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GridAKL expands with new coworking operator announced

GridAKL expands with new coworking operator announced

GridAKL – at Auckland’s Innovation Precinct in Wynyard Quarter – is growing rapidly like the tech start-ups it has nurtured with one of Auckland’s leading coworking providers, Generator, today announced as the operator of two new buildings opening in the precinct later this year.

From September 2017, GridAKL will expand to occupy three buildings in the innovation precinct, bringing together a growing community of innovators, entrepreneurs, advisors and businesses ranging from start-ups through to large, global companies.

The refurbished historic building, Mason Brothers, and the newly-built 12 Madden Street – both owned by developer, Precinct Properties – will join the John Lysaght building to enhance the GridAKL innovation ecosystem and stimulate further growth in Auckland’s thriving technology sector.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the expansion of GridAKL – which is part of the wider Auckland Innovation Precinct in Wynyard Quarter – plays an important role in driving growth of the region’s technology sector, with 9000 jobs added in the last five years and nearly 26 per cent growth in the tech sector’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“Auckland’s goal is to be recognised as an innovation hub in the Asia-Pacific region. Our work to encourage high-tech industries into Auckland and grow world-class research, talent and technology-based ventures in our city is reaping financial and employment benefits for our local and national economy. The innovation precinct will continue to act as a centre for growth for these industries,” Mayor Goff says.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which facilitates the strategic development of GridAKL on behalf of Auckland Council, is delighted to announce the appointment of Generator to support the next phase of growth.

Brett O’Riley, ATEED Chief Executive, says: “Generator is an established business with a strong track record, which will help us to achieve our ambitious growth objectives for GridAKL.”

“Generator will work alongside existing operator, BizDojo, the founding partner of GridAKL, which tenants and supports almost 100 predominately high-tech startups at the John Lysaght building, having started out with just four resident businesses.”

The two new buildings will house small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and larger corporates – the innovators, creators, coders, developers and designers – with Generator creating an environment to assist with scalability including pods, shared desks, private studios and large corporate floors.

Brett O’Riley says: “We’re confident that this expanded GridAKL innovation environment will help hatch the next wave of Auckland tech companies to succeed on the world stage, such as 90 Seconds, PowerbyProxi and Rocket Lab which have become global leaders in their respective fields.”

Generator Managing Director, Ryan Wilson, says he’s a strong advocate of ATEED’s vision for GridAKL, with coworking the fastest growing movement in commercial real estate.

“In addition to our coworking offering, at Generator our members will be able to access professional advisory services, and the investment advice they need to grow their business,” he says.

“Generator aims to be a growth partner for innovative New Zealand businesses. Its objective is to create value by ensuring the right growth conditions exist. As well as providing a coworking environment which fosters innovation, our members will be able to access advice on raising capital, direct investment, debt or advice to help strengthen their commercial model, financial modeling, governance, or whatever else is necessary to drive genuine value,” says Ryan Wilson.

The commercial redevelopment of the Wynyard Quarter, known as Auckland’s Innovation Precinct, comprises 48,000m2 and is attracting a stream of large technology-focused companies.

New Zealand’s largest IT service provider, Datacom, is the latest business to base its headquarters at Wynyard Quarter alongside ASB, Fonterra and Air New Zealand. Irish cloud software heavyweight, Workday, has also recently moved its global centre to the outskirts of the precinct.

The GridAKL footprint will expanded to 12,000m2 when the two new buildings come online in September, forming part of a thriving community of innovation attracting a full range of businesses working together to grow faster and harness their full innovation potential.


• Auckland is home to almost half of New Zealand’s tech sector with GDP of $7.8 billion and employing 47 thousand people.

• Coworking is the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas and knowledge. The purpose of coworking is to bring bright, clever people together and let the ideas collide.

Mason Brothers is a character warehouse upgraded and converted into a contemporary three level workplace with large functional and flexible floor plates. Already occupied by award winning architects Warren & Mahoney and leading engineers, Mott MacDonald, and a number of other tenants. Generator will be responsible for managing 1500m2 of work and event space.

12 Madden Street comprises working spaces and communal areas which reflect the latest trends in flexible space and coworking dynamics. The five floor building includes a corporate environment on the top two floors, with Online Republic and Davanti confirmed as tenants. Generator will be managing 5000m2 of space including coworking, serviced offices and event spaces.

John Lysaght Building is a hub for startups, pre-startups, founders, and entrepreneurs. The Lysaght building at GridAKL combines event space, a tech cafe and coworking provided by BizDojo. With a focus on helping entrepreneurs take an idea into inception and then into growth - learning events, meet ups and access to specialist advisors are a key component. Much of the activity is open to the wider tech and innovation eco-system, so the benefit of GridAKL Lysaght extends far beyond the boundaries of the building.

• Generator is operated by Generator New Zealand Limited, a company founded by Ryan Wilson in Britomart, Auckland in late 2010. Fifty per cent of Generator was acquired by listed company Precinct Properties in 2017.

• Generator currently occupies over 4,000m2 across three buildings in Auckland’s CBD, Stanbeth House, Excelsior House and Northern Steamship and is home to members including international companies Facebook, Pandora, Expedia and Lenovo, alongside local companies Rice Consulting, Cyma, Tourism HQ” See:

• The new GridAKL properties allow Generator to more than double its footprint to 9,000m2 and will see its expanded community base grow to more than 400 companies over the next two years.

• BizDojo has been the foundation operator for GridAKL working on behalf of ATEED since May 2015. Starting with only four resident businesses in the prototype GridAKL Polperro location, and now operating the GridAKL Lysaght building, where the BizDojo @ GridAKL coworking space is home to 98 businesses, startups, freelancers and entrepreneurs working on concepts as diverse as AR/VR, SaaS, corporate ventures and hi-tech startups with previous residents including the award winning 90 Seconds and oDocs.

• Precinct Properties is the developer responsible for the commercial development of Wynyard Quarter. They are the building owner of Mason Brothers and 12 Madden Street.

• Panuku Development Auckland, the region’s urban regeneration agency that oversees the redevelopment at Wynyard Quarter, has worked closely with developer Precinct Properties to ensure the architectural character of buildings and public spaces blends the best in innovative and sustainable design solutions to support flexible and creative workspaces that facilitate the meeting of minds both within and beyond the innovation precinct to reflect visionary businesses such as Generator and BizDojo.

• Auckland’s Innovation Precinct in Wynyard Quarter. Precinct Properties video

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