual effects company that worked on major film productions like Lord of the Rings)
- Healthcare and medical tech
- Industrial and manufacturing
- Renewable energy and greentech
- Social enterprise
- Travel and tourism (this industry is now NZ’s biggest foreign currency earner)
For a better understanding of the NZ startup ecosystem:
- Scale-Up New Zealand: NZ’s definitive innovation discovery platform
- Mum’s Garage: NZ startups ecosystem map
If you are interested in exploring NZ as your next test market, email to inquire further.
Our workshops are attended by VCs, angel investors, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, industry experts, professionals, high net worth migrants, and senior officials from the public sector and tertiary institutions. Each workshop is a great opportunity for participants to build their own network. As our network and reputation grow, we also attract more high-quality business and government partnerships.
If you are interested in sponsoring our workshops, we would love to discuss various sponsorship opportunities with you.
Historical Events and Programmes
New Kiwis Challenge
We did New Kiwis Challenge to get early visibility of outstanding prospects for Zino-supported growth. A nation-wide competition for NZ startups with at least one migrant in the founding team, the focus of which is on developing innovative capabilities of new Kiwis, highlighting the value of diversity in entrepreneurship.