Five years after starting up in Hawke's Bay, national start-up incubator and funder, The Icehouse, reveals in that time it has helped local businesses generate more than $200 million in extra revenue.

Since The Icehouse opened first its doors in Hawke's Bay, the business development organisation's first regional base outside Auckland, it has gone on to engage more than 200 businesses in programmes or events, and is now an integral member of the Hawke's Bay Business Hub in Ahuriri.

Celebrating its five-year anniversary, a survey of the Icehouse alumni in the region show total job growth, since working with The Icehouse, at 677 fulltime equivalent jobs (FTEs) or average growth of 116 per cent, (year on year 17 per cent), and revenue growth of $232m, equating an average growth of 219 per cent, (year on year 26 per cent).

Export revenue amongst those surveyed increased by an average of 130 per cent, of those already exporting. Additionally, business owners who started exporting since attending an Icehouse programme, reported $86 million in export earnings.


Icehouse Hawke's Bay regional manager Michaela Vodanovich said the figures aligned with the goals set by the team back in 2013.

"We had a primary goal of increasing jobs in Hawke's Bay and creating a more positive business landscape with business owners focused on their growth. We have surpassed our targets and this is great news for the region."

The Icehouse Hawke's Bay was also growing with additional specialist coaches joining the team, including former trade commissioner to Taiwan Dean Prebble.

"Dean is working with our exporters and those owners with new ventures. We are seeing increased demand for this type of support including investment readiness."

Local programmes had also been introduced for business owners and staff including the Owner Operator Programme which has so far seen 56 graduates complete the year-long programme.

Close partnerships with BNZ, Crowe Horwath and Xero had been formed and collaborative events held with entrepreneurial speakers including Icehouse alumni; shoe designer Kathryn Wilson, Janene Draper from Farro Fresh, Pic Picot from Pic's Peanut Butter and Euan Sparrow from NZ Sock Co.

"It is fantastic to see the impact on local businesses in the Bay," Icehouse chief executive Andy Hamilton said.

"We have been embraced by the stakeholders in the region and the really exciting results are now coming as the SME ecosystem is thriving and growing. We see the Icehouse Hawke's Bay as a great national and local partnership which is a very good exemplar for other regions in New Zealand to draw inspiration from."