Are you are visionary entrepreneur or investor who is keen to use your talents and resources to solve significant global challenges? Are you keen to see New Zealand reach its full potential as an incubation nation where innovative thinking and transformative action collide?
We are mounting a global search for visionary entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams who can leverage the unique advantages New Zealand offers, to develop and support solutions to global challenges from our country.
The Edmund Hillary Fellowship is a new 3-year programme that brings together 100 international and 20 Kiwi entrepreneurs, investors and startup teams each year to build global impact ventures based in New Zealand. It operates in tandem with New Zealand’s new, flexible, 3-year Global Impact Visa - the most entrepreneur-friendly visa in the world, and the first to be focused on impact. Global Impact Visas are exclusively available to international candidates who are accepted into the Fellowship, with a path to residency at the end of the programme.
The Edmund Hillary Fellowship and Global Impact Visa have been developed to build on New Zealand’s strengths and advantages to create a thriving, interconnected, world-class innovation ecosystem. In the spirit and memory of our namesake, we are seeking authentic individuals who display humility alongside excellence, and are relentless in their pursuit of bold new frontiers.
New Zealand is an ideal place to incubate solutions to the world’s most complex problems. Our stable political and economic institutions, unique position between eastern and western economies, accessible government, and tight-knit networks all contribute towards New Zealand being the #1 place in the world for ease of doing business (World Bank).
Our size and distance, traditionally viewed as a hindrance when doing business, are quickly becoming an advantage. In a rapidly changing world, it is small, flexible countries who can adapt quickly that are gaining the upper hand.
For Kiwis who left New Zealand some years ago, you might be surprised at how quickly the innovation sector has been maturing in recent years. We’ve moved beyond tinkering in the back shed, to building business-savvy, globally connected communities that value cross-sector collaboration. The development of the Global Impact Visa is a testament to Immigration New Zealand’s commitment to attracting high-calibre entrepreneurial talent to our shores.
Organisations like Callaghan Innovation and KiwiNet are helping with commercialisation, we have great accelerator and incubator programmes such as Lightning Lab and the Ākina Foundation’s Launchpad, and centres of excellence and industry hubs are popping up in all our major cities. Initiatives like Wellington’s LookSee contest are providing talented individuals with the opportunity to come and check out our tech ecosystems.
The Edmund Hillary Fellowship has been designed to complement these programmes. Fellows are provided personalised support, workshops and retreats, demo days, and access to a global network of mentors, ambassadors and investors. Even before opening for applications, the programme has received expressions of interest from high calibre entrepreneurs with proven experience in building innovative businesses, senior faculty members at Harvard University, Singularity University, and world leaders in the space industry.
How can you help?
Our close knit Kiwi business communities don’t stop at the edges of our shores. Wherever you are in the world, if you are keen to help develop New Zealand into a world-class destination for impact-driven innovation, we would love your support:
- Do you know someone who would make a great Fellow? Refer a friend here, and we’ll let them know about this incredible opportunity
- Are you a potential candidate yourself? We encourage visionary impact-driven Kiwi entrepreneurs and investors to apply to become a Fellow - there are up to 20 spots available each year for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents.
- Become a supporter or ambassador to the Edmund Hillary Fellowship. You can support our mission by spreading the word, writing about the unique opportunities that the fellowship provides, or connecting us with like-minded communities of impact.
- Support Fellows and connect them to your local entrepreneurial ecosystem
- Please check us out on Facebook and Twitter, follow our blog on Medium, and share our introductory video.
- Or are there other ways that you would like to participate?
Our mission is to incubate solutions to global problems from New Zealand and make a lasting positive impact on the world. If you share this bold vision for New Zealand, please get in touch!
Learn more about the Edmund Hillary Fellowship on our website: www.ehf.org
The Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) brings together visionary leaders who view the world’s problems as opportunities for new models that ensure wellbeing for the planet, its inhabitants, and many future generations to come.