Canterbury Software Cluster Event – Debate with NZ MPs

Government policy plays a huge role in the success of the ICT industry – from the Christchurch rebuild and the Innovation Precinct, software development government RFPs, access to ultrafast broadband, R&D grants, export assistance, quality education, skilled migrants, compliance, and more. In recent years the NZ ICT sector has experienced strong year on year growth, and export earnings from this sector are predicted to rise significantly over the next decade.

On Tuesday 5 August, speakers from National, Labour, Greens, and Internet MANA parties shared their policy ideas for this growing industry at a Canterbury Software Cluster hosted event held at EPIC. During the event, four panellists – Hon Amy Adams, Clare Curran, Gareth Hughes and Laila Harré – were asked questions chosen from online submissions, as well as questions from the floor.

~Excerpt taken from Canterbury Software website here, modified for tense.

EPIC & CerebralFix’s Henry Lane interviewed by CDC on encouraging international talent to Canterbury














Video courtesy of Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC)

The next BNZ Connect is taking place at lunchtime on the 31st of July


You may have gone out on your own, but that doesn’t mean you are alone. 

BNZ Connect a free networking event with other small business owners and like minded people

When:  Thursday 31 July 2014
Where: Epic 96 Manchester Street, BNZ Lounge
Price:   12.30-1.30 pm

Come and join us to hear Matt McFedries a small business owner who has leveraged over 15 different cloud apps to create a global business he runs from his spare room. Matt will unravel all those mysteries you may have heard.

RSVP: to, phone 343 5727, text 021 820 536


EPIC’s Wil McLellan announced as an Eisenhower Fellow during US Independence Day reception

Photo gallery taken from the official announcement by US Chargé d’Affaires a.i. Marie Damour during the US Embassy’s Independence Day reception held at EPIC.

Click here to read the US Department of State’s recent blog post on Wil’s Eisenhower fellowship announcement.

Click here to read ComputerWorld’s article by Sathya Ashok

Click here to read the article on by Tess McClure

Click here to read the National Business Review article by Chris Hutching

Visit to EPIC by His Excellency Li Liguo, Minister of Civil Affairs, People’s Republic of China

Photo credit Jonny Knopp, PEANUT PRODUCTIONS

His Excellency Li Liguo, Minister of Civil Affairs, People’s Republic of China, visited New Zealand from Saturday 8 June to Wednesday 2 July. This is the first visit by Minister Li to New Zealand and Ministry of Awesome were delighted to host a welcoming event in the BNZ Lounge at the EPIC campus.

The Minister’s portfolio of Civil Affairs corresponds in the New Zealand system to Civil Defence, Social Development, and some parts of Internal Affairs. The primary focus for the visit was disaster risk management.  Sharing New Zealand’s experience on the relationship between Government and NGOs is considered to be another priority for the visit and we were keen to be provided with an opportunity to demonstrate to the Minister the benefits which can be gained from independent initiatives undertaken by NGOs, volunteer groups and communities.

We had a series of small presentations from Student Volunteer Army (SVA), Ministry of Awesome, Sensing City and Wikihouse followed by the Minister’s disaster response and how young people are included in disasters in China. The session ended with questions and discussions while enjoying By Anna cakes, and a tour of CerebralFix and SLI Systems.

Upcoming Event: BNZ Connect!

The next BNZ Connect is taking place at lunchtime on the 26th of June, 12:30pm through to 1:30pm.

This is a free networking event with other small business owners and like minded people, we’d love for you to come join us!

{Click here to view the poster!}


Radio NZ is Awesome!

Last week there was a great piece on Coffee and Jam produced by Katy Gosset aired on Radio New Zealand.

Remember, if you want to speak at Coffee and Jame about your idea, upcoming project, start-up or anything awesome then get in touch!

Click here to listen to the interview

EPIC tenant Brush Technology’s new Beehive Kickstarter!

Brush Technology and Hivemind have just started a Kickstarter project for wireless mesh beehive scales!

Why monitor hives? The weight of the hive tells you how much honey’s inside, which is the main source of cash for beekeepers. It’s also a key indicator of hive health & performance. The benefits of the beehive scales for beekeeping & agriculture are huge!

You can check out the Kickstarter page here at

Community Housing Trust Launch Event @ EPIC

Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Former Mayor Garry Moore launching the Community Housing Trust in the EPIC BNZ Lounge. The aim of the trust is to get families into their first homes, in a way that could potentially be replicated throughout the country.

