Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Onside Celebrate Wine Industry Impact Award for AgTech and Digital

Thursday, December 7th, 2023


Congratulations to EPIC tenant Onside, who have won the 2023 Wine Industry Impact Award for AgTech and Digital!

The Wine Industry Impact Awards, hosted by the Wine Industry Suppliers Association in Adelaide, recognise and applaud innovation and excellence in the wine industry supply chain.

The Awards’ Gala Dinner is about highlighting those businesses who are providing solutions that positively impact the capability and competitiveness of Australia’s grape and wine producers.

Onside were recognised for their work  in monitoring mass vehicle movement through wine regions to enhance biosecurity controls. Well done team!

EPIC gets behind a new generation of Christchurch leaders

Tuesday, March 13th, 2018

Christchurch is the latest forward-thinking city to host Smart Seeds, a global innovation program for
young talent to tackle the region’s most pressing challenges. The EPIC Innovation Precinct in
Manchester Street was the venue for the Smart Seeds Launch Event during February.

The city and region is known for its resilience and adaptability – something reflected in a new breed
of professionals and innovators taking centre stage. Leading the movement are 31 young minds from
across the region who have each committed to forming a team around one of five regional

Maurice Hoban, Smart Seeds programme lead said; “we have participants from 15 local
organisations, each bringing a unique skill set from different backgrounds. It is a really
unique collaborative environment and we’re excited to see the outcomes.”

Stimulating collaboration are five challenges, each thrown down by industry leaders working
towards the region’s future prosperity.

What challenges are being tackled?
 How to make Christchurch a magnet for business and tourism tomorrow?
 How to make urban residents the stewards of healthy waterways?
 How to enable alternative modes of transport to reduce congestion?
 How to develop a regional workforce that can compete on a global scale?
 How to embrace emerging technology to enable new possibilities for automated transport?

Participants will now work together to pull apart the complex technical, social and commercial issues
they face in coming up with potential solutions.

To support their journey from the outset, participants were armed with new skills, tools and
connections including industry leaders to provide mentoring as teams grapple with new ways of

Signs are promising with teams sticking around after the launch to make sure they were connected.
Industry leaders also took the opportunity to strike up some healthy competition between the
mentors and challenge development teams.

So what’s next? Participants will be building on the launch experience with workshops focusing on
ideation, pitching and influencing change before the Showcase Event in Christchurch on 9 May 2018.
For more information visit Smart Seeds Christchurch.

Who is participating?
Belinda Lewis – Downer | Rachel Young – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Shaun Denholm – Intergen | Nick
Lovett – Christchurch City Council | Luke Parker – GHD | Steve Firth – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Olivia
Smith – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Paul Ferguson – Christchurch City Council | Hayden Sturzaker – Fulton
Hogan | Andrew Smith – GHD Advisory | Virginia Loughnan – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Dayle
McLauchlan – Apollo Projects | Fraser Gemmell – Christchurch City Council | Sam Bellamy – Environment Canterbury
Regional Council | Jamie Robinson – Duncan Cotterill | Charlotte French – GHD | Samantha Funnell – Synlait | Jono
Burch – Intergen | Nickie West – Fulton Hogan | Rob Capon – Synlait | Cameron McKie – GHD | Emily Murphy 
Christchurch City Council | Nick Webby – Fulton Hogan | Andrew Springford – EY | Sam Smith – Apollo Projects | April
Hickson – Intergen | Jonathon Ireland – Fulton Hogan | Simon Pollock – GHD | Scott Davison – Fulton Hogan | Brodie
Akacich – CIAL

With inspiring mentors:
Kate Phillips – Intergen | Andre Bresler – GHD | Charlie Derrick – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Carolyn
Gallagher – Christchurch City Council | Ken Renz – Environment Canterbury Regional Council | Joel Gabites– EY

Kiwi AI could help end world hunger

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Tech advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) might help New Zealand move toward a solution for helping feed the world which will require food production to double to meet a growing population demands.

New Zealand IoT Alliance executive director Kriv Naicker says the new government needs to support the tech industry, in particular, the NZ IoT Alliance and its sister organisation the New Zealand AI Forum to help address a growing food shortage.

