Summer Startup

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 worked for ten weeks from November to February, starting on 20 November 2017. (The programme closed for the Christmas break from 16 December to 7 January 2018.)

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

  • 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 were required to give a five-minute presentation at the end of the programme, for which the top 12 presented at our Annual Presentation evening in February. See photos from the presentations on our Facebook page.


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

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