Photos by @samrag

Click here to read the Fairfax NZ News article

An EPIC update on Sigma (EPIC Stage Two)

Click here to read the latest update on EPIC Sigma!

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Budding young entrepreneur Charlie Lane presented LCF Languages, and Luke Di Somma spoke about his role as Artistic Director of the Christchurch Pops Choir


Click here for the full article

Article in the Christchurch Herald

“Christchurch Rebuild: Undertaking on an Epic scale”

Click here to read the article

TEDx Christchurch Live

Click HERE to visit the TEDxChristchurch Website!

Start-Up Weekend!

(Photo credit: Mark Tantrum)

Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

 See the VIDEO here!

Return on Science ICT Investment Committee

The Return on Scient ICT Investment Committee met at EPIC, providing a great opportunity for ICT start ups to meet the investment committee and learn more about the services available to support them.


Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Owen Flanagan pitched Acorn Robotics and Ric from accounting firm DJCA talked about strategy and goal setting!


Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Scott Noakes pitched Linewize and Kate Russell spoke about sponsorship!


Click here for the full article

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Tik Tak Presentation, and heard some tips and tricks to take care of our spine and nervous systems!

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Coffee & Jam’s 1st birthday!

We got to hear from MOA’s very own Kaila who spoke of her history and what’s in the pipeline for the Ministry of Awesome, and Peter Young, film-maker, spoke about finding the heart of your story.

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Creative Commons & Farra Quality Games

Click here to read the article

EPIC’s 1st Birthday Party


Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Grant Ryan’s Hunch Cruncher, and “Enrich” an arts and business enrichment partnership programme!


Click here for the article

Feature Interview: NZBS

EPIC Coordinator Henry Lane is interviewed about the creation and vision of the Hub.

Click here for the article

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

David Booth pitched MeatMail, an innovative meat delivery service, and Richard Morley-Hall shared some pearls of wisdom about sustainability


Click here to read the article

Careers NZ – Epic Innovation – the ICT innovation campus

Students from Christchurch Boys High School, Cashmere High and Linwood High listening to SLI Systems Senior Software Engineer, Duncan Aitken, while on a tour of the Epic campus


Click here to read the official Article!

Richard Taylor & Tania Rogers present at Epic

Really pleased to host Richard and Tania to share with us their journey from teenagers through the creation Weta Workshops and Weta Digital to picking up 5 academy awards. An inspiring couple!

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Chris Noel talked about project Serval, John Barr spoke on Governance and Lise Edwards shared her story.

EPIC is a finalist for Champion Canterbury Business Awards

We are a finalist in the Infrastructure category – the awards dinner is held on October 2nd!

CCA0047 Sig Fin Infrastructure

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Adam Hutchinson delivered a pitch for his clever FurniView app and Justin Stevenson talked about the Importance of Process as well as Product

EPIC article on

“Inside Epic – our own Silicon Valley”

Click here to read the article

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Social Entrepreneurship & Local business advice / support were on the agenda at Coffee & Jam today!

Winston Churchill Fellow, Hannah Smith shared her work on social entrepreneurship in NZ and the South Pacific; & Rob Lawrence spoke about the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce

Christchurch Lean Startup Circle Meetup

Ben Reid from startup coaches Memia talked about practical experience applying lean startup methodologies and gave an overview of lean methodologies and how these can be applied to your own startup.

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Not put off by a little rain – Carl and Bridget pitched Makercrate and Heather from the IRD shared tax tips.

Plus there was some cool 3D printing action to be seen!

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Joanna Norris, Editor of the Press, spoke about the science of News and Declan Scott pitched Inspiration Tours!

Visit the Ministry of Awesome Website here!

Inside Epic Innovation with Google Street View

View Larger Map

Epic Launch

Ministry of Awesome – Coffee & Jam

Presentation by Sam Johnson, Los Angeles-based Venture Capitalist visiting, awesome business pitch from Nick Butcher

Visit the Ministry of Awesome Website here!

Geeks on a Plane

Geeks on a Plane arrive at EPIC!

An international travel and cultural exchange program for technology entrepreneurs and investors. Their talented team is made up of esteemed venture capitalists, investors, serial entrepreneurs, big-name tech company founders and business mentors.


The opening of the EPIC Centre in Christchurch

Tech companies return to heart of Christchurch

TVNZ News video

Our building fit-out is progressing well

Tenants getting ready to move

After a very intense build and fitout phase the first tenants are set to start moving in this week, with the remaining tenants following them over the next fortnight. Everyone is looking forward to getting themselves established in this new shared office environment.


