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The idea that won Eisenhower prize came out of EPIC: Wil McLellan

Sathya Mithra Ashok | July 21, 2014
Wil McLellan, director of EPIC Innovation Centre in Christchurch, was recently selected from a pool of international applicants to be an Eisenhower Fellow, and will travel to the US in September to participate in the 2014 Eisenhower Innovation Program.

McLellan also believes it is a great time to be an entrepreneur in New Zealand.

"I think it is a wonderful time to be an entrepreneur in NZ because the government through Callaghan and NZTE have been really proactive getting behind growing businesses and growing sectors particularly, and that includes the tech sector," he says.

McLellan says that even though there are some basic challenges facing start-ups in the country — including the tyranny of distance, access to capital and a population base that limits the amount of available experience in certain areas — many of these are changing for the better, and there are other pros to offset them as well.

"We have some incredible strengths. Proximity wise we are well located next to Asia. We are incredibly adaptive as a nation. Island mentality can be challenging in some respects but we do have a can-do attitude, the country is a great place to do business and I think Kiwis are really starting to embrace true collaboration and it is actually a very pleasant place to do business," he says.

Meanwhile, on the home front, McLellan continues to work on EPIC's initiatives. "We are in ongoing discussions with the Council and the government with regards to EPIC's development in Christchurch," he says.


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