New Zealand’s fintech agenda for Australian Universities


Powerhouse Ventures is planning a move onto the ASX within the next two months as the commercialisation company looks to invest in local technology.

Australia’s fintech sector is on the radar of New Zealand-based Powerhouse Ventures, with the company announcing its focus on Australia’s high levels of university research, industry partners and capital.

“We’ve been looking at technology at a number of universities, in Sydney and Melbourne largely,” said Powerhouse chief executive Stephen Hampson.

“We’ve been exploring sectors from fintech all the way to healthcare.”

Under its title as an intellectual property company, Powerhouse will look to foster technology at Australian universities to determine market opportunity and provide investment advice.

“The universities themselves own the intellectual property, so when we create a company, the university will typically have an equity position or we will licence the technology and Powerhouse will fund it,” said Hampson.

Previously partly funded by the New Zealand government’s business innovation agency Callaghan Innovation, Powerhouse with the New Zealand Venture investment Fund now a co-investor for follow-on capital; additional investors are private clients.

The probable listing of Powerhouse on the ASX comes on the back of the government shift towards local research infrastructure to align with its agenda for organic innovation.