Well, let’s see how Auckland’s new Innovation Precinct, Wynyard Precinct (it appears to have at least a couple of names) get’s up and going.
It has been one of those long time in coming projects – and now we’ll see if the deliberate talk of setting up an innovation hub to attempt to be a baby Silicon Valley can be pulled off.
Making it a digital and ICT concentration of goodness may work, but then it may not.
I don’t know enough of the psychology, come physical location, come proximinity to university relationships to guage this one yet.
That, and whether the office/laboratory rent will be in the right comfort zone for budding entrepreneurs, who, even though they’d like to be situated around other smart people, may prefer the rock-bottom payments due when operating out of garage.
With (well at least according to this NZ Herald story) hotbeds of innovation already taking place in Albany, Takapuna, Henderson, Parnell, East Tamaki and further south around Auckland Airport, how and where Wynyard fits in will be interesting over the next few years.
Wynyard’s got some solid operators, with a track record in start-ups through having The Icehouse and Auckland’s BizDojo as people to meet, greet and settle potential new firms. There’s nothing like a bit of experience and competence to help fledgling founders.
How Ateed (the Auckland development agency) and Callaghan Innovation bring the FoodBowl into the mix will be another challenge.
The Manukau-based Food Innovation Centre has had considerable investment put into it by central government.
While these ventures always take a long time (if ever) to pay themselves back, the FoodBowl’s been very much in that territory apparently.
But, that’s not to belittle Wynyard. Onwards, and hopefully upwards.
Mind you, given that it will take at least a couple of years for anything meaningful to happen, by then we’ll have forgotten what the original purpose of Wynyard was anyway.