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.

Applications for our 2017 Change Accelerator are now closed.

The Vodafone New Zealand Foundation has a big hairy audacious goal – to halve the number of excluded and disadvantaged young people in Aotearoa New Zealand by 2027. 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 why we’re launching our inaugural Change Accelerator.


At a glance…

  • What? A six week accelerator programme designed to support community organisations to take a technology based idea from concept to reality.
  • Who? Registered NZ Charities that are able to send 1-2 people to Christchurch for the 6-week period. This is a great learning experience for participants and we’ll provide grants of $15,000 to cover the cost to participate.
  • Where? Vodafone Innov8 – Xone Innovation Lab, in Christchurch
  • When is the Accelerator? The Accelerator runs September 18th – October 27th 2017
  • When are Applications Open? Applications are open from the 1st to the 31st of July. Panel interviews will take place in mid-August and successful applicants will be notified by August 25th.
  • What do we mean by Technology? Technology is a broad brush – your project could involve aps, drones, virtual reality, augmented reality, social technology, 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.

    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 six 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 2-3 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’.

    The Social Enterprise World Forum
    The Social Enterprise World Forum is an international event that gathers together social entrepreneurs from all over the world to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future. As accelerator participants, you’ll have free tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime three day event and the opportunity to pitch your idea to an international audience. See more about this great event here.

    Are you eligible?

    We’re looking for individuals or community organisations that have ideas that align with our strategy (you can read about it here). 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.


    Looking for some inspiration? Here are 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 smartphone 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.