Naicker stating, “Farmers’ uptake of technology is becoming the norm in the rural sector, smart farming and precision agriculture is helping farmers get better results on the land with enhanced tech forecasting and IoT sensor data collection and analytics, optimising resources and supplies.

“We know the world is heading toward a major food supply crisis, by 2050 the planet’s human population will reach beyond nine billion, requiring food production to double to meet demands.”

To read the full article click here.

Kiwis are making big bucks with VR, $320 million to be precise

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

The New Zealand virtual reality and augmented reality (VRAR) industry sector’s forecast revenues are estimated to be worth more than $320 million within two years, a report states.

The publication was commissioned by the New Zealand Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association (NZVRARA), which is a part of the New Zealand Tech Alliance.

The NZVRARA was formed last year and has more than 110 members.

More than 1,100 full-time equivalent staff are currently employed in the sector, in New Zealand and is conservatively estimated to double in two years.

Globally, AR is predicted to be the fastest growing segment in the world with forecast global revenues of US$83 billion.

Forecast revenues for the sector at more than $320 million compares favourably with the New Zealand games development industry, which has revenues of around $100 million, Graeme Muller NZTech chief executive says.

To read the full article click here.

Forget Labour, AI is taking over New Zealand

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Many New Zealanders are buying into the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) as it is creeping into many walks of everyday life.

New Zealand needs to actively embrace artificial intelligence at a faster rate as an extraordinary opportunity and challenge for New Zealand’s future, Artificial Intelligence Forum of New Zealand (AIFNZ) executive director Ben Reid says.

AI has a growing impact on the daily lives of all New Zealanders.

In the near future, it is likely to accelerate at an unprecedented pace, resulting in major changes to NZ’s economy, society, and institutions.

Precision Driven Health (PDH) is one organisation spearheading AI changes across NZ in the health sector.

To read the full article click here.

Smart Seeds Innovation Programme Launching in Christchurch

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Smart Seeds involves multi-disciplinary teams of young professionals generating fresh ideas to tackle complex challenges facing their city. In 2018, GHD is bringing Smart Seeds to Christchurch.


Check out a short highlights video from the 2017 Wellington programme to see what Smart Seeds is all about.


For Expressions of Interest or further information, please contact or visit

Champion Canterbury winners – MTech Games

Friday, October 6th, 2017

We’re proud to announce that EPIC tenants MTech Games won the Champion Canterbury award in the Professional Services, Small to Medium Enterprise category.

MTech Games was created to explore the possibilities for virtual reality in the rehabilitation/medical space and beyond.  They are currently focused on helping new powered wheelchair users through the tough transition to life in a wheelchair.

To see the full list of winners, click here.

NZ Teen in Global Competition to Create Super Happiness

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Media Release                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            18 September 2017

NZ Teen in Global Competition to Create Super Happiness

A global challenge with big prizes and massive opportunities has a single Kiwi as one of its 15 finalists announced today.

The Singularity U / Project Heha Super Happiness Challenge is looking for solutions to help people achieve true happiness, and has invited people from all over the world to share unique solutions to co-create a happier world.

18 year old Christchurch woman, Lucia Kennedy, has reached the semi-finals with her project called Luminary Legacies, the only New Zealander to do so and from an expected 500 entries. Her idea is to get people to promote, congratulate and acknowledge those who have made an impact on our lives, using apps and other forms of social media to do so, around the world.

“It’s about creating a viral global conversational environment of acknowledgment.  It’s about us getting connected with each other, our friends, families, peers, and the communities we belong to.  In the act of acknowledgment, people get to know they make a difference and they have left a legacy or their signature on that person’s life – they become a Luminary, says Lucia.

The competition organisers believe people have an innate need to be happy and should share that happiness with others. However, they say our collective level of happiness has not kept up with its potential growth despite technological advances and improved quality of life.

“I want us all to reach out and acknowledge these luminaries; many of whom don’t know the positive effect they have on our lives, and sadly many never will but I want to change that.” 

Lucia says what she really loves about her idea is the simplicity.

“Our goal is to create 1 billion luminaries, share1 billion legacies and in the process activate 2 billion moments of happiness that last forever; transforming our lives and motivating us to reach out to others so happiness expands and grows. Real acknowledgement is a gift that keeps giving; it gives us the option to be generous, be big, inspire, connect while also making someone else happy, – that’s super happiness right there,” she says.

