A new place for Wellington’s innovative tech community to connect, collaborate and generate exciting ideas is a step closer with today’s decision by the Wellington City Council’s economic growth committee to support the business case for establishing a Tech Hub.
The Tech Hub will be a forerunner to the development of a tech precinct, one of the key projects that the Council is investigating as part of its economic growth agenda.
At the end of last year, the Council sought expressions of interest from the market for innovative ways to establish, deliver and operate the Tech Hub. Following a robust evaluation process, Biz Dojo was selected as the Council’s preferred partner to deliver the initiative.
“This is an exciting partnership with Biz Dojo for the Smart Capital,” says Mayor Celia Wade-Brown. “It will reinforce Wellington’s position as a globally significant centre of high-tech innovation.
“The Tech Hub will serve to connect hi-tech rapid-growth ventures, investors, social enterprises, international visitors, tertiary institutions, government and for established businesses working on new ideas.
“It will be a go-to place for these firms, hosting events to bring them together, and delivering programmes to help them grow and be successful on the international stage.”
Councillor Jo Coughlan, Chair of the Economic Growth and Arts Committee, says the tech precinct is a key initiative supporting the Council’s economic development and digital strategies.
“In 2011 the Economic Development Strategy set a target of creating 10,000 new jobs by 2016. Smart, knowledge-intensive businesses are an important part of this, and the tech precinct will directly contribute to their growth.
“The Tech Hub will bring together the wider tech community and encourage more collaboration, knowledge transfer and idea generation, leading to greater levels of innovation and GDP growth in Wellington.
“It also gives us greater opportunities to work with tech hubs in Auckland and Christchurch to attract talent and investment to New Zealand.”
Biz Dojo has been developing and operating co-working and collaboration spaces in New Zealand since 2009 and operates Auckland’s innovation precinct GridAKL.
If approved by the city council’s Funding Panel, the Tech Hub is to be funded from the Wellington Economic Initiatives Development Fund which will be considered in the Council’s 10-Year Plan deliberations. Subject to approval through that process, the Hub would be up and running from 1 July at 113 Tory Street.