GovTech space


What a ride it has been! Lightning Lab GovTech has officially wrapped up, and it’s the perfect time to take a moment to think about our shared GovTech journey.

Over the course of three months the program has started and concluded, and teams have been working hard to come up with solutions to the big challenges local and central government agencies in New Zealand are facing. During the accelerator, participants learnt new ways of working and thinking, going through multiple alternations, pivots and obstacles, as well as learning to work within newly established teams. We pushed our cohort way beyond their comfort zone, and they had to quickly learn to adjust and adapt!

We have asked our teams to share some of their key takeaways from the last three months to help get a better insight into what they have gone through. Here are some of the things they had to say.


GovTech space


How did you find working within the accelerator framework?

Personally, it involved a range of emotions. It has been exciting and fun and really challenging. It also has been a little bit stressful at times and it really forced me to think and operate in different ways.  – John Earles, Youth Engagement team


Going back to when we just started, what you wished you knew coming into the Lightning Lab GovTech space?

I can sum it up in three main things:

  1. Coming in with a known, niche problem is a lot easier than coming in with a broad, high-level goal!
  2. Spending 8 weeks in the Problem Discovery phase is too long, but it also highlights that you’ve landed on a very complex and multi-faceted problem.
  3. That we would go on a huge 12-week roller-coaster ride- not dissimilar to the journey the entrepreneurs we are building this solution for are on every day!

– Michelle McCarthy, WREDA  team


GovTech space


How has the Lightning Lab GovTech experience been different from your traditional way of working?

Here we have a lot more decision power – and it is a big thing! We can pivot and our pivots could be massive! In my day job, you can pivot but it would be on a much smaller scale unless the boss tells you to pivot. We couldn’t pivot anything even though we had Agile and Scrum teams. Unless you’re on a very specific project and you are told how much you can pivot or what you can pivot under. So in that part, you can pivot heaps, but the moment you cross that line there is no room for any more change. You then have to go through multiple board meetings and steering committees and get the CEO on board to make things happen. I find that here the decision-making part in the program environment worked really well for us.

– Michael Tay, Building Financial Capability team


What support have you received throughout these intense three months?

The Lightning Lab GovTech program has been awesome. We’ve had coaches every week, mentors and our stakeholders from the industry and NGOs, coming in to meet us every week and check where we are in the process. We had speakers who provided insights on different topics that are of interest and relevant to us. We felt fully supported throughout the program!

– Sally Hett – Safer Seas for Albatrosses team


Want to keep hearing more about the Lightning Lab GovTech Accelerator? Stay up-to-date by signing up here.

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