Already home to companies like Xero and Vend, the New Zealand city of Wellington has signified its intent to become a major innovation hub in the Asia-Pacific, with the City Council partnering with coworking space Biz Dojo to create a Tech Hub.
The partnership comes as the Council’s Economic Growth and Arts Committee approved the business case for the Tech Hub. It will be the first development in a proposed tech precinct for the city, a project the Council is looking at as part of its larger growth plans.
Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown said that the Tech Hub 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,” Wade-Brown said.
“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, said that the tech precinct is a key aspect of the Council’s growth plans.
“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,” Coughlan said.
“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.”
She also highlighted the opportunity to work with tech hubs in Auckland and Christchurch to attract talent and investment to New Zealand.
The Tech Hub is the latest in a line of announcements signifying Wellington City Council is serious about its aims to turn the city into a centre for innovation. The Council last month launched its Wellington Works digital campaign, looking to encourage Australian developers, analysts, strategists and UX designers to relocate to Wellington.