We’ve answered some of the most common questions below. If there’s anything we haven’t covered, please get in touch.

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Can anyone submit a Project for the Lightning Lab Govtech programme?

Yes, anyone can submit a Project, but projects that have Executive Sponsorship, Project Management and funding commitments from an Agency or Council have a much higher likelihood of being selected for Lightning Lab GovTech.

What is the cost of submitting a Project for the Lightning Lab Govtech programme?

There is no fee to submit a Project application for Lightning Lab GovTech. However, if your application is successful, there is a Project fee of  NZD$50,000 (ex GST) due by June 20 with invoices sent on June 1 to secure your spot in Lightning Lab GovTech.

What does the Project Fee cover?

The Lightning Lab GovTech programme runs on a subsidised pay-to-play model. The Project fee of NZD$50,000 (ex GST) pays for all of the services provided by the programme to the Project team. 

These services include help with assessing, building or finding a team before programme start. During the programme, we will give you access to the proven Lightning Lab methodologies which includes access to the expert organisation team, mentors, startup coaches, leadership coaches. We will use Creative HQ’s Team Tracker to help make sure the Project is hitting appropriate targets. The Project fee also allows us to provide the Demo Day event at the conclusion of the programme. It does not cover the cost of payments to any Project team members.

Thanks to programme sponsors, we can provide these services at a low cost.

Are there any other costs associated with being in the programme?

Additional funding will likely be required for team members and operating expenses. Each project needs to be made up of full-time team members who are ideally a mix of seconded agency staff and contractors (entrepreneurs). Creative HQ can assist in finding appropriate team members. Also, it can be easier if a budget is allocated for operating expenses during the programme so that the project team can get things done quickly and easily. For example, flights to meet with a stakeholder, vouchers to incentivize ‘customer’ interviews or product subscriptions.    

Is this service part of an AoG procurement panel?

Creative HQ is a Tier 2 AoG Consultancy Services Provider for Business Change. As such, Creative HQ may be able to contract directly with an Agency for the services of the Lightning Lab Govtech programme. Each Agency must confirm this.

What can we expect the Project to accomplish in the Lightning Lab GovTech programme?

We have a good history of working with government-sponsored projects over a three-month timeframe in a similar way to how Lightning Lab GovTech will run.

We work with each team to meet the critical objectives and outcomes that you can see on the Public Sector information page. We can also reliably expect that all projects will accurately validate or invalidate the problem they are focused on, and all team members will learn effective innovation techniques.

We look to engage interested parties and either plan or start executing a pilot programme to build and deliver the prototype solution. All teams will present their learnings, and the next steps for their Project at the Demo Day event.

How can I make sure that my project is suitable for Lightning Lab GovTech, as it may not require a technological solution?

The best way to ensure that your project is suitable for the Lightning Lab GovTech programme is to contact us and schedule an Introductory Workshop with you, the Manager responsible for your Project and your Executive Sponsor.

This workshop will answer any questions you have and give you insight into previous programmes including the characteristics of successful projects.


When can I see the selected Projects to find out if I want to participate in them?

Agencies and Councils will submit Projects in March and April, and we will announce the successful Projects by May 3. Projects will be promoted on the website after that date and applications will open for individuals, startups + companies that want to get involved.

Once we announce the Projects, you will have the chance to read up on what each Project is working on and then submit your interest to us.

How do I participate in a Project?

We will help put together a Project Team to work on each Project in Lightning Lab GovTech. There will be three types of Projects in Lightning Lab GovTech:

1. Projects with an established team
2. Projects that are looking for more members to join the team
3. Projects that are looking for an entire team

You can submit your interest to Option 2 as an individual and Option 3 if you have a startup, and company team, or a group of others that you like to work with.

The needs for each Project will be evident when we post them.

Do I get paid for participating in Lightning Lab GovTech?

Yes, we will get a budget from each Agency or Council with a Project. When you submit your interest, we will notify you as to the available budget to pay for your participation.

What if I have a project idea that is not one of the Projects submitted by the agencies or councils?

Please let us know about your project idea as soon as possible. We can approach the relevant agency or council to see if they want to support your project. All Projects need to have this support to participate.