Christchurch has long been the birthplace of innovation and technology-based start-up companies, from Tait Electronics in the 1950’s to Jade in the 1990s and recent successes including Orbica and Seequent. The city’s entrepreneurial spirit appears not to have been subdued by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ChristchurchNZ Regional Growth Manager Simon Anderson said: ‘’With significant economic uncertainty, we are seeing people across the city popping up with innovative new ideas for a new business or for business growth.’’
Simon Anderson - ChristchurchNZ Regional Growth Manager
With significant economic uncertainty, we are seeing people across the city popping up with innovative new ideas for a new business or for business growth.’’
To support Christchurch’s recovery from the economic effects of Covid-19, ChristchurchNZ is helping these entrepreneurs – by giving them a leg-up to create new start-ups and grow existing businesses in Christchurch.
‘’For us the question has been, how do we create the system to turn those great ideas into business reality and sustainable decent jobs?’’ Anderson said.
To do just that, earlier this year ChristchurchNZ invested in Canterbury’s existing founder start-up and innovation incubators, Te Ōhaka at Ara Institute of Canterbury and ThincLab at the University of Canterbury.
The purpose of the investment was to build the number of businesses both agencies can support, and the depth of support as businesses are launched out of both. Each year at least 35 businesses will be provided the best chance of success through these partnerships.
The storytelling in this ChristchurchNZ led-campaign celebrates the businesses that are emerging in our city, and both their and Christchurch’s ingenuity, creativity, and personality.
Boyd Warren - ChristchurchNZ General Manager
Our recovery plan has an immediate aim to save and grow jobs and in the medium/long term reposition Christchurch as a smart sustainable city to ensure intergenerational wellbeing,’’
Boyd Warren, ChristchurchNZ General Manager - Commercial said the collaborative approach to innovation in Christchurch is an important part of the Ōtautahi Christchurch Socio-Economic Recovery Plan.
“Our recovery plan has an immediate aim to save and grow jobs and in the medium/long term reposition Christchurch as a smart sustainable city to ensure intergenerational wellbeing,’’ he said.
The Ministry of Awesome manages the early-stage Incubation Programme along with a range of additional services in Te Ōhaka - Centre for Growth & Innovation, which is based on the Ara campus.
Businesses affiliated with or wanting to take advantage of the expertise at UC for the next phase of their journey - or who have graduated from Te Ōhaka - can get further support at ThincLab Canterbury, an integral part of the UC Business School.
ChristchurchNZ’s agreement with the UC Business School will see UC’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) deliver a variety of programmes including ThincLab Canterbury.