Is there a fee to enter, do I need to be profitable, and does my trophy make me look big in this?

There’s a few common questions we get asked often – we’ve answered them below in case they can help you to complete your entry. If you still can’t find the answer to your question, please call 0800 2 INNOVATE (0800 2 46668) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Is there a fee for entering the New Zealand Innovation Awards?

Yes, there is a small fee for entry: NZ$75+GST. This helps us to cover the costs of administration. Why is the fee so low? We don’t want to put anyone off because we believe all innovators and organisations should have the opportunity to enter and be recognised for their achievements in innovation and their contribution to the New Zealand economy.

What if my project or idea is still in the development stage? Can I still enter?

Yes, you can – and we urge you to! In each of the 12 industry categories there are three streams that will suit you. You can enter:

  • Research (for research and early stage business projects that can be pre-revenue and must be pre-break even)
  • Commercial (for commercial entries, which are in market and generating revenue – there is not upper or lower limit for turnover)
  • Social (for the not-for-profit, public organisation, social innovation and social enterprise entries)
Your entry will be evaluated alongside other innovation projects of the same industry.

Does it matter if my innovation hasn't made much money yet?

No, it doesn't. If your entry has only just been developed and launched and has generated little or no revenue, you can still enter the EMERGING or, in some cases, SOCIAL option within your industry sector category.

What if I'm struggling to find a category to fit into?

Don't worry – we’ll help you find the right category to enter! Please call 0800 2 INNOVATE (0800 2 46668) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What dates should I keep in mind for the 2017 Awards?

Nominations are open now. Entries open on Tuesday 6th June, and close at 5pm on Friday 4th August. Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 5th September. And the big event is Thursday 19th October!

Got any tips for writing my entry?

  • Make sure your entry is complete, clear and in before the deadline of 5pm Friday 4th August (extended from 28th July).
  • Tell us a story! Share your customer story and your core purpose. Video can be really helpful for this.
  • Categories matter. Get smart about which industry categories you choose to enter. We can help you narrow this down.
  • What's your market? Provide a clear picture of your markets, and their size and scale. The more market information you can provide, the better.
  • Show us the money! Provide a short summary of financial data, or forecasting with supporting data.
  • Share your vision. Social innovation entries are about impact and vision - tell us how your innovation is having a positive impact.

Please note: the online form is made up of plain-text boxes. You are not able to include images, links or bullet points in your written answers. Save these goodies for the PDF, website link or video link you can attach.

Can I include a video in my entry?

Yes, please do! It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated or expensive, but a 2-minute video is a great way to get some cut-through. Show your personality, give us an overview of your innovation, maybe even show it in action and get a customer involved! Simply attach it to your entry on submission. 

Our friends at 90seconds have put a package together for you should you want to create a video as part of your entry. This is by no mean compulsory but it could be a great tool for you to have on file. For $1500 plus GST they’ll work with you on creating a 60second live action video (no animation). This would normally cost $2300 so a savings of $800. If you want to have a chat to them about this, please contact Dave Coles on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Happy filming, team!

How do I upload a video with my entry?

We ask that you share your video as an online link. Use a website like Youtube, Vidme, Vimeo or similar to upload your video, and then copy & paste the link into the field within the entry form.

YouTube - Head to www.youtube.com/upload and create an account or login. Upload a video, and make sure it is either public or unlisted... if it's private, we won't be able to view it!

VidMe, Vimeo and others work in a similar way.

Once your video is uploaded, take the URL link and include this under "Video" in the entry form.

Can I demo my product or service for you?

Given the number of entries we receive, we aren't able to coordinate demonstrations to our evaluators. So just pack all that goodness into your entry - you could use the video option in your entry and film a short demo. If you're not sure how to explain how your innovation works without a show-and-tell, give us a call and we can help you come up with a solution - 0800 2 46668.

Can the whole team be entered as a single entry?

Yes. When you enter, you'll be telling us all about your innovative work but there is a question that asks about individuals that have made a significant or inspiring contribution to your project or to innovation in general. This is the moment for that individual or team to shine! You will need to provide the name of one person in the team to be the main contact who will represent your entry.

I have entered my project in other awards. Can I still enter the New Zealand Innovation Awards?

Yes, we are happy to share you! If you have entered other awards just let us know by telling us as part of your entry.

So, where's the New Zealand Innovation Awards event?

Great question! That info is under wraps for now, but all will be revealed ahead of the event. In the meantime, save the date: Thursday 19th October 2017.

If I am a finalist, will the organisers pay for my flights to Auckland and my accommodation?

Unfortunately not. It is up to you to organise and pay for your own travel and accommodation. But we will do a blinking good job of organising a very fun awards night for you to kick your heels up at! 

Can I enter if someone from my organisation is part of the evaluation team?

Yes, you can. We will ensure that your entry is not evaluated by anyone connected to your organisation and that all entries are evaluated and moderated fairly.

Is there a prize?

There’s a whole swag of prizes, but we reckon that the acknowledgement that comes from being a finalist or winner in the prestigious New Zealand Innovation Awards is the best accolade of all.

Who can help me with my entry?

We can! If you would like help clarifying any aspect of your entry, please call 0800 2 INNOVATE (0800 2 46668) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I really want to enter Export Innovator of the Year or Excellence in Social Innovation or Most Inspiring Individual – but where do I do it?

Good question! You can’t enter the business discipline categories – we’ll do this for you based on your entry answers. See our next Q&A for more information.

Do I have to be nominated?

Nope! Nominations are a nice way to shoulder tap someone who you think it doing great work and may not think to enter themselves. However, if you or your team are keen to enter, there's no need to nominate yourself, or wait to be nominated! Just go ahead and enter.

What are the categories I can enter?

You can find more information about all of our categories here, but essentially you can enter up to 3 of these categories below:
  1. Innovation in Agribusiness & Environment
  2. Innovation in Design & Engineering
  3. Innovation in Education, Training & Development
  4. Innovation in Financial, Professional & Public Services
  5. Innovation in Food & Beverage
  6. Innovation in Health & Science
  7. Innovation in Maori Development
  8. Innovation in Media, Marketing & Communications
  9. Innovation in Sustainability & Renewable Energy
  10. Innovation Systems & Performance Improvement
  11. Innovation in Technology Solutions
  12. Innovation in Tourism & Entertainment

You could also find yourself a finalist or a winner in one of these categories, which we will automatically enter you into, depending on the information you provide in your entry. You can't enter these categories yourself - we'll do that for you.
  1. Bayer Supreme New Zealand Innovation
  2. Innovation Excellence in Research
  3. Excellence in Social Innovation
  4. Start-Up Innovator of the Year
  5. Emerging New Zealand Innovator
  6. Breakthrough & Disruptive Innovation
  7. Export Innovator of the Year
  8. Most Inspiring Individual
  9. Young New Zealand Innovator
  10. People's Choice

Can I nominate a person?

Yes! We have a couple of categories specifically for amazing people - Most Inspiring Individual and Young NZ Innovator. You can enter their work, and there is a place on the form to highlight the individual you have in mind!

Entries are open... Can I still nominate a person or business?

Absolutely! It's never too late... well, until entries close anyway. You can continue to make nominations through the NOMINATIONS FORM and we'll be in touch to let them know and encourage them to enter.

Nominations once entries closed will be stored away for NZ Innovation Awards 2018.

Does my trophy make me look big in this?

No way! You look great. The shine really sets off your glowing skin!

© NZ Innovation Council 2017