In the face of COVID-19, hundreds of startups, innovators and individuals are ready to roll up their sleeves and take part in New Zealand's largest taskforce to Hack the Crisis.

Designed to solve real problems in a post-COVID New Zealand, Hack the Crisis is a 48-hour challenge open to all.
Startup communities from Whangarei to Invercargill are being called to action - including Taranaki’s Manifold – home of Startup Taranaki, and regional development agency, Venture Taranaki. This will be the first time New Zealand’s publicly supported incubators across the country will collaborate on such a scale.

Ideas can now be submitted at with the best being tackled at a 3-day hackathon from Friday 17 – Sunday 19 April. Ideas are sought in the three focus areas of secondary wellbeing measures such as resilience and mental health; connecting people and communities; and protecting and supporting businesses.
“The idea stage is a really good opportunity for Taranaki people to capture and pitch local challenges for national solutions,” says Justine Gilliland, Venture Taranaki Chief Executive.

“There’s no question that our region and its communities, enterprises and people have felt the huge impact COVID-19. We are however a region with a rich tradition of innovation and enterprise and Hack the Crisis offers an opportunity to respond to the latest challenge facing us.”

“This is a unique event, showing true collaboration and community spirit across business, innovators and incubators, and is a great opportunity to capture, channel and champion Taranaki’s legendary entrepreneurial spirit, at a time when true collaboration can be challenging,” says Justine.

The current idea submission phase encourages anyone to submit ideas as to how we can effectively confront and counter the medium and longer-term impacts of COVID-19.

“It’s about looking for actionable ideas that will help us move beyond the immediate challenges we’re facing right now,” explains Manifold Director Graham Nelson.

“COVID-19 has brought many challenges, but in every challenge comes opportunity, and Hack the Crisis is a chance for us to explore, test and take forward those opportunities as we look to collectively reinvent and rebuild our community.”

“We have many talented experts in Taranaki who will likely be seeing problems and devising solutions, and are now itching to get off the couch and engage with a wider network to make things happen. Hack the Crisis presents that opportunity, and we need to start by collecting as many ideas as we can, from as many different people, industries and background as possible.”

“I’m really excited to see what solutions our entrants are able to develop as part of their teams,” says Graham.
Hack the Crisis is 100% digital and will be run through online platforms Zoom, Slack and Guaana, meaning anyone with an internet connection can join the effort. There are already a dozen local registrations, but room for many more.

Hack the Crisis was launched in Estonia in response to the COVID-19, and has since spread to over 30 countries across the world. New Zealand's submissions opened Monday April 13, and can be accessed here


For more information:  
Taranaki contacts:
Manifold: Graham Nelson 021 1723 511 
Venture Taranaki: Antony Rhodes 027 454 4075