Just days after the city of Christchurch marked the five-year anniversary of the 2011 earthquakes, Microsoft New Zealand has announced that its Christchurch based operations are returning to the CBD as part of the new GreenHouse innovation hub.
The tech giant - which employs around 220 staff in New Zealand - has had a presence in Christchurch for many years, with four employees serving the business community from their inner city office, with regular support from the company’s Auckland headquarters.
However, after the office was seriously damaged by the quake, Microsoft’s Christchurch staff began working remotely.
Now, following a recent successful partnership with business accelerator Lightning Lab, the company has taken up residence in the city again with two workstations in the GreenHouse space at 146A Lichfield Street in Christchurch’s CBD, and some eye-catching, innovative visual elements that add warmth and flair to the space.
“For the first time, since the 2011 earthquakes, Microsoft has a space back in the city,” says Elizabeth Kirby, Partner Business Manager, Microsoft New Zealand.
“The GreenHouse innovation hub within the developing Innovation Precinct is a modern, welcoming, open plan space, where our Microsoft Cantabrians, and all visiting Microsoft staff can base themselves when in the city.
“This precinct brings together talented people and businesses at a central Christchurch location. It is a new physical and cerebral space for Christchurch digital and ICT start-ups - a collaborative hub focused on supporting and commercialising small business.
“We are proud to have our business home here again, where we can add to the vibrant life that is continually returning to the Christchurch CBD and support the growing number of early stage digital and tech startups here.”
Through GreenHouse - a partnership between Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment - the team at Microsoft will continue working with innovative Christchurch companies through partnerships with Lightning Lab, the BizSpark programme, and the Microsoft Partner Network.
“With Microsoft coming on board alongside new developments by Vodafone, Wynyard Group and Kathmandu, GreenHouse is quickly becoming a vibrant hub for tech activity in the city,” says Ria Chapman, Manager, GreenHouse.
“Since opening last year, we’ve hosted events for local entrepreneurs, angel investors and some of Christchurch’s newest and most driven digital and tech startups.”