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Vodafone builds startup incubator into new southern HQ

Vodafone’s new headquarters in Christchurch’s Innovation Precinct will include ‘the xone’, a space for 10 to 20 startups to tap into its SuperNet technology. The building is costing $50 million to develop.

The space has been developed in partnership with Callaghan Innovation and the city of Christchurch and will help hi-tech companies fast track proof of concept trials developed for Vodafone’s network, the company says.

“This exciting new centre will deliver Vodafone’s global experience to help grow New Zealand’s entrepreneurial businesses and weightless exports,” says CEO Russell Stanners.

“Every element of the Vodafone SuperNet is available, making it a “playpen” of connectivity for these promising technology companies.”

The supernet network runs the telco’s broadband, mobile, TV and landline services. The Christchurch ‘xone’ emulates a model developed by the company for use in Silicon Valley, London, Cairo, Dusseldorf and Milan.

The four level building on Tuam St will draw together Vodafone’s 350 Christchurch staff who currently work across several temporary sites.

“This new building will facilitate the growth and development of our entire South Island business, as well as supporting the recovery and growth of the city,” says Stanners. It sets a new standard of productivity based on mobile working, cloud and video technology, he says.

The building was designed by architects Jasmax and is being developed by Calder Stewart, with Vodafone taking a long term lease. It has 8300 square metres of floor space and a land area of 2500 square metres.

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