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Horrible things happen every day, some worse than others. It is how we cope with these disasters that define us as humans -- how we take care of each other and the community. EPIC is not only a different and interesting accelerator, but its existence is based on an amazing and inspiring story.

From the ashes of disaster-- a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that killed 185 people and leveled an entire town-- the seeds of entrepreneurship sprouted. Read on to find out more.

Accelerator #2: EPIC

In just one sentence, what is your accelerator called and what do you do?

The EPIC building (Enterprise Precinct and Innovation Campus) was established to house New Zealand companies displaced by the Christchurch Earthquake; our vision was to establish a collaborative- and innovation-focused environment for neighboring companies to grow and learn from one another.

What makes your program different or unique? And related, what’s your primary value-add?

EPIC takes place in a city leveled by natural disaster where we lost 70% of the buildings in our central city. As such we were given the unique opportunity of a blank canvas on which to begin anew.

The 20 companies at EPIC began collaborating and working together almost immediately. The environment has been specifically designed to allow for centralized foot traffic through the building surrounded by numerous breakout zones which allow for on-the-fly engagement with others.

EPIC houses events every week which are free to attend, geared towards providing useful information for small to medium enterprises, and often have a focus on how to utilize innovative new practices and processes.

What do you love the most about working with startups?

Everyone has something to teach, and nobody knows it all. In particular we’ve seen the larger startups provide insight to the smaller startups, while the larger startups benefit from the smaller startup’s flexibility to innovate and work outside the box.

What is the hardest or most surprising part of working with startups?

There are so many good ideas, thoughts, even insights floating around that it seems impossible to capture and develop all of them. The best we can do is grab, explore and evolve as many as we can collectively.

Do you have a success story to share? Who are the most notable or interesting companies to go through your program?

EPIC’s anchor tenant, SLI Systems, floated on the New Zealand stock exchange in May 2013, 6 months after moving into EPIC.

Meta Solutions has experienced 400% growth and doubled staff numbers, which they claim to be a direct consequence of moving into EPIC’s collaborative environment.

RedSeed confirmed revenue is 100% ahead of the year before they moved in, and they've had the space to hire the extra staff they needed.

How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your company?

Coming soon...(Ed. note; we are rolling out later this year)

Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – your rivals can be your greatest asset if you can both find the right ways to work grow together from the experience.

Thank you so much to the amazing people behind EPIC!

Topics: ideas, vision, Accelerator of the Week, collaboration, community, earthquake, flexible, innovation, Uncategorized

     
Nathan Beckord

Written by Nathan Beckord

Nathan Beckord is Founder and CEO of Foundersuite.com, a venture-backed startup that makes the leading CRM for raising capital. Previously, Nathan ran VentureArchetypes and served as advisor or interim CFO at dozens of startups, including Kickstarter, Clicker, Autonet, Zerply, and many more. Nathan has an MBA and CFA and is a fanatical sailor.