Spark is on a nationwide search to find New Zealand’s most innovative 5G ideas. We’re committed to supporting leading-edge Kiwi businesses in bringing these solutions to life through the 5G Starter Fund.

Ask us anything: 5Gstarterfund@spark.co.nz  

 

Winning ideas will respond to one or more of these categories:

Good for New Zealand


5G-enabled solutions that improve the lives of Kiwis or build a more sustainable New Zealand.

See more

Industry disruptors


5G-enabled technology that will fundamentally change the way we work and live.

Find out how

Immersive experiences


5G-enabled technology that offers a new sensory, educational or entertainment experience.

Get inspiration

Tools and resources:

Learn more about 5G


With super-fast downloads, minimal latency, massive connectivity and outstanding reliability, 5G will bring huge possibilities. Find out more about this game changing technology.

See details

5G for business


Over the last 18 months we have been working with innovative companies in our 5G Lab, to help them imagine the potential of what 5G will offer. Find inspiration on our 5G Business Page.

See articles

Visit the Spark 5G Lab


Located at GridAKL in Auckland’s Wynyard Quarter, Spark's 5G Lab showcases the latest 5G technology, bringing innovation to life with demos and hands-on experiences.

Book a tour

Launch & Announcement


8th March

Applications open


15th March to 28th June

Finalists Announced


27th July

Judging Starts


26th August

Winners Announced


4th September

Funding and the 5G Co-Lab testing


September to October

Winners fly to New York


October

Frequently asked questions

 

Spark is committed to the wellbeing of our people, customers and all New Zealanders during the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19 or Coronavirus. We find ourselves in an unprecedented situation and our immediate focus is on supporting our customers and New Zealanders to stay connected at such a critical time.

As a result, we’ve decided to postpone the opening up of applications for the Spark 5G Starter Fund.

There are two main reasons why we are doing this: 

  • The first is because we understand that New Zealanders are now focused on their wellness, their families and the continuity of their businesses. As such, we don’t feel it is the appropriate time for us to be asking businesses to prioritise this initiative, when they are having to make business critical decisions in light of the spread of COVID-19. Spark’s focus at this time is firmly on how we can keep our people safe while we support New Zealand businesses through COVID-19. 
  • Secondly, the 5G Starter Fund includes visits from international judges to New Zealand, potential travel for the finalists as well as international travel for the winners. As we are not sure how long travel restrictions throughout the world will be in place, we have put on hold applications to the Fund until we have more certainty around when travel restrictions will be lifted. 

When it is practical to do so, we’ll continue with the 5G Starter Fund, so we’re going to keep the information available on this website about categories and how to enter.

The application process is presently on hold due to current global events. We will update you soon with revised timings.

We’re committed to supporting leading-edge Kiwi businesses in bringing these solutions to life through the 5G Starter Fund.

You can find lots of interesting content on our website.  With it's 5 key properties, 5G has the potential to transform business and every day life. Read about how it's different

Spark will award up to three businesses a share of $500K of funding to support their 5G product, service or application.

1st Prize $250k for winning business, Joint 2nd Prize - $125k per business

In addition to the prize money, two people from each of the three winning businesses, will be flown to NYC for a week to network with, and learn from, 5G and tech industry leaders.  The group of six will travel together and spend time with Verizon at their Basking Ridge HQ & 5G Lab hosted by Spark. The three finalists will also have the opportunity to test their prototype in our 5G Co-Lab space with access to mentoring and support. 

Learn more about 5G Starter Fund prizes

Spark is looking to fund businesses building new 5G enabled technology in the following categories:

Good for New Zealand: caters to 5G-enabled solutions that improve the lives of Kiwis or build a more sustainable New Zealand. Read the article

Industry Disruptors: focuses on 5G-enabled technologies that will fundamentally change the way we live or work. Check it out

Immersive Experiences: captures 5G-enabled technology that offers new sensory experiences, for a vast number of use cases. Get inspired

The Spark 5G Starter Fund is open to New Zealand registered businesses, including registered charities, with 1 to 100 employees. All applicants must be 18 years old or over.

We will announce our judging panel during the application period.  

Round 1 - Spark Panel – If you are a shortlisted applicant you will be required to:

  1. Prepare a video giving an overview of your product, the problem it solves, why 5G will enhance it and a brief introduction about your business. Video must be no more than three minutes.
  2. You will then need to take part in a VC call with the Spark panel where you will be interviewed. You should expect business, product and tech questions. Full details will be given to shortlisted businesses.

Round 2 – Finals round 

Up to six finalists will be required to pitch in person to our panel on Wednesday 26 August, in Auckland. Details will be provided on this day if you are a finalist. There will also be a day boot camp prior to finals round, to help you prepare.

 

The 5G Starter Fund is a nationwide search, we will take submissions from anywhere in New Zealand.

The full terms and conditions will be made available on our website when applications open.

Please contact 5gstarterfund@spark.co.nz

Once you have submitted your application, Spark will send a confirmation email. If you're shortlisted we may be in contact for additional information.

The application process is presently on hold due to current global events. We will update you soon with revised timings for all key dates.