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Christchurch's EPIC tech hub on fast track

A building of epic proportions is now underway at Christchurch's high-tech business hub, which will get $1.8 million of government funding over the next three years.

A building of epic proportions is now underway at Christchurch's high-tech business hub, which will get $1.8 million of government funding over the next three years.

The Ministry of Science and Innovation and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise are working in partnership with Christchurch City Council and the private sector to establish the Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus (EPIC) on the corner of Tuam and Manchester Streets at the edge of Christchurch’s Red Zone.

The land is being provided rent-free by the council and the project finally got the green light in December.

EPIC has been financed by BNZ and underwritten by the Canterbury Business Recovery Trust.

EPIC is the brainchild of local tech entrepreneurs Wil McLellan and Colin Andersen:

"The EPIC concept is based on the Silicon Valley model – where a building structure and use promotes innovation. Our building will be home to 17 hot startups and will stimulate the growth in the SME sector here in Christchurch," said McLellan.

Economic development minister Steven Joyce said the development of EPIC provides the opportunity to position Christchurch as a centre for high-tech innovation and allows for commercial collaborations between science and businesses.

“It complements other government support for the high-tech sector, such as the pending development of an Advanced Technology Institute, and the Kiwi Landing Pad in San Francisco, which gives New Zealand companies the chance to expand their operations into the US market,” Joyce said.

EPIC’s tenants are:

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