Australian startup powerhouse Stone & Chalk partners with GridAKL expanding footprint into New Zealand

Australian startup powerhouse Stone & Chalk partners with GridAKL expanding footprint into New Zealand

Stone & Chalk, Australia’s premier home for emerging tech innovation, has announced a strategic partnership with GridAKL, home to Auckland’s startup community, marking a significant milestone in the global expansion of its ecosystem. This partnership is set to bolster the support network for tech startups, providing them with unparalleled resources.

Stone & Chalk has long been recognised as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship, offering startups and scaleups a nurturing environment to grow, learn, and connect with industry leaders, investors and mentors. With a track record of helping startup founders grow, evolve and scale into successful, sustainable businesses, Stone & Chalk is now expanding its reach across the Tasman Sea to extend its world-class support to New Zealand’s burgeoning tech ecosystem.

This expansion will be led by Imche Veiga, co-founder and CEO of New Zealand’s largest deep technology hub, Outset Ventures, and recently appointed to Stone & Chalk as Group Executive, Ecosystems. With extensive industry experience including roles with the Startup Advisors Council, Callaghan Innovation Board and BIOTech New Zealand, Imche will drive the development of Stone & Chalk and GridAKL’s AuNZ startup ecosystem.

Key highlights of the partnership include:

  • Cross-border Collaboration: Combining region-specific knowledge, resources and opportunities to unite the two existing ecosystems, open doors to new opportunities and markets, and support global expansion efforts.
  • Access to Expertise: Startups across Australia and New Zealand will have access to a diverse pool of mentors, industry experts and corporate partners for guidance and support to fuel growth.
  • Investor Connectivity: Access to Stone & Chalk’s established investor community, establishing connections required in the runway to raise funds.
  • Global Landing Pad: Residents from across Australia will gain access to desk and office space at GridAKL and conversely for New Zealand startups entering Australia to support cross-Tasman expansion efforts a
  • Innovation Events: Joint innovation events, monthly founder meet-ups, hackathons, conferences and more to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among startups, corporates and industry leaders.

Chris Kirk, CEO of Stone & Chalk, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “Expanding into New Zealand through our partnership with GridAKL is a significant step towards building a robust innovation bridge across the Tasman. We believe that by connecting Australia and New Zealand’s innovation ecosystems, we can collectively drive the growth of startups and emerging tech companies in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Catriona Stewart, Manager Entrepreneur Networks Tataki Auckland Unlimited echoed these sentiments, saying, “New Zealand and Australian startups produce some of the world’s most exciting ideas and innovations addressing the world’s most pressing challenges. Through our partnership with Stone & Chalk and the sharing of knowledge across teams, we’re committed to supporting the long-term sustainability of the AuNZ innovation community whilst accelerating its development as a collective.”