About the xone

We fund and support great Kiwi teams with innovative technology and global ambitions – so you can focus on connecting your idea with the world.

The xone is a startup accelerator and innovation lab for globally focused Kiwi tech entrepreneurs. We’re backed by Vodafone New Zealand, and are supported by Vodafone Group that has over 420m customers in more than 60 countries, and a market cap of 60 unicorns.

Vodafone is passionate about innovation and technology in New Zealand and is committed to helping businesses achieve global success.

The xone is designed for Kiwi companies

Every startup faces challenges, but those faced by Kiwi startups are unique given our small population and isolated geography. The Vodafone xone will help startups to think and work globally from day one.

The assistance Vodafone will provide through the xone programme comes in many forms, and we will create a tailor made programme based on each startup’s needs. The programme encompasses access to our customer testing panel, and access to our software/hardware vendors, along with connections to Vodafone colleagues globally, our product design teams, research and development and more.

Meet the Vodafone xone team

Matt Williams

Matt Williams

Consumer Director and Chair, xone Advisory

Nicole Buisson

Nicole Buisson

Head of Vodafone xone New Zealand

Kevin Park

Kevin Park

xone Programme Leader - Christchurch, previously at The ICEHOUSE

Programme details

The xone accelerator is a 6 month programme valued at up to $150,000.
Starting in May 2016, the xone gives selected startups the best opportunity to develop their products and scale internationally.

The programme supports early or later stage startups or SMEs with outstanding, disruptive business ideas in areas including:

  • Internet of things
  • Big data
  • Smart homes and cities
  • Mobile agriculture
  • Mobile health
  • Mobile education and family
  • Mobile payments and commerce
  • Cloud

The Programme

The programme is divided into 3 key phases:

  1. Problem-Solution Fit. Is there a clear need or problem that you are looking to solve?
  2. Product-Market Fit. Do you have a solution that satisfies a validated market demand?
  3. Scale Ready. Is your business model robust and ready to scale through a partnership with Vodafone?

Progressing through each phase requires plenty of hard work. That’s why the xone programme includes a variety of modules to address key topics. The programme integrates roughly 50% access to the xone team and programme modules, and 50% involvement with mentors, investors and partners.

2-day Induction

The xone programme starts with a 2 day induction to help you settle into the programme, set your goals (KPIs), and meet other programme participants.

Office Hours

The team is here to support you throughout the xone programme. We’re here to help.

Founder/Investor Dinner

We will frequently invite successful entrepreneurs and investors to meet the xone startups over dinner. These events are closed to the public to provide the opportunity for guests to share their experiences, candidly. Each dinner also provides an opportunity for you and your startup to practise your pitch, and share progress.

Mentoring and Partner Workshops

As part of the xone, you’ll be introduced to a wide range of mentors and partners. They will run group workshops on various topics (lean, legal, mobile design, fund raising and more). Your startup will also have the opportunity to develop a working or mentoring relationship directly with them. The xone team will support you to find the right mentors and partners during the programme.

Events and Activities

The xone team will arrange activities to keep you inspired, and your mind clear and focussed.

Launch Day

The xone programme culminates in an opportunity to officially launch your startup to the world with a 5 minute pitch. Your audience will include investors, press, corporate leaders, your family and friends – and any other supporters along your journey.

Package break down

  1. $25K cash funding – terms to be agreed with a successful applicants.
  2. $15K worth of co-working space and facilities in state of the art new Christchurch HQ.
  3. $15K worth of Vodafone xone innovation lab access (includes equipment use, technical engineer advice/consultation).
  4. $5K International Business Development Trip.
  5. Software credits, e.g. up-to $120K in IBM Cloud Credits (Bluemix, Softlayer).

Inspirational location

Vodafone’s New Zealand xone is a purpose built, collaborative space.  We’ve designed the xone to allow startups to work together here in New Zealand, while gaining access to Vodafone’s global innovation community.

The xone is located within Vodafone New Zealand’s southern headquarters.  This brand new $50m building sits in the heart of Christchurch’s new Innovation Precinct.

An innovation technology lab will be housed within the xone providing access to a variety of testing technologies, with a strong focus on the internet of things.  The xone lab is also available for testing and research and development purposes to companies from outside of the accelerator programme (including SMEs and corporates) on a bookable basis.

Beyond technical support, the Vodafone xone in Christchurch will draw on the knowledge and learnings from Vodafone xones in Silicon Valley, Amsterdam, London, Cairo, Dusseldorf and Milan.


Proven partners

Vodafone is proud to be partnering with leading companies and organisations to bring the xone to life

Callaghan Innovation

Callaghan Innovation is a government agency that helps businesses succeed through technology. We work with businesses of all sizes who share the ambition of challenging what is possible.

With us businesses can:
  • Accelerate their product and service development.
  • Gain market advantage through leading-edge ideas and products.
  • Increase return on investment in research and development (R&D).
We have a range of services to make their road to success easier, faster and less risky. These include:
  • advisors, scientists, engineers and facilities to help with technology and product development;
  • access to other national and international experts to solve technology and business problems;
  • innovation skills programmes;
  • business collaborations to promote knowledge sharing around technology and innovation; and
  • R&D grants

Smudge have been creating mobile apps since the launch of the App Store in 2008. They’ve produced some of the most downloaded apps in New Zealand, as well as mission critical apps for large enterprise. Smudge-built apps has had over 100 million downloads. Based in Christchurch, Smudge are proud to support xone.


Applications for the 2017 programme will open in March 2017.