Transforming the government’s digital environment

Victoria Business School has joined forces with Creative HQ and other partners to establish the new Lightning Lab GovTech accelerator.

Lightning Lab GovTech, an offshoot of Creative HQ’s business incubator Lightning Lab, is set up to support tech innovators aiming to transform the public sector’s digital space. It will provide an environment where up to 10 local and international teams will work with a focus on revolutionising online public services by making them more streamlined and user-friendly.

The programme will begin in central Wellington in May next year, and teams will be able to forge connections with the public sector and the city’s flourishing digital and creative sectors.

As a partner, Victoria Business School (VBS) will draw on its teaching and research capabilities to conduct much-needed research into innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly in the GovTech environment.

In addition, VBS staff and students will have the opportunity to research the behaviours and outcomes of those participating in the GovTech acceleration programme, providing insights that could inform other programmes around the world.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Commerce, Professor Ian Williamson says the Business School is excited to be involved with the new venture.

“The partnership will create a unique environment where entrepreneurial talent and researchers can combine their strengths in a supportive environment and really facilitate change in the public sector.

“Lightning Lab GovTech has the potential to boost Wellington’s growing international reputation as a hotspot for innovation, and it’s exciting for the Business School to contribute to that.”

Professor Williamson says VBS research will also help enhance the quality of local entrepreneurial training and talent through the programme, publish research and improve the impact of the overall acceleration programme.

Creative HQ chief executive Stefan Korn says he is “excited to be partnering with Victoria”.

“The programme will enhance Wellington’s status as a global GovTech leader and our partnership with Victoria will bring about some world-leading research into the GovTech and accelerator ecosystems.”

In a Memorandum of Understanding, both parties signalled a desire to expand the GovTech partnership in other future initiatives.  

Lightning Lab GovTech is also receiving support from Creative HQ’s parent organisation Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency and various government departments.