EPIC’s Wil McLellan presents at TEDxEQChCh

When his software business, along with dozens of others, was displaced by the Christchurch earthquakes, Wil McLellan found himself in an unlikely position: real estate developer. Working with a wide group of entrepreneurs and advisors, Wil and business partner Colin Andersen created the Enterprise Precinct Innovation Campus, or EPIC.














Click here for the original posting on the TEDxEQChCh Website

CCDU Blueprint includes Innovation Precinct

The long awaited CCDU Blueprint has been released which includes a substantial land allocation for an Innovation Precinct, which incorporates the current EPIC Sanctuary site. This is fantastic news for the longer term, phase 2 EPIC Sigma planning is now well underway, watch this space.

Build progress July 13th

Some good progress since the last update, with good weather conditions helping. The second half of the structure should be erected in the coming week. Roof should be completed in the coming week in time for our roof party.

EPIC Build Update & Photos

The build progress is going well, despite cold and windy weather. Half of the structure is erected and 2nd floor structure and floor is in place. Work has begun on the putting the roof in place on the single storey side, but windy conditions are stalling this at the moment. The rest of the wood arrives next week so the remaining structure will be erected over the next fortnight.

We are on target for our roof party in late July!

Epic Sanctuary build is progressing well

The frames are going up and it is starting to feel real. Currently about one-third of frames erected. On target for completion in September.

EPIC Sanctuary has been Launched

Following a 12 month journey the EPIC team is very pleased to annouce that the project has been formally approved and was officially launched by Stephen Joyce Minister of Economic Development, NZTE and MSI – along with Mayor Bob Parker and BNZ. A great turn out by all of our supporters and tenants. This project has taken longer than anticipated with many hurdles to overcome.

The EPIC co-leaders Colin Andersen and Wil McLellan would like to specifcially recognise the Advisory Group that helped make it possible. The Timbercore build process starts immediately and we are aiming for a late August completion all going well.

Epic media release

EPIC technology hub in Christchurch

In the News – April 3rd

TVNZ One News

Businesses head back into Christchurch red zone


The New Zealand Herald

IT technology hub for Christchurch



IT hub set for central Christchurch

EPIC Sanctuary gets a Green Light

Following 9 months of intensive activity by many parties, we are very pleased to announce that the EPIC Campus has been given a provisional green light. We are expecting the build process to start during February 2012 and the campus go live in June 2012.

This has only been made possible with following key organisations swinging behind the project:

  • Christchurch City Council providing a 5 year rent free lease for the land
  • Ministry of Science & Innovation and NZ Trade & Enterprise each providing $750k base funding to the project
  • BNZ providing the finance & insurance for the project and taking campus naming rights

The EPIC team is very grateful to the organisations that have provided professional services to the project many at no cost, these include:

    • Duncan Cotterill – legal advice
    • Murray & Co. – financial arrangers
    • Warren & Mahoney – architectural advice
    • Octa – Construction project management
    • Timbercore – build contractor
    • Colliers International – property management advise
  • Canterbury Development Corporation – economic analysis & project audit
  • Cera – engaging the right parties and smoothing the path
  • Deloitte – governnace advice
  • PWC – tax advice
Colin Andersen and Wil McLellan

Sanctuary Progress Update Nov 6th 2011

Just a quick progress update as I am sure some of you are wondering where things are at, and I have had a few questions. First of all thank you for your patience; this process has forced me to develop some myself – but it has been necessary as there are a lot of stakeholders involved in this project. Since the last email I sent out on 27th Oct:

  • CCC have approved the extension of Snactuary land deal from 3 years to 5 years in support of EPIC
  • A considerable amount of project due diligence has been undertaken by external parties in the past fortnight. This is a requirement due to funding coming from two government agencies, a major bank and other third parties.
  • Legal documents have been prepared for the variety of agreements we need to have in place, including with tenants.
  • The campus Opex model development is progressing
  • Our funding shortfall and crucial project underwrite appears to have found a suitable third party to support us – we are currently in advanced discussion to finalise this important hurdle.
  • Insurance for the campus is also under active review – with earthquake and non-earthquake cover options being considered
  • We have completed a site survey, including a GeoTech assessment and are waiting for the report
  • Tenant allocation to office spaces has been delayed a week due to a re-design requirement – we are now looking to table these within a week

Next Steps

  • By the end of this coming week we aim to send out a tenant information pack for review, this will include:
    • Tenant lease agreement
    • Final site design and preliminary tenant allocations
    • Updated plan for campus build & go-live
    • Opex cost preliminary indication
  • Please note that the final design referenced above does not include any tenant specific requirements – these have not been forgotten but are outside of scope until we have all of the core financials in place and approved. At this point we can then revisit with you any specific requirements – these can be discussed/clarified at our next tenant meeting.
  • The following week, Wed Nov 9th we will hold a tenant meeting to discuss the information released previously and the move forward into formal lease agreements. We will review the proposed campus governance structure and setting up a tenant advisory group.

