The pilot groups have been announced, read more here.
The Digital Cluster Initiative Pilot has now concluded. Thank you for your interest and support.

How To Apply

How to apply in 3 easy steps


Identify your cluster type.
Read more about cluster types here.


Once you're ready to start the application process, click on 'Apply Now' to fill out the application form.

Jacqui Marks (BNZ) outlines the 5 elements of successful digital clusters.

What are we looking for?

Is your business group what we are looking for? Read on to see if you're a match.

Five key elements of a successful digital cluster:

Collaboration: Based on trust, knowledge sharing, and coming together to solve common problems; and synergy around markets served, distribution channels, skills, materials and technologies.

Products: Being an ecommerce-driven initiative, members need to have products they can sell online.

Structure: This may already exist in some form - a board, a network, or something more informal; and at least two well-established businesses.

Leadership: A respected leader, to inspire and propel the group forward; and able to build a steering group.

Courage: Working in the transformation and innovation space requires bravery, resilience, and patience - these traits will help keep everything moving forward.

  • Download our What To Expect document This document outlines what successful pilot business groups will get, what's required of them, and what the two-year process will look like.
  • Download Now

Register your interest

What to expect

We are looking for three highly-motivated, collaborative and visionary business groups to partner with for this pilot. Here’s what you can expect from the process.

Once you've applied

We will review your application and work through an assessment process. This process run concurrently as applications are received until 17 February 2022.

The assessment process

Groups will be assessed using the criteria outlined in our Commitment Document. If we require further information from you, in addition to what you supply in your application form, we will contact you. This may include an informal conversation to find out more about your group and how you operate. We will finalise a shortlist of applicants after 17 February 2022. We will contact all applicants about the outcomes of this exercise by Friday 04 March, 2022.

If your application is successful

The first step is an offer of provisional acceptance. We will grant three provisional pilot partnerships, and will work with each pilot cluster to onboard their group within 3-4 months.

With support, you will be required to: attend an onboarding workshop; appoint a "cluster manager" who will lead and be point person for the group; set up an internal steering group comprising core businesses within your group who will be key to driving the group forward; provide the information needed to load each business onto their ecommerce sites and to upload each business's products onto the digital marketplace.

Your pilot partnership will be confirmed: once you have met the requirements outlined above, within the provisional 3-4 month timeframe. If the requirements are not met, and it looks unlikely that they will be met, we may need to end the partnership and give that pilot spot to another group from the shortlist.

If your application is unsuccessful

If your group does not make the shortlist, we will hold onto your contact details for possible future intakes or to update you about initiative developments.

If you make the shortlist, but are not given one of the three pilot spots, we will hold onto your contact details in case a possible partnership becomes available (for example, if one of the three pilot clusters do not proceed beyond the provisional 3-4 months).

A few other Ts&Cs

The assessment process and offers are at the Assessment Panel's discretion. They may make offers to less than three clusters if they determine that there are insufficient clusters that meet the criteria. The Panel's decisions are final and not subject to review.

The Digital Cluster Initiative and its panel members will treat each cluster as a joint application by its individual businesses. This means that the rights and obligations that arise from participating in the initiative are both joint and several for those businesses.

The panel members will be providing successful clusters with a range of services. Each of those services will be subject to the applicable service terms of the panel member.

The panel members want the Digital Cluster Initiative to succeed. That said, the panel members retain an unfettered right to terminate participation by any cluster or its individual businesses at any time.

If you have further enquiries

For any enquiries regarding ecommerce for your business or your group, [or if you are interested in creating a cluster in the future,] you can contact Zeald. Their Get Ecommerce Movement, or GEM initiative, offers free ecommerce solutions to help small Kiwi businesses get trading online and start their digital journey.

Got questions about your application?

Get in touch with us.

To send us an enquiry please fill in the following form, and we will get back to you shortly! 

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