Tech Jumpstart Competition - Research & Innovation - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Tech Jumpstart Competition

Tech Jumpstart logo

Following on from a successful Tech Jumpstart in 2016, Research & Innovation (R&I) is once again running the Tech Jumpstart competition with support from KiwiNet in 2017.

Tech Jumpstart gives University of Canterbury academic staff a chance to transform their innovative ideas into reality. Up to five projects will receive $20,000 funding over 6 months to help with technology development, as well as commercialisation support from R&I and possible access to additional funding sources for continued development.

This year both WNT Ventures and Astrolab are each offering a special prize of incubation services alongside the five main cash prizes. The special prizes will be for the projects that show the most commercial promise and incubation services may include: 

  • Strategic Planning
  • Company Structuring
  • Market Validation
  • Capital Raising
  • Financial analysis
  • Mentorship
  • IP Protection and Strategy
  • Access to networks


Intellectual Property - Workshop 18 July

Michael Brown from AJ Park: Intellectual Property will provide an overview of the various types of intellectual property, and how understanding and protecting intellectual property is applicable to the successful commercialisation of inventions.

Date: Tuesday 18 July 2017
Time: 12-1pm, lunch will be provided
Facilitator:    Michael Brown, AJ Park
Location:   John Britten 117 – HP Seminar Room

Michael Brown
Michael co-heads AJ Park’s engineering and ICT patents team in Wellington. He specialises in patents, designs, copyright and related intellectual property for Australasian and international innovators. Michael’s role involves advising clients on patentability, design registration and product commercialisation. He prepares and prosecutes patent applications, both in New Zealand and abroad and also regularly conducts infringement and freedom-to-operate assessments, patent portfolio due diligence, and IP audits.

Get Investment Ready with WNT Ventures – Workshop 20 July

Carl Jones (CEO) and Jon Sandbrook (Investment Manager) of WNT Ventures will be providing a workshop aiming to demystify the investment process, giving guidance as to what areas of knowledge you will need when building towards an investment ready proposition.
They will talk through some of the key factors that will attract investor and mentor assistance to help you develop your idea further.  They will also put you in the investor’s shoes with some case studies to discuss and, hopefully, help academic entrepreneurs win a UC TechJumpstart award.

WNT Ventures  are offering an additional special prize of incubation services alongside the  main cash prizes.  The WNT special prize will be for the project that show the most commercial promise.

Date:        Thursday 20 July 2017
Time:     12-1:30pm, lunch will be provided
Facilitators:  Carl Jones,CEO, and Jon Sandbrook, Investment Manager, at WNT Ventures
Location John Britten 117 – HP Seminar Room

Carl Jones
Carl Jones is the CEO of WNT Ventures and has a background across a broad range of asset classes via a career in investment management, private equity, property, funds management, venture capital and angel investing. Carl has been involved in a number of early stage companies in a personal capacity and has a passionate interest in the development of start-up, high growth technologies.

Jon Sandbrook
Jon Sandbrook is the Investment Manager at WNT Ventures.  Jon has a background as a corporate strategist, business developer, consultant and executive manager focusing on building and growing companies, primarily in the agriculture, food, small business finance and biotechnology sectors.Jon has a passion for cutting edge start-ups and innovative corporates with global reach, as well as interest in non-profits, social ventures and philanthropy.


Benefits of Tech Jumpstart for Staff

Progression of research: Develop your idea by employing student researchers or other expertise and/or purchasing the necessary consumables.

Opportunity for further funding: Once your project has been successfully executed, Research & Innovation will look to source additional funding for continued development and commercialisation.

Opportunity to explore entrepreneurship: Winning Tech Jumpstart offers an opportunity to become involved in taking the idea to market.

2016 winnera Adrian Clark
Tech Jumpstart 2016 winners: Associate Professor
Renwick Dobson, Dr Deborah Crittenden, Dr Dong
Seong Kim (Dr Aaron Marshall absent)
Dr Adrian Clark, Tech Jumpstart 2012 Winner

Apply Now - Applications Close 4 August

Eligibility criteria:

  • Any University of Canterbury staff member can apply with their idea or invention.
  • Ideas can be from any University research area.
  • Ideas must have potential market applications.
  • The funds are for experimentation, proof-of concept or technology development projects.

Application process:

Winners should be ready to begin projects upon funding allocation and be completed within 6 months. Entries will be judged by a panel of local entrepreneurs and UC staff with a track record of innovation.

R&I is happy to assist you with your application. We can help with the market, competition, value proposition and intellectual property aspects of your application. Contact Cheryl Stephenson for advice.

Complete the application form (Word, 63KB) and email your application to

Key dates:

  • Applications close 4 August 2017
  • Judging will take place over the following four weeks – shortlisted entrants may be asked to make a short presentation to the judging panel
  • Winners announced at a celebration event late September 2017

Tech JumpStart 2017 Entrants Guide available here (PDF 442KB). The guide includes details of eligibility, the application process, conditions of award and guidance notes to help develop your application. 

Commercialisation 101 Workshop

If you considering entering the competition KiwiNet will be delivering a free Commercialisation 101 Workshop at the University of Canterbury to help in the framing of your idea and developing the application.

What will you learn?

  • The principles of technology transfer, and how it can align with ongoing research and teaching priorities.
  • How to strengthen your grant proposals and increase the value proposition of your research.
  • In those ‘Eureka!’ moments, what comes next? Who is there to help?
  • How the world can be rewarded by access to your innovations, and how you can too.

Event details:

  • Date: Thursday, 8 June 2017
  • Time: 10am-4pm
  • Facilitator: Seumas McCroskery and Alice Marsh – KiwiNet
  • Location: Kirkwood KA04
  • Registration:

Tech Jumpstart Awards

R&I will host a celebration event to announce the winning projects on at an awards ceremony in September 2017. Applicants and others interested are invited to attend. RSVP information will be provided closer to the time.

Carl Jones, CEO WNT Ventures presenting the
special prize in the 2016 Tech Jumpstart awards

Previous Competitions

The Tech Jumpstart competition was first held in 2010. See Tech Jumpstart - Past Competitions (staff only) for details of how some of the competition projects have progressed.

Kiwinet LogoSponsors

Major Sponsor: KiwiNet

Tech Jumpstart is sponsored by KiwiNet, the Kiwi Innovation Network, a consortium of Universities and Crown Research Institutes who are dedicated to taking a collaborative approach to research commercialisation. For more information see the KiwiNet website.

Special Prize Sponsor: WNT VenturesWNT Ventures logo
Tauranga-based Technology Incubator WNT Ventures are offering a special prize for the 2017 Tech Jumpstart competition, for the project that shows the most commercial promise.

Special Prize Sponsor: Astrolab               Astrolab logo                                                                   
Astrolab adopts complex technologies across a range of sectors and will offer a special prize for this year’s Tech Jumpstart competition.