The 15 Semi-Finalists have each uploaded a short video providing a high-level overview of their idea, and the finalists will be announced by judges on 22 September. A popular vote is also underway online and the results of that will add to the “pitch” power of the finalists chosen.  The three finalists win US$5,000 each and will be invited to pitch their ideas in San Francisco on October 20th (a paid, three day trip to the San Francisco) and compete for the grand prize of US$35,000, with the runner up winning US$10,000.

Websites links are:

Popular Vote for Luminary Legacies HERE          Supper Happiness Challenge website HERE

Corvecto finalists at NZ Innovation Awards

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

In a run of nominations coming Corvecto’s way, they have been announced as finalists in the NZ Innovation Awards in not just one category, but THREE! The VR training solution company have been announced as finalists for Innovation in Technology Solutions, Innovation in Media, Marketing & Communications, and Young New Zealand Innovator through Managing Director Henry Lane.

We wish them all the best as winners are announced Thursday 19 October in Auckland.

Christchurch students benefiting from high tech educational tools

Monday, September 4th, 2017

Big data and artificial intelligence aren’t usually topics associated with education, but thanks to two local startups these tools are being developed in Christchurch to help prepare students for the future.

Last week Charlie Tomlinson and Raphael Nolden, presented to the EdTech Asia Summit 2017 on software tools developed here with the potential to help students around the world.

Charlie Tomlinson from software startup EdPotential moderated a panel on ‘Current Trends in Big Data and Analytics in Education’. The sophisticated software developed by EdPotential enables schools to inquire into their assessment data, analyse it to identify gaps and strengths and then act to target solutions that improve student achievement.

Raphael Nolden from maths tutoring startup Osnova spoke on ‘Emerging Tech: AI and Automation in Education and the Workplace’. Osnovo has developed an AI maths tutor, called Amy, which is being trialled in ten New Zealand schools and the company is currently capital raising after participating in Flux Accelerator.

“The Summit was a great event with a real mix of people, companies, investors and vendors from across the education technology community and the wider Asia region.

“It enabled us to showcase technology developed and used in Christchurch to educators from across Asia,” said Charlie.

Corvecto finalists in the Champion Canterbury awards

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Another EPIC tenant, VR and AR training platform Corvecto, have also been announced as finalists in this year’s Champion Canterbury awards. Corvecto are one of three finalists in the Champion Innovation category and the winner will be announced at the ceremony on the 4th October.

To find out more about Corvecto click here.

EPIC tenants finalists for Champion Canterbury Awards

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Two EPIC tenants were announced last night as finalists in the Professional Services – small enterprise category for the Champion Canterbury Awards 2017.

Concentrate Limited and MTech Games Ltd were announced to be finalists at the event last night in the PWC building.

This year’s Awards has seen 150 entries with 24 finalists moving forward. Awards chairman Peter Townsend said he was thrilled by the calibre of the finalists.

Winners in the eight categories will be announced at a ceremony on the 4th October and we wish both Concentrate and MTech Games the best of luck.

To find the full list of finalists, click here.

Corvecto revolutionising training with VR

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

Post by Jacques-Pierre Dumas on FutureFive NZ:

This weekend I had the opportunity to meet Henry Lane, Corvecto managing director.

Corvecto is a Kiwi startup that works with enterprise organisations of all sizes looking to protect themselves or grow their business through virtual and augmented reality.

Corvecto provides full-stack design and development services.

They distinguish themselves by leveraging half a decade of experience in creating virtual worlds for global entertainment brands and professional organisations.

Before this meeting, I thought of virtual reality as simply the newest fad in the entertainment industry, however, after an hour with Henry and his VR programs my mind was blown away at the potential of this technology.

After a quick chat about Corvecto, I jumped into the VR headset and experienced a series of simulations.

Three, in particular, stood out to me, the x-ray machine, commercial factory and virtual observatory.

The x-ray machine built with Virtual Medical Coaching put me in the shoes of a technician and I was tasked with taking an x-ray of a virtual patient’s foot.

The simulation was incredibly life-like and fully involved, I had to do everything from positioning the patient’s foot to operating the machinery.

I was completely taken back by the potential this technology has for education.

To read the full post click here.

