Vodafone selects next round of companies for incubator

The companies will go through a six-month business mentoring programme and receive a package worth $150,000, including $25,000 in seed funding.

Vodafone has chosen its next raft of technology start-ups for its incubator programme, Vodafone xone, with specialisations ranging from the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and drones to wine and earthquakes.

The companies will go through a six-month business mentoring programme, with each package worth $150,000, including $25,000 in seed funding.

New Zealand's second largest telco launched xone in New Zealand last year, the seventh of its kind around the world.

Among the winners are Christchurch-based EVNEX, a start-up building electric vehicle charging solutions that integrate with solar smart-grids, and Parkable, a pioneer in the sharing economy, connecting parkers to hosts who have spare land.

Vodafone xone head Nicole Buisson says the Dragon’s Den-style pitching process attracted many different industries working on IoT devices.

“The incredible companies we selected in 2016 will be mentoring these new start-ups, and Vodafone xone has now built up a fantastic base of 20 companies taking their amazing ideas to the world,” she says.

Callaghan Innovation has committed $900,000 over three years to xone.

Last year’s 10 companies generated more than $8.5 million in new revenue, attracted $7 million in capital funding, created 25 new jobs, and ended their time in the accelerator programme with operations in 12 countries, Vodafone says.

Businesses have the option to move to Christchurch, where Vodafone has made room for xone in its new purpose-built headquarters, based in the Innovation Precinct. Companies outside of Christchurch will have to be mentored remotely.

The winners

(Descriptions and videos provided by Vodafone)

Wine Grenade

Wine Grenade mimics the age-old maturing process without requiring small-volume and expensive French-oak barrels.

(See: Wine Grenade investing $600,000 into R&D)



Hectre is a software tool to help growers manage their orchard to lower costs and grow better fruit.



Thematic takes raw data and creates an interactive report that includes key driver analysis, customer segment comparison and impact analytics (prediction) using Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Deep Machine Learning (ML) algorithms.



1Centre is a cloud-based platform that digitally streamlines trade credit application and approval processes for both suppliers and their customers. 1Centre Founder Miriana Lowrie explains.



EVNEX allows customers to deploy electric vehicle charging solutions that easily integrate with grid demand response systems and solar smart grid technology.


Sonnar Interactive

Sonnar Interactive creates interactive audio narratives, introducing engaging, non-linear auditory experiences that evolve through the user’s personal choices.



Emblim is a social media platform for discovering and managing gaming communities.

(See: Kiwi entrepreneurs create platforms for social gaming)


Vensa Health

Vensa is disrupting the bricks and mortar model of primary health care via Vensa.com, making health more convenient and accessible.

(See: Vensa Health launches free patient apppointment booking system to Kiwi GPs)



Provides joints that protect your buildings from earthquakes and return it to its original position.

(See: Earthquake resisting device gains momentum)



Changes the way people park by connecting parkers to park hosts, helping parkers save money, and hosts earn income.

(See: Like Tinder for motorhomes)

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