Aotearoa's community for entrepreneurs under 30
Founder pitching their startup
Emily Blythe, founder of Pyper Vision, with Pyper Vision dispersal drone.
Powered by Icehouse Ventures

What is First Cut?

A place where Aotearoa's entrepreneurs under 30, no matter the stage of their startup journey, can come for community, resources, mentoring, events, and when ready, the opportunity to pitch for investment.

Whether it's to learn, pitch, or just stay up to date, join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about building disruptive, purpose-driven startups.
Become a member
Powered by Icehouse Ventures

What is First Cut?

Founder pitching their startup
Emily Blythe, founder of Pyper Vision, with Pyper Vision dispersal drone.
A place where Aotearoa's entrepreneurs under 30, no matter the stage of their startup journey, can come for community, resources, mentoring, events, and when ready, the opportunity to pitch for investment.

Whether it's to learn, pitch, or just stay up to date, join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are passionate about building disruptive, purpose-driven startups.

First Cut is an Icehouse Ventures initiative that was formed in 2015 to enable young entrepreneurs and their startups to thrive.  

Tools for the builders of tomorrow

Equipping you with tools to unblock and unlock the potential of your startup. First Cut Community Members receive access to events, resources, funding opportunities, and advisors and mentors.

Constructing a brighter future faster relies on more knowledging sharing and less gate-keeping.
Perks of the Community
Invites
There are informal monthly catch-ups to build your community. On top of that, FC members receive invitations to meet founders a few steps ahead, attend workshops with industry experts, and access VC coaching sessions or 'office hours' .
Funding
For those ready for funding, there are opportunities to pitch at NZ's largest annual investor showcase, gain exposure to NZ's most active VC firm with a dedicated fund for under 30's, and receive info on grants & alternative funding options.
Resources
Access the First Cut Resource Hub - a library of resources from Icehouse Ventures and our wider community, designed to support and inspire the early stages of your entrepreneurial journey.
Connections
The IV network is vast. Leverage the ecosystem that has grown over 20 years of backing Kiwi companies scaling globally. Where there are obvious synergies between you & someone within the network, we'll connect you.
Friends of First Cut
Founders who First Cut backed in the early stages of their entrepreneurial journey
Jamie, Fangzhou & Shandre - Crimson Education
Craig Piggot - Halter
Amber Joseph - NextWork
Will & Ben - KiwiFibre
Emily Blythe - PyperVision
Michael & Ben - Spalk
Founder pitching their startup
Will Murrell & Ben Scales, co-founders, KiwiFibre

Accelerating outside of an Accelerator

First Cut is designed to provide ongoing support and networks while you traverse entrepreneurship.

Accelerators and programmes designed to build upon your business idea can play a crucial role in your business journey - and in our opinion, there are plenty of exceptional ones out there (we can tell you our faves).

First Cut is the best friend that sticks by you through all the seasons of your (startup) relationship. Helping to build your knowledge and form connections that extend beyond the time pressures of a programme. The time investment is minimal, making First Cut the perfect complement to other programmes and life commitments.
Become a member
About icehouse ventures

Investing in unimaginable futures

We're a Kiwi venture capital firm backing the companies, people, & ideas defining what the world could become.

Over the last 20 years, we've scaled to become NZ’s most active early-stage investor. With over $360m of funds under management and a portfolio of more than 320 companies. We invest from concept stage through to Series D and have backed the likes of Dawn Aerospace, Halter, Crimson Education, Hnry, Sharesies, Tracksuit and more.

First Cut is an Icehouse Ventures initiative that was formed back in 2015 to enable young entrepreneurs and their startups to thrive. We were, and remain, the only investor in New Zealand who exists to back young founders and provide the unique support they seek.

We understand the bravery and challenges of starting a company from an early age, share a close belief of not wanting to follow the norm and have the desire to build something that creates a positive impact on not only Aotearoa New Zealand, but the world.
Some of the Icehouse Ventures team

Frequently Asked Questions