Applications for this programme are not currently open

Do you have an innovative idea for creating change? Got great expertise in youth and community development, but lacking in technical skills? The Vodafone Foundation Change Accelerator could be the perfect fit for you.

Te Rourou, Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation has a big hairy audacious goal – to halve the number of excluded and disadvantaged young people in Aotearoa New Zealand by 2027.  You can see our full strategy document here.

We think technology has a big part to play in that process and we want to support community organisations to connect with technology in meaningful and supported ways. That’s the purpose of our Change Accelerator.

At a glance…

  • What? A five week accelerator programme designed to support community organisations to take a technology based idea from concept to reality. Watch the above video to see our inaugural participants.
  • Who? Registered NZ Charities that are able to send 2 people to Christchurch for the 5-week period. This is a great learning experience for participants and we’ll provide grants of $15,000 to cover the cost to participate. Please note that we are only able to fund registered charitable trusts.
  • Where? Vodafone Innov8 – Xone Innovation Lab, in Christchurch.
  • When is the Accelerator? The Accelerator runs annually from September to October.
  • When are Applications Open? Applications are currently closed.  Please check back at a later date for updates.
  • What do we mean by Technology? Technology is a broad brush – your project could involve apps, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, social technology (i.e. citizen science), AI or something we haven’t even thought of yet! But we do want to know that you’ve got a great idea and you understand how it will have a positive impact on excluded and disadvantaged young people. We’ll wrap around support to help you with the rest.


    Sound like you? You can apply via the downloadable application form when the round is open.  Once you have completed the form please email it through to us.

    If you have any questions please email us.

    What we’re offering

    Each successful organisation will receive a grant of $15,000 to cover their expenses during the programme and contribute to their organisations kaupapa. These grants will provide untagged funding for use on the accelerator project, staff costs and organisational overheads. You’ll also be invited to apply for our innovation fund at the end of the accelerator. If you’re from out of Christchurch you’ll need to use these funds to cover the costs of your travel and accommodation.

    We have a range of mentors who can support you through the five week accelerator programme. Their role is to check in with you, provide personal support and awhi and ask you challenging questions. We hope your mentor will be a fierce friend.

    Workshops & Lectures
    We want you to come away from the accelerator programme with a greater understanding of technology, future possibilities and yourself. We’ll be bringing in a range of experts and organisations to support your learning development on a range of topics, including technology legals and ethics, pitching and storytelling, empathy and self-care, theory of change and a great kick-off course on tech for non-tech.

    Building a Prototype
    We’ll be providing you with access to a rapid prototyping team for 2 weeks of the accelerator. Their job is to help turn your idea into an actuality. Composed of Vodafone New Zealand staffers and Dev Academy graduates with skills related to your specific project, these rapid prototyping teams will help build a prototype or MVP (minimum viable product) of your concept to test back in the ‘real world’.

    Are you eligible?

    We’re looking for individuals or community organisations that have ideas that align with our strategy. You must be affiliated with a registered charity and you must be based in Aotearoa New Zealand. We are open to collaborative applications from multiple organisations and we are open to projects and ideas that are brand new, or partially created. All successful applicants will be expected to spend weekdays in Christchurch and attend at least 80% of the facilitated sessions.

    Nb. The Vodafone Aotearoa Foundation is committed to inclusivity and usually offers mechanisms for applicants to apply in Te Reo Mäori. However, because of the nature of this accelerator programme, we need all applicants to be fluent in English.


    Looking for some inspiration? Check out the video at the top of this page to see the outcomes of our inaugural 2017 Change Accelerator programme. Or keep reading to know more about a few projects that Vodafone Foundations in other countries have implemented. Be inspired, but don’t be intimidated – projects and ideas of all sizes are welcome in our accelerator – it doesn’t have to be huge!

    Crowdfunding the computing power of smartphones to help solve cancer research puzzles.

    A specially adapted piece of technology that help survivors of family violence access priority police support in an emergency.

    Instant Schools
    A “School in a Box” that’s being deployed to refugee camps to enable ongoing education for refugee children.