Plenty of sweet ideas for beekeepers

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Remote beehive monitoring company Hivemind is undeterred by a shortfall in a crowdfunding effort to test demand for a hobbyist version of its product.

Hivemind, of Christchurch, produces a satellite-connected beehive monitoring system for remote hive sites, even those out of mobile coverage.

The system primarily monitors beehive weight, hive temperature, humidity and site rainfall. A wireless site hub collects the readings from individual hives and uploads the data via a satellite link to the company’s webserver, to be made available to clients online.

Earlier this year, the company started an Indiegogo campaign to crowdfund its work on a cheaper hobbyist version, which would connect via domestic wireless and smartphones rather than satellite, and be suitable for backyard beekeepers. The campaign fell short of its funding target.

“I guess we found out what we needed to from that: no, it’s not something the hobbyists are keen on at the moment,” said Hivemind director Berwyn Hoyt.

To read the full article click here.

The changing face of artificial intelligence innovation

Friday, July 28th, 2017

PwC’s Commercialising Innovation Report shows that artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the most advanced of the emerging technologies in New Zealand – and some Kiwi companies are already banking the returns.

Augmented reality, 3-D printing, drones and robotics will grow in disruptive significance in the next three years but PwC predicts that AI will boost the global economy by US$15.7 trillion by 2030.

“Leading the way in the AI space are Kiwi companies and innovators like Soul Machines. Their avatars could be amongst the first digital employees and are designed to work on well-known AI platforms and operate with realistic facial expressions and muscles as well as the ability to detect emotion in the person they are interacting with.

“The avatars can provide the digital interface but as organisations increasingly look to use AI platforms to transform their businesses, data availability and data quality will become a central focus for them,” says Andy Symons, PwC Partner and innovation leader.

Click here to read full article.

Showcasing EPIC talent

Friday, July 21st, 2017

Fiona Ambler, of Digital Marketing Specialist for GymMaster, has recently placed second as part of the national MYOB IT Challenge. Her team, Team GYOB  were awarded second place for their innovative stock management application, which uses augmented reality technology.

UC Centre for Entrepreneurship Incubator Manager Michelle Panzer says the challenge reveals students who understand the issues that businesses face and can use today’s technologies to create solutions.

“It’s essential we continue to encourage the fresh thinking of tomorrow,” says Ms Panzer.

“The MYOB IT Challenge encourages the kind of entrepreneurial mindset that will play a key role in shaping how Kiwis do business in the future.”

As well as receiving return flights, expenses and accommodation in Auckland to compete in the national finals, the top three teams also won a share of the $5,000 cash prize.

Click here to read more about the project. 

CerebralFix leading the NZ gaming charge

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Superstar tenants CerebralFix are being recognised around the world for their game development capabilities. In a recent article by FutureFive NZ, Cerebral Fix’s latest indie game Ninja Tobu is ranked as one of the top, addictive games at the moment.

It’s great to see tenants doing well and being recognised for the work they are doing.

Read the full article here.

EPIC a keen example of Christchurch’s post-disaster resilience

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

Speaking to GovInsider recently, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel discussed how Christchurch has not only bounced-back following the 2011 earthquakes, but instead has thrived and future-proofed itself. Resilience, she says, is what Christchurch has shown; taking the opportunity to re-invent and improve itself.

EPIC is cited as being one of the successes of the post-earthquake regeneration. The technology hub has become a cornerstone for local tech, hosting many organisations of varying sizes.

To read the full interview with our mayor, click here.

Insights of a ShadowTech Day mentor

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

ShadowTech Day was held last month where students spend a day with a mentor within the industry, promoting a career in IT as a viable option to more young women.

Eva Sherwood, Account Executive at Oracle New Zealand and Board Member of NZTech, takes part in the day as a mentor and shares her insights on the day, why she believes in the programme and what she finds great about it.

Read her whole story here. 

Code club reached the Beehive

Monday, June 12th, 2017

As part of Tech Week, thirty-five school kids showed off their computer coding skills for MPs in the beehive. Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne said Code Club Aotearoa, which organised the event, was having a big impact on children aged 9 to 12.

Code Club, starting out of a small computer lab in Aranui, sets out to give every kiwi kid the opportunity to learn code. They encourage children to combine their imaginations with an understanding of programming, empowering our next generation to take their incredible inventions to the world.

