Summer Startup

Introducing the 2017/18 Summer Cohort

Our Summer Startup Programme is an opportunity for students to fast-track their commercial or social enterprise ventures to reality by working on them full-time for ten weeks over the summer period.

It is also an opportunity for students with an idea for a startup or who just want to give it a go.

About the programme

Students will work for ten weeks from November to February, with everyone required to start by 20 November 2017. (The programme will close for the Christmas break from 16 December to 7 January 2018.)

Students will use the Lean Business Model methodology in conjunction with supportive mentoring to experience what is involved in starting a new venture. They will also benefit from engaging workshops and seminars from our staff and local industry. Students are expected to carry out most of their work in Christchurch and will have a dedicated workspace in the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship. Topics covered during the programme include:

  • Defining the problem or unmet need
  • Understanding the customer
  • Product development
  • Intellectual property options
  • Route to market
  • Finance options
  • Business plans
  • Team building and management

Students are required to give a five-minute presentation at the end of the programme, for which the top 10 selected present at our annual presentation evening in February. See photos from last year's presentations on our Facebook page.

Previous students

Last summer's programme had 36 students working on 29 ventures that included: Biome, a company which manufactures biodegradable products from didymo; Farm Sense, a drone-based service for locating invasive tree species, and Minimise, a health and safety software package aimed to simplify inspections.

Many students have used the programme as a launch pad to progress into well-known accelerator programmes including Lightning Lab, Y-Combinator and Vodafone Xone.


In conjunction with the programme, a limited number of UC Innovators' Summer Startup Scholarships offer students $5000 (tax-free) to work on their ventures.

Go to our profiles page to learn about previous participants.

How to apply

Applications for this year's programme are CLOSED. However, to be eligible for future programmes: 

  • You must be enrolled in at least one course towards a degree at UC in Semester 2 of the current year.
  • You must show a personal commitment to developing a start-up venture towards providing a real and viable product or service. You can work on a social or for-profit venture. 

For all enquiries

get in touch with UCE