World Bank & Future Cities Institute visit Christchurch

An EPIC mention between Future Cities Institute & World Bank

Click here to read the article

Progress update Sep 27th

The EPIC Advisory group is making good progress as follows:

  • A formal tender document has been released to selected vendors for the build of Sanctuary to firm up the costs and help us finalise our financial requirements. Tenders are due back on Sep 30th.
  • A revised site design has been created, following feedback from tenants and our architect advisors.
  • In the week starting Oct 3rd the Advisory group will be evaluating tenders and select 1-2 vendors to progress to the next stage.
  • Running in parallel we will be updating our financial model and firming up our overall financial requirements, funding sources and tenant lease requirements to support the project.
  • We are continuing to seek sponsorship options
  • A tenant update meeting will be held to firm up the final design and costs in the week starting Oct 10th (or following week at latest)
  • Following this meeitng we will be progressing to a Heads of Agreement with tenants, firmimg up committment levels.

EPIC Progress Update – Sep 5th 2011

Just a quick update on progress since our tenant meeting on August 24th.

  • Government funding support is progressing from a number of sources. We still have a signifciant shortfall on our funding requirements but are working hard to close the gap.
  • A preliminary campus design is being prepared and released to tender this week to secure firmer pricing and seek creative funding solutions.
  • We are now evaluating sponsorship options for the Sanctuary campus, we have had lots of approaches but now is the time to firm these up into financial reality.
  • We are aiming to bring together the various components in play at the moment by Sep 16th to then bring us closer to the decision point.
  • Once we have a green light we will present the preliminary campus design to tenants and give you the opportunity to influence this for your business needs before locking both the design and costs in.
  • We are going OK, but we need continued support and influence wherever you may be able to apply it through your own networks.

EPIC Prospective Tenant Meeting – Wed 24th August

Meeting details: 4-6pm Wednesday, 24th August – Imagitech Theatre, CPIT, Madras Street

Following the recent email the EPIC team would like to invite prospective tenants to an update meeting for the project. The agenda for the meeting is:

  • General progress update
  • CCC land approval review
  • Government funding update
  • Other sources of funding
  • Building options considered
  • Sanctuary build timeline
  • Tenant “acceptance process”
  • Sigma long term vision update

It is our hope that at least one person per prospective tenant organisation attends the meeting. We are reaching a point in the project where we will need to start firming up tenant commitment (for Sanctuary) and
need as many of you present as possible to encourage good discussion and feedback.

EPIC Tenant Update

Since the publicity burst two weeks ago the EPIC team has been focused on seeking funding to turn the project vision into reality. Due to the number of prospective tenants currently displaced our attention has been on establishing the Sanctuary campus as a short-term solution (3 years) while the long term campus planniong continues in parallel. This has required extensive discussions and proposals submitted with government agencies. While we are making progress, this takes time. Over the next week we will complete our next round of submissions for government consideration.

Our intention is to hold a tenants update meeting in the week starting August 22nd. This is likely to be a 4-6pm session mid-week. We will try to provide at least one week’s notice of the meeting time and place. It would be good to see as many prospective tenants as possible at this meeting as we wish to both inform and seek feedback on our progress and proposed next steps.

Any questions, please feel free to contact Wil McLellan or Colin Andersen

Hub has Epic potential – Visiting Google executive

CCC approves Sanctuary land deal

At the council meeting today the city council approved the use of the Para Rubber site for EPIC Sanctuary campus for 5* (originally 3) years at no charge. This is a fantastic step forward for the initiative overall. The EPIC team is extremely grateful to the council and the council staff who helped make this happen.

The Para Rubber site is a 4,000 sqm site on Manchester St, between Tuam and St Asaph. It is not in the red zone, but is on the edge of it.

Next step government funding to support the build – we are in active discussions currently. Onwards and upwards!

22nd February
6.4 Magnitude Earthquake strikes Christchurch

A massive quake devastates Christchurch, with experts calling it the biggest ever shock to directly hit an urban centre. 185 lives were lost, hundreds of buildings were destroyed or damaged, and hundreds of businesses displaced as the whole CBD closed.