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Growing businesses with impact.

ThincLab Canterbury provides capability building for founders and teams, connection to industry experts and agencies, and pathways to growth and investment. 

As part of the Callaghan Innovation national Founder Incubator and ThincLab international networks, we connect founders and companies with the best local, national and international expertise to develop world-class capability and fast-track their growth potential.

Companies usually come through our 90 Day Sprint before progressing to more focused or in-depth programmes, benefitting from the support of dedicated mentors and advisors throughout their growth journey.

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Who is eligible to apply to be part of ThincLab?

We work with startups who have global aspirations from across a range of sectors and industries - but we have a special focus on the Canterbury region’s supernodes activity, which includes: Aerospace & Future Transport, Food, Fibre & Agritech, HealthTech and High Tech Services.

We are looking for Canterbury-based startups that have:

  • A clear value proposition and business model 
  • Innovative tech-based solution that can be scaled and applied in a global context
  • A sound knowledge of customer segments and evidence of market validation 
  • Come from any sector or industry but we do give priority to those focused on the region’s supernodes: aerospace & future transport, food, fibre and agritech, healthtech and high tech services. 

Any startup in the Canterbury region can apply to one of our programmes - you don’t need any affiliation with the University of Canterbury.


Our programmes

We offer a range of high intensity, KPI driven programmes to help your startup grow and thrive, including:


Our 90 Day Sprint programme acts as the application process to ThincLab and successful completion is a requirement for joining our Growth programme. Founders will be given the tools to identify and qualify their businesses’ capability via a coordinated approach of online resources, mentoring, workshops, and support to develop a Lean Canvas Model. 

Applications for our September cohort have closed (but we will take applications for 2021 from early December)...

  • Applications closed: 28 August 2020
  • Induction session: 15 September 2020
  • Demo day: 3 December 2020

Location: Online and ThincLab Canterbury co-working space



Our Investment Ready programme is an intensive six-week programme for founders and companies seeking to raise capital and prepares companies for the external investment journey.

Applications for our October intake are now open!

Dates: Weekly lunchtime Friday sessions commencing 9 October 2020

Location: Online or at ThincLab HQ 

Investment Ready Brochure



Our Scale and Grow programmes are for founders and companies with a product or service in market, operating as a full-time venture with high levels of ambition and intention to scale their offering and expand into new markets. 

Companies will work with dedicated ThincLab advisors for a longer-term six to twelve month incubation period with access to industry experts and complementary support organisations.

Applications for our next intake are now open!



Member Benefits:

  • professional office space
  • access to meeting rooms and presentation spaces
  • video conferencing facilities
  • fully equipped kitchen area with tea & coffee
  • free legal clinic
  • networking and educational events
  • access to prototyping space
  • opportunity to access University research expertise and resources
  • opportunity to access University interns



ThincLab works with a diverse portfolio of startups across various sectors - including agri-tech, AR/VR, health, and aerospace. Present and past ventures include:

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Our people

With their diverse backgrounds and extensive experience, the ThincLab team have one thing in common: a driving ambition to grow kiwi companies.



Our place

Located on the top floors of the fully refitted Rehua Building, ThincLab shares a stunning modern space with the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship. 

Resident entrepreneurs and startups have access to various meeting and presentation spaces with the latest sound and audio equipment, as well as equipment in the multi-purpose Makerspace. 

Reach out to our Programme Manager and come by our space on Level 6 to discuss how you can take advantage of what we have to offer by joining the ThincLab Canterbury community.


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