To find out more about Code Club and the visit to the Beehive, click here.

Fantastic talent rising out of EPIC Westport

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Recognised by NZEntrepreneur as a Start-up to watch is EPIC Westport tenant Wearbox. Wearbox, brainchild of Karen Bongard and Tim Bourne, is a men’s underwear subscription service.

“In early 2015 we decided to find a service to offer to men that would make their lives easier and more enjoyable. Investing in a Wearbox subscription is a gift that keeps on giving,” explains Karen.

This is just one of the examples of the great ingenuity that is coming out of the West Coast and EPIC is proud to be a part of making this happen.

To find out more about Wearbox, click here. 

Students design jackets for the homeless

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

As part of the Ministry of Awesome’s recent Lab 5 workshop, a group of Christ College students have created an idea for jackets made out of recycled materials. Held in the EPIC building, the week long event sees groups of teenagers coming together, formulating an business idea and turning it into a realistic model.

The Christ College team’s jacket idea would see retailers selling the jackets and for every one sold, another is given to someone who is homeless.

The Lab 5 workshops give students an opportunity to take their ideas and turn it into something realistic, fueling their drive for innovation and entrepreneurship.

To find out more about the idea click here.

Robots, virtual reality and living on Mars – Christchurch Techweek ’17

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Virtual reality gaming, robotics, earthquake safety engineering and how people can live on Mars – these are just a taste of the creative and technology-driven events on offer during Techweek’17 in Christchurch.

Techweek’17 events will be running from 6 to 14 May around New Zealand, the theme for this years’ programme is, “finding local answers to global questions”. Christchurch, with its concentration of innovation and entrepreneurial businesses, is offering a programme of events that will inspire and impress.

Highlights in the Christchurch programme include:

EPIC True Stories: from idea to global innovation: hear how organisations including SLI Systems, CerebralFix and Brush Technology overcame the challenges of establishing business models, winning international clients and scaling their businesses beyond startups. (Tues 9 May 2pm to 4pm)

People making a difference: a showcase and lecture series highlighting University of Canterbury research. Topics include: Hunt for the Wilderpeople 2 – how swarms of drones can help in major disaster areas, the cutting edge of electric vehicle design, spatial information mapping and species protection in Antarctica. (Wed 10 May, 5pm to 8pm)

Showcasing AgTech: a glimpse into how technology is creating quicker, more efficient and different ways to improve agriculture. (Wed 10 May, 9am to 3pm)

Mission to Mars: The Mission to Mars programme, which is supported by NASA and Fablab, brings to life NASA’s strategy for mankind to live on Mars. See how students in Yr 9 and 10 design, 3D print and build habitats to live on Mars. (Wed 10 May 9am to 4pm)

The Future of Food: a look at the global food ecosystem and how to shift our mindsets from organic farm-fresh ethically-sourced produce to bio or genetically-engineered food. (Friday 12 May, 7.30am to 9am)

To view more events and to register visit

About TechWeek’17

Techweek exists to amplify New Zealand innovation that is good for the world, it is run by the tech ecosystem under the guardianship of not-for-profit NZTech and an establishment board of industry talent, all passionate about increasing NZ prosperity. It’s produced in association with MBIE, NZTE, ATEED, and MoE, and supported by New Zealand Tourism, Callaghan Innovation, WREDA, CDC, Hamilton City Council, Rotorua Lakes Council and Tauranga City Council.

Techweek’17 events will be running in over 15 towns and cities around the country including Northland, Auckland, Tauranga, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and more.

Code Club’s new partnership

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Code Club Aotearoa has partnered with the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Foundation works to put the power of digital making into the hands of people all over the world. They provide low-cost, high-performance computers that people use to learn, solve problems and have fun.

At a recent Raspberry Pi Global Meetup, Code Club’s National Training Manager Tom Bijesse was able to understand how a partnership with Raspberry Pi can really strengthen Code Club’s presence in New Zealand. “After seeing how people are learning with Raspberry Pi I now think that with proper support Raspberry Pi can make learning to code more interactive and easier to understand.”

To find out more about the Raspberry Pi partnership and Bijesse’s learnings from the Meetup, click here.

