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Christchurch’s Own ‘Silicon Valley’ Opens


Media Release

Christchurch’s Own ‘Silicon Valley’ Opens

Christchurch, 22 November – A bold Silicon Valley style business hub located on the edge of the Red Zone opened its doors today. 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.

EPIC owes its existence to the ingenuity and drive of 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. The project was underwritten by the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust.

It will be home to 17 growing, predominantly export-focused high-tech companies.

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. 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.”

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. 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.”

BNZ funded a significant portion of the upfront development costs with a bespoke commercial funding arrangement whereby the majority of the project costs will be progressively paid back through rentals and grants once it’s up and running.

EPIC is the latest in a long list of initiatives from BNZ designed to aid the growth of business in New Zealand. These include the bank’s 33-strong national network of Partners Business Centres, the Small Business Hub offering seven-days-a-week access for small business owners, and monthly Connect events which provide much needed networking and support to owner-operators nationwide.
CBRT Executive Director Louise Edwards says the EPIC development will bring huge benefits not just to its tenants but to the wider Canterbury economy.
“The EPIC development is helping Christchurch take its place on the international stage while injecting positivity and possibility into our city and its business community,” says Ms Edwards.
The Christchurch City Council has provided the land at no cost for five years. Supporting organisations include: Murray & Co, Duncan Cotterill, Warren & Mahoney, Colliers International Canterbury Development Corporation, Octa, Timbercore, Deloitte, PWC, Industrial Research and Cera.

ENDS
For further information please contact:
Emily Davies, External Relations Manager, BNZ
T. 09 924 8658 M. 021 815 149 E. emily_davies@bnz.co.nz

Note to editors:
Summary Outcome
• 17 ICT companies will share the campus based on Manchester St, between Tuam and St Asaph Streets, the site previously known as the Para Rubber site.
• The CCC has generously provided the land at no cost for five years and provided fantastic support for the project.
• BNZ has provided flexible project financing and also leveraged an insurance solution into the site. BNZ will also have naming rights for the campus.
• Timbercore built a large Wooden Span building with a mezzanine floor.
• Octa carried out the Project Management role.
Tenant Listing

1. Astron Media
2. BNZ
3. Brush Technology
4. Cerebral Fix
5. Concentrate
6. Effectus
7. Fraame
8. Hand Multi-media
9. Industrial Research (IRL)
10. Left Click
11. Memia
12. Paua Productions
13. Pilot Consulting Group
14. RPM Retail
15. SLI Systems
16. Spore Tools
17. Stickmen Studios
18. Treshna Enterprises

ends

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