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 28th July. Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 5th September. And the big event is Thursday 19th October!

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. 

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.

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 & Cleantech
  10. Innovation in 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 Innovator
  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

Does my trophy make me look big in this?

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