A strong tech future for New Zealand

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

This year’s Microsoft Imagine Cup New Zealand took place a few weeks ago and the winning team is off to Seattle to compete in the Imagine Cup global competition. Winning team, GroupCram, took out the competition with a student collaboration app designed to help with studying and group assessments.

In the past, New Zealand teams have done well at the competition with Estimeet winning the Innovation category in 2014 with their social interaction app. Not only does this help showcase young New Zealand talent on a global stage, but it also highlights the future of the industry here. The calibre of developers and innovators coming through the ranks is high and makes for exciting things on the horizon for the community.

To read more about GroupCram and the Imagine Cup, click here.

4 Innovative Ways to Motivate Your Team

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
Happy employees are productive employees.
Motivating employees to do their best work is far from a simple task. Even the most adept leaders can struggle with meeting their workers’ needs. However, there are a lot of awesome strategies you can use to create a more engaging work environment to boost employee morale and see excellent output.A study by The University of Warwick found that happy employees are 12 percent more productive. Keep in mind, your employees spent a good deal of their waking lives at work. The office is like a home away from home. Here are four ways you can make your workplace a more enjoyable atmosphere that motivates workers to do their best.

1. Implement flexible hours and ability to work remote.

Work-life balance has become a very important part of people’s everyday lives. When people feel like they are married to their job, they will inevitably begin thinking about making a change so they can spend more time with loved ones.

 For instance, the average commute time in the United States 25.4 minutes. That is roughly 101 hours per year of sitting in traffic. Combine that with undesirable driving and parking conditions, and that is a decent chunk of someone’s life.

As technology advances, the ability to work from home is becoming much more ideal for some employees. This is a small luxury for workers that costs the employer nothing.

“The option to work from home is good for everyone,” says Tanner Rankin, CEO of Source Approach. “As long is the system is treated with respect and performance standards are being met, working remote is a great way for employees to ensure they are experience more of life’s precious moments.”

2. Consider making your office pet-friendly.

Pets can make lives more enjoyable in a number of ways. In fact, an experiment done at Central Michigan University found that having dogs in the workplace can increase trust among employees and act as social catalysts. Also, most people do not want to leave their animals at home by themselves all day. As a lot of owners have learned, a lonely, bored pet can get destructive.

Etsy is well known for implementing a dog-friendly office. They strongly believe that letting their employees bring their dogs to work does a lot to keep spirits up while creating a sense of community. “They make people smile almost universally, and I think they allow anxiety to diffuse when they suddenly skitter by,” said Sarah Starpoli, employee manager of Etsy.

There’s no denying that pets can play a huge role in relieving stress. As long as pets can adhere to certain guidelines and behave, a pet-friendly office can do wonders to ease the tension.

3. Deck out the game room.

Having a game room at work is great way for employees to take a break and re-energize. Some experts are convinced that amenities such as ping-pong tables and video games can improve both morale and productivity. Having fun with fellow employees at work can raise commitment values, increase happiness and allow workers to bond outside the everyday stress their jobs entail.

When you’re designing an awesome game room for your office, pick games that need to be played with two or more people. Spending casual time together is essential in creating a good company culture that requires communication and collaboration. Additionally, it gives employees a better reason to stand up and move around. Everyone knows the dangers that come with a desk job — back strain, headaches, etc. Games that require physical activity to offset the sedentary workday can help inspire creativity and prevent burnout.

Google has a famously relaxed company culture. They strongly encourage an 80/20 rule that allows workers to spend 80 percent of their days doing their primary job, and 20 percent for play and personal creativity.

Play has a big role in the evolution of humankind. The workplace should take this into consideration and promote an environment where employees don’t have to think of their jobs as just eight or more hours of sitting at a desk.

4. Celebrate often.

Letting your employees know that you appreciate them and they are valued can do a lot to boost morale and inspire top-notch work. This can be celebrating a birthday or a simply a good week.

Although this might seem obvious, small gestures that say “thank you” can go a long way. “Generally speaking, when workers know their hard work is being recognized, they are more likely to continue striving to do their best,” said Ryan Jones, CEO of VIP Tickets Canada. “Even recognizing the small victories can help maintain focus on what the team is working for. It is a chance to sit back and reflect on what is being done right.”

In addition, celebrations outside of the day-to-day work environment can help bring employees closer together and improve internal communication.

