Getting started

Ko te amorangi ki mua ko te hāpai o ki muri

Outward success is reliant on success behind the scenes

We’ve helped thousands of researchers turn their ideas into impact.
Poses Amy

Ko te amorangi ki mua ko te hāpai o ki muri

Outward success is reliant on success behind the scenes

We’ve helped thousands of researchers turn their ideas into impact.

Got an idea that could change the world for the better? When you work with UniServices, you’ll be well supported. From the moment you disclose your idea, you have our commitment that we will work in the best interests of you and your idea.

When we make recommendations on what to do next, we might point you to starting a company, contracted research, licensing agreements, working with partners, or another course of action.

Who Will Support You

Investment managers

A UniServices' investment manager will typically be your main point of contact helping researchers get their work market-ready, advising on investment through the University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund and helping secure additional funds to help companies grow.

Investment managers have a strong technical background as well as expertise in business. For example, if you have an idea for a medical device, you will typically work with an investment manager who has a background in biotechnology or a related field.

Additional support

You might also get support from various other teams and individuals at UniServices. These might include:

  • Our Intellectual Property experts, who have legal backgrounds, particularly in patenting.
  • Our Investment Committees, which can provide expert advice and connections to the tech and venture capital ecosystem across New Zealand and beyond.
  • Our Contracts and Growth team, which can help negotiate and administer contracts in areas such as contract research and consultancy.
  • Our Funds Advisor team, if further advancing your research is part of your entrepreneurial journey

Inventors’ Fund


Investment Committees

UniServices runs two national programmes to connect research to world-leading expertise and access to capital.
Return On Science runs five domain-specific investment committees that bring together top science and technology experts with leaders in industry and investment. Researchers can pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to these experts and receive carefully considered advice, unparalleled access to connections in New Zealand and overseas, and often seed or pre-seed funding.

Momentum, a sister programme to Return On Science, also runs five investment committees, with the difference that they are based in regions across Aotearoa New Zealand rather than being domain-specific. They are also student-run and aimed at providing the best possible support to student entrepreneurship. Like Return On Science, the committees can provide advice, connections and potential access to start-up capital.


Investment Workshops


Got a great idea? We run interactive workshops focused on accelerating research ideas.

The workshops, which are usually thematic to bring together researchers in similar sectors, help you identify potential commercial value in your research and insight into how UniServices and the University of Auckland Inventors’ Fund can support its development. They provide sector insights and potentially connections with industry experts.

The workshops are optimised for working through specific ideas, so it’s best if attendees come with an idea already in mind. Don’t worry about disclosing it – the workshop is a confidential forum.

Companies that have been supported through this process include  StretchSenseTectonus  and Cirrus Materials Science.

If you’d like some more information on these workshops or to see if there are any coming up, get in touch

Easy Start-Up Document Suite

With our wealth of experience in helping companies get started, we have developed a free best-practice document suite to increase transparency and demystify the process of starting a new company. These documents have been used widely, saving you time and money, reducing your overhead and helping you focus on executing your business plan. These are the same documents we use at UniServices – and we've helped start more than 65 companies.

Thanks to Kindrik Partners for their kind permission to reproduce the original documents on which our Easy Start-Up Suite is based.


Investment Contacts

Digital Technologies and Engineering

Stephen Flint

Investment Director – Digital Technologies and Engineering

Stephen Lo

Investment Manager – Advanced Materials, Physics and Chemistry

Benjamin Pearson

Senior Investment Manager – Engineering, Cleantech, Space Tech

Yaser Shakib

Investment Manager – Digital Technology


Pau Medrano

Investment Director – Biotechnology

Thomas Grant

Investment Manager – Biotechnology and drug discovery

Kimberlee Jordan

Senior Investment Manager – Pharma and Biotech

Kent Lee

Senior Investment Manager – Med Tech

Aran Sisley

Investment Manager – Pharma and Biotech

Māori Investment and Commercialisation

Tori McNoe

Poutaki Hononga | Investment Development Lead