Business support from Auckland Unlimited helped PowerON access grants to keep developing their impressive robotics technology.  

"For tech start-ups, a lot of us are engineers – we don’t necessarily have that business background, so you definitely want to grab as much of the support that’s available and Auckland Unlimited can point you the right way."

Katherine Elizabeth Wilson 
CTO, PowerON 

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Innovation in robotics 

“PowerON started in 2019; we are a spin out of the Biomimetics Lab at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and we have a big vision to change the nature of robotics from being clunky and dangerous to soft robotics that can actually interact with us and assist us in everyday life.

PowerON’s technology is a multifunctional material; you can imagine putting this on a robotic gripper for example, and now the gripper has an idea of what it’s gripping, how much pressure is on the object, and that’s something robotics can’t do today.”


Accessing R&D funding and grants

“I met with David from Auckland Unlimited and we had a great conversation, he got to know what PowerON’s aiming to do and then he was able to give us advice on how to tap into the Callaghan Innovation R&D funding. We were successful in getting two project grants and some experience grants as well, so we were able to hire a student intern last summer.”


Training and workshops for business support

“Personally, for me being an engineer, I wasn’t very comfortable with sales but they were able to advise us that there are some workshops available and some funding for that as well.”


How Auckland Unlimited can help

“What people appreciate about Auckland Unlimited is our access to a wide range of people, expertise, sources of funding,” says Business and Innovation Advisor David Claridge. “It’s been really great working with the PowerON team, it’s quite fantastic for the New Zealand economy to be able to get that New Zealand research and getting it out to the world and being commercialised.”


An exciting future for PowerON

“We’ve been working on this tech development for so many years, so finally getting to a customer’s door and showing them what you’ve developed, that’s been a really proud moment for me,” says Katherine. “I’m very excited to be building this vision that PowerON has.”

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Auckland businesses may be eligible for subsidised support for workshops, courses and coaching to build business capability.