Welcoming Pete Hodgson: Patron of Lightning Lab GovTech 2019 - GovTech Accelerator

Welcoming Pete Hodgson: Patron of Lightning Lab GovTech 2019

We are proud to announce Pete Hodgson as Patron of Lightning Lab GovTech. Pete is a true pioneer of innovation and it is a privilege to have him serve as a champion for the programme. As the current Chair of Callaghan Innovation and former Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Pete paved the way for the creation of New Zealand’s first startup acceleration programme ‘Lightning Lab’ in 2013, without which, our project teams would not be embarking on their journeys to create a stronger, faster and more inclusive government.

Jonnie Haddon, Lightning Lab GovTech programme director (left) presenting Pete Hodgson, patron of Lightning Lab GovTech 2019 (right), with a small token of our appreciation. 

After some well deserved kai and refreshments, the 10 teams presented their pitches to Pete Hodgson and the team’s Executive Sponsors. It is the Lightning Lab way to fit maximum value into the smallest possible space. In keeping with this spirit of efficiency the teams had just 60 seconds to give Pete the low down on their project, goals and progress so far. This was the first time pitching publicly for many of our cohort and they smashed it! Pete expressed his excitement about the programme and was eager to get stuck in and provide support wherever he can.


Leading the charge

New Zealand is in a unique position on the world stage to be a leader in public sector innovation. Low levels of perceived corruption, direct access to public servants and, most importantly, a bunch of kiwis who are passionate about enacting meaningful change. With Pete’s support the teams will have the best chance to shift the needle and to contribute to our reputation as one of the most innovative countries in the world.. 

Annabelle O’Donnell, Public Sector Innovation Strategy team (left) and Sally Hett, Lightning Lab GovTech programme manager (right)

The hard work for teams is just beginning as they continue to unpack their problems and interview users. We’re expecting great things to unfold in the next few weeks. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for you chance to get a more hands on GovTech experience.

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