It was with great pride that Memia yesterday attended the official launch of the EPIC (Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus) development in Christchurch. After over a year of exceptionally hard work by EPIC co-founders Colin Andersen and Wil McLellan, which from the sounds of it has involved herding cats and pushing boulders uphill, the first stage of the EPIC project, the “Sanctuary” building, was announced in full fanfare. Memia is one of the 17 earthquake-displaced technology businesses who form the founding tenant group. The building will be open in Q4 of 2012, and believe me it will be great to have a permanent city-centre office again after the disruption of 2010-2011. (See my earlier blog post for details of our previous offices).
Yesterday tenants, sponsors and others associated with the project were joined by worthies including “Super” Minister for Science and Innovation Steven Joyce and Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker. To add a touch of comedy, we were all required to wear hard hats and hi-vis vests, even though the site is currently totally cleared. Perhaps they were expecting that the sky would fall in… 😉
Some news coverage here:
IT Hub Set for Central Christchurch (Stuff.co.nz)
Government commits $1.8M to Christchurch Tech Hub (Idealog)
Christchurch IT Hub Welcome Boost (Voxy)
IT Technology Hub for Christchurch (NZ Herald) (Video)
Mr Joyce performed a credible job driving a digger to “break the ground”. (there are plenty of jobs going in the Christchurch reconstruction if he ever feels like a change of career…). Now it’s over to construction subcontractor Timbercore to build the Sanctuary building in record time. All going well, we move in during August.
Once again congratulations to Colin, Wil, and thanks to all of the public sector agencies (MSI, NZTE, CCC) and sponsors (BNZ) and advisors (too many to mention) who have made this happen.
We now have the tangible opportunity to confidently grow the Canterbury tech sector and create an international-level Technology and Innovation Precinct in the new Christchurch, to grow our nascent tech industry and, equally importantly, attract in more talent and venture capital. A great day for Canterbury’s future.