Christchurch's own 'Silicon Valley' opens
A bold Silicon Valley style business hub located on the edge of the Red Zone has opened its doors this week.
The opening is a return to the CBD for previously displaced high growth technology companies and is set to position Christchurch as an international centre for high-tech innovation.
Designed to stimulate growth of tech SMEs in central Christchurch, the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Centre (EPIC) business innovation hub was opened by Minister for Economic Development and Science and Innovation, Hon Steven Joyce.
BNZ Director-Retail Andy Symons says EPIC will change the game for businesses in Christchurch and reinforce the city’s reputation as a technological hub
“To see this dream become reality is nothing short of a phenomenal achievement," he says.
"It is great news for Christchurch businesses- especially the tech community - which can now reconnect and work together in new and exciting ways, advancing innovation and learning from each other.
“Every single thing about this project is innovative, from its conception and funding, to the way that sponsors and supporters came together, and the building’s construction.
"And this is why EPIC is a natural project for BNZ to be involved in – this is how we do business.”
EPIC owes its existence to two Christchurch tech entrepreneurs, Wil McLellan and Colin Anderson, structuring and funding packages from BNZ, NZTE and MSI and land donated by Christchurch City Council.
It will be home to 17 growing, predominantly export-focused high-tech companies.
Co-founder Wil McLellan says more than 30 companies were involved in ensuring the vision for affordable collaborative space became reality.
“EPIC attracted supporters from central and local government, sponsors from the corporate world and was met with tremendous enthusiasm from tenants," he says.
"We are looking forward to seeing how the EPIC environment helps foster business growth and collaboration across Christchurch and wider New Zealand.
“EPIC will put Christchurch on the map as a world-class innovation centre.”