Entrepreneurial ecosystem

To support economic transformation and the creation of wealth in New Zealand, the Business School fosters a spirit of enterprise and innovation.

Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The mission of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at the Business School is to unleash the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. The CIE provides the knowledge, environment and inspiration to all staff and students through experiential programmes, events and workshops. It also offers a Master of Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship qualification for people wanting to develop the capabilities to effectively commercialise and capture value from innovation and research.

Learn more about the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Unleash Space

Central to CIE’s work is Unleash Space – the University’s vibrant Innovation and Entrepreneurship Hub. Equipped with a state-of-the-art Create and Maker Space, with 3D printers, laser cutters, routers, electronics, vacuum formers, sewing machines, craft and art supplies and other tools and machinery, it is a space where anyone at the University of Auckland can come to collaborate and create what they imagine, design for today and prototype for tomorrow.

Learn more about the Unleash Space.


Velocity was born of a big idea: to transform New Zealand into a growing and prosperous nation by reshaping its economy.

Velocity (formerly Spark) is the University’s student-led entrepreneurial development programme. It has ignited more than 120 start-up ventures, which have collectively raised over $220 million in investment and created more than 700 jobs in more than 35 countries.

Some of the incredible Velocity success stories include PowerbyProxi, Kami, Tectonus, Green Spot Technologies, Fishpond, Down to Earth Systems, Coda Therapeutics, Transfercar, BrightMind Labs and Savy.

Launched in 2003 as a partnership between the Business School, other University faculties and its students, Velocity challenges students and staff to explore ways of creating businesses based on ideas or innovations arising from their studies and research or simply by thinking creatively.

Originally modelled on similar programmes at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Cambridge, Velocity runs a programme of events, workshops and competitions to empower students and staff to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, including the flagship $100k Challenge.

In addition to being well supported by Business School students, Velocity has been particularly influential within the faculties of Engineering, Science and Medicine - attracting participants who would otherwise not be exposed to business concepts. The Velocity programme is well-supported by people in the business community, who contribute and volunteer their time as judges, mentors and guest speakers.

The Icehouse

The Icehouse is a development factory of owner-managers and entrepreneurs that aims to shape the future of the New Zealand economy. 

Since 2001, The Icehouse has worked with more than 5,000 owner managers, from start-ups to established multimillion-dollar companies, and has raised $117 million in capital to accelerate business growth and drive wealth creation.

Its success is driven by the success of the companies it works alongside, with The Icehouse providing the knowledge, tools and contacts, and the entrepreneurs and business owners doing the work to make their businesses internationally competitive.


UniServices, a wholly owned company of the University of Auckland, manages the University’s intellectual property, including all its research-based consultancy partnerships, contract education and commercialisation of research.

UniServices contributed NZ$115 million to the University of Auckland in 2017 and had clients in over 60 countries. UniServices is the largest research and development company of its kind in Australasia.

UniServices and the CIE work closely together on fostering and promoting entrepreneurship among university staff who wish to commercialise intellectual property from the University.

Visit UniServices