Hack the Crisis
New Zealand.

17-19 April

48-hour Innovation Challenge | 100% Online.

#HacktheCrisisNZ is a virtual response to the current pandemic.

Around the world more than 30 countries have run online #hackthecrisis events. Now, it's our turn. In collaboration with Callaghan Innovation and startup networks across the country, we're challenging Kiwis to design, test and bring to life innovative ideas for life in New Zealand beyond COVID-19.

Ideas can come from anywhere: we're looking for developers, designers, educators, tradies, students, non-profit organisations, parents, librarians and the list goes on. We are calling all professions and all community members. No one is excluded. We want people to jump in, sleeves rolled up, ready to out think, out design and out manoeuvre this crisis. We've already been joined by our caring partners of the top online casinos, who also care about the health of people around the world. You can learn about them by following this link

Are you ready?

Tackle one of three themes.

Supporting businesses

How can we help businesses get through the economic downturn? What kind of new revenue streams can they create? What initiatives could give our economy the biggest kickstart possible?

Connecting communities

Physical distancing and isolation have changed how we interact with each other. Can we find new ways to stay connected and support each other?

Resilience and wellbeing

How can we look after our nation’s mental health and wellbeing? What do people need to be resilient and thrive in times of uncertainty? How do we deal with the less-visible impacts of COVID-19?

View submitted ideas

Key dates.

Monday 13

Public idea collection begins.

Friday 17

Kick-off event. Team registration closes and work begins.

Sunday 19

Pitches due and top teams announced.

Thursday 16

Idea collection closes and ideas are published. Teams form on Slack.

Get involved.

Suggest a challenge.

What are the challenges you see for New Zealand beyond COVID-19? What are the logistical, social or psychological challenges we need to solve? What new products, services and initiatives will we need to create to thrive?

Become a mentor.

If you’re an expert in any field and want to share your insights and know-how with our teams, sign-up as a mentor.

Become a sponsor.

This event is a volunteer effort. Let us know if your company is interested in supporting Hack the Crisis NZ through sponsorship that will go directly towards supporting the top teams.

Solve a problem.

How can we use technology creatively to solve our current challenges? You don’t need to be a techie - all sorts of skills will be needed to get these ideas off the ground.

Get Involved


We have some incredible prizes lined up from our sponsors. The top teams will each receive:

- Winning team: $5,000 NZD
- Three runner-ups: $3,000 NZD each
- Free 12-month subscription to MYOB Essentials Accounting worth $480
- Up to $10,000 USD worth of AWS credits and 1 year of Business Support (up to $1,500 USD) through AWS Activate.

After the event, top teams will be able to receive continuous support by one of Callaghan Innovation-funded incubators: Creative HQ, COIN South, Startup Dunedin, Startup Queenstown Lakes, Soda Inc, The Orchard and ThincLab. 


Lisa King

Eat My Lunch

Vic Crone

Callaghan Innovation

Sir Stephen Tindall

Founder - The Warehouse Group

Mike King

Key to Life

Greg Cross

Soul Machines

Sponsored by

Callaghan Innovation
Foundation North
Hamilton City Council
Soda Inc







A collaborative initiative by

Coin South
Creative HQ
Dev Academy
Edmund Hillary Fellowship
Global Entrepreneurship Network NZ
HelloSimple Co
Ministry of Awesome
NZ Entrepreneur
Startup Christchurch
Startup Dunedin
Startup Garage Wellington
Startup Queenstown Lakes
The Orchard
Venture Centre