Christchurch EPIC centre – official opening today 22 Nov 2012

Photo credit: Kirk Hargreaves, The Press

Today has been a great day of quiet celebration and looking forward to the future at the official opening of Memia’s (and 16 other technology companies) new home, the EPIC centre in Christchurch CBD: . That’s exactly 1 year and 9 months since the devastating earthquake of Feb 22nd 2011 disrupted all of our lives and left so many businesses without a base and with a very uncertain future. Today’s building opening draws a line under the last 2 years and sets the foundation for building a leaner, stronger and better organised technology sector based in our fantastic brand new 21st Century New Zealand city.

Once again, great job Wil, Colin, the sponsors and to all the individuals who have put in huge amounts of voluntary time and effort to make the whole project the success it is already.

Here are some links to today’s media coverage:



…and no, Mayor Bob Parker, “Silicon Gully” is probably NOT a particularly apt description! Firstly Christchurch CBD is flat and there’s no gully (?!?) – and secondly “Silicon Valley” in California is so called historically because the whole silicon microprocessor industry based themselves there in the 60s/70s/80s. We don’t have any silicon here either!

Let’s focus instead on what we do have: New Zealand’s burgeoning high-tech scene (to which today’s EPIC opening is a core addition) is developing a global reputation for producing niche solution innovation –  the realisation of  new customer value in new ways in many different deep market niches worldwide. Personally I think we need to highlight this growing delivery capability of  high-value specialist solutions to an international audience of investors, entrepreneurs and technologists – rather than spout clichéd phrases from a technology industry 20 years ago and half a world away.

Here are the underlying memes:

Christchurch /Canterbury / South Island /New Zealand
Technology / Software / Niche / Specialist / Innovative /Solutions / Value

…over to the branding specialists…!


Silicon Valley “Geeks on a Plane” startup event visiting Christchurch, Thursday 13th Dec

I’m really excited to be involved in the upcoming “Geeks on a Plane” (GOAP) event which will be taking place at the new EPIC Innovation Campus in Christchurch on Thursday 13th Dec.

The details:
For one day only on Thursday, 13th December 2012, the Geeks will be in Christchurch.   We’re not talking about one or two Geeks, there will be 15 of them!You’ll have the opportunity to participate in speed dating sessions – Geek to Geek, here you can get to know each other and talk ‘geeky’ business.  Following this will be an interactive session on the US market.
Here’s what the day will look like:11am:  Arrive EPIC – tea and coffee on arrival
11.15am:  Welcome by Ben Reid, Chairman of Canterbury Software Cluster
11.30am to 1pm:  GEEK TO GEEK: Company speed dating 5 minute Geek to Geek, get to know each other and your business
1pm to 2pm: Lunch
2pm-3.30pm: GET YOUR GEEK ON: Interactive Geek session on the US market

  • A geek on…taking an idea to market in the US
  • A geek on…funding your business in the US

The event is invite-only: if you’re interested in attending to by Friday, 23rd November 2012.

For more information on who will be visiting, click here.

Who are the ‘Geeks’?

GeeksOnaPlane (GOAP) was founded by Dave McClure in early 2009.  Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs and investors travel around the world and immerse themselves in technology cultures in other countries.

The Geeks take the opportunity to meet with, learn from and share the secrets of innovation with likeminded Geeks globally.  GOAP has now grown into a global network and they have travelled to cities such as Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris and Prague.

We’re really excited as they’ve chosen New Zealand as their next destination. More info at