Everyone likes to be recognized. Creating an innovative program that celebrates your employees can be a game changer for inspiring stellar work performances.

Company cultures are changing. It is very important to create and maintain an environment where employees feel they can be productive while enjoying their lives at the same time. If your company is need of some big changes, talk to your workers and find out what they value and see how you can meet their concerns and desires.


Original Article:

Equality attracts top tech talent

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Leading Australasian eCommerce provider eStar says businesses that practise diversity and equality have a huge competitive edge when it comes to employing top talent and maintaining a productive and engaged workforce.

As New Zealand’s fastest growing sector and third largest exporter, tech employs five percent of the workforce and has the highest paid employees than all other sectors on average.

The number of software developers employed in New Zealand doubled between 2006-2013 and growth is expected to continue to around 5.2 percent a year until 2020.

Based in Christchurch and Melbourne, eStar is one of New Zealand’s largest and growing IT companies employing more than 70 people. Its workforce has increased by a third in the last 18 months and represents 17 different cultural backgrounds.

eStar chief operations officer Kevin Rowland says the company focuses on having the right people in the right role and building a culture that is welcoming and inclusive.

“Four of our back-end developers are from India and we have a diverse workforce of women from Brazil, Hong Kong, Egypt, Philippines, Germany and Sri Lanka, as well as loads of Kiwis.

“Employing people from diverse backgrounds provides significant opportunities for us to leverage engagement, innovation, productivity and improve service to our clients,” Rowland says.

Women take up 23 percent of tech roles in New Zealand but at eStar, 41 percent of employees are women and this figure is expected to increase.

Three of the four senior tech leads at eStar are women, all of whom have been promoted from within the company. The client support and client delivery managers are female and eStar has women in a range of roles including developers, web designers, scrum masters, project managers, product owners, solutions consultants and client support, among others.

Rowland says eStar’s employee remuneration is based on skills and value and they treat everyone equally.

“Remuneration has nothing to do with gender or culture. It makes no difference whether people are male or female, it’s all about recruiting the right person for the job who has the right skills and experience.

“In the last two years at eStar we have placed a big focus on how we all work together and this has resulted in remarkable employee engagement results. Having a more engaged team has had a direct impact on employee turnover, so that our retention for the current year is 87.85 percent, well above industry average.

“Having engaged and satisfied people in the tech business is so important as we are all competing for the top talent.”

eStar is actively involved with various projects to encourage more young Kiwis into tech careers such as Shadow Tech Day, ITP TechHub and Futureintech.

About eStar

eStar is Australasia’s leading specialist eCommerce solutions provider, delivering outstanding experiences with some of the region’s best brands, through a combination of thought leadership, user experience, development, design and partners. Clients include Country Road, Briscoe Group, Swanndri and Smiths City Group, amongst many others.

For further information contact Make Lemonade news editor Janelle Blythe on 021 662 138.


Author: Janelle Blythe

source: Make Lemonade

Our data, our way

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Improving data-sharing across government is fundamental to many of the outcomes the Better for Business programme is working on.

The Data Futures Partnership has been created to help lead the development of a data-use system that will create value for business and all New Zealanders by making better use of our data.

The partnership is an independent group funded by Government to work with all New Zealanders to create the right systems, settings and conditions to allow our data to be put to work making New Zealand a better place.

Read more…

LookSee Wellington,the world-first global talent attraction programme

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Are you on the hunt for tech talent? 

We’ve got just the ticket.

LookSee Wellington is a world-first global talent attraction programme, which is aiming to offer top tech talent the ultimate career trip.

In May 2017, we want to bring 100 lucky candidates from around the world to Wellington (flights and accommodation paid for), for a series of pre-arranged interviews and unique Wellington experiences.

We’re looking for the best tech talent in the world to come on the career trip of a life-time.

8-11 May 2017

TEDxScottBase viewing party at EPIC

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

On Sunday 22nd January, TEDxChristchurch hosted sold-out viewing party of the TEDxScottBase broadcast along with over 60 other viewing parties around the world. TEDxScottBase hosted international voices in science, art, entrepreneurship and more came together, in the most remote location on Earth, to broadcast their ideas to the world. For more information visit:

Photos by TedXChristchurch