PROJECTR® Central is the name of the latest PROJECTR® XR Centre to open in Wellington’s downtown CBD.
Projectr New Zealand Ltd Managing Director, Michael Gregg says the facility will bring together some of Wellington’s most innovative AVR businesses and emerging innovators who are creating immersive content and new immersive computing experiences.
This follows the announcement of new centres in Auckland and Taipei –PROJECTR® Auckland, in that city’s Innovation Precinct, which opens in November 2018, and PROJECTR® Taipei in the historic Datong district of Taiwan’s capital city.
Michael conceived Wellington’s first PROJECTR® site in early 2016.
The PROJECTR® Central XR Centre can accommodate up to 20 specialist AR/VR, AI and IoT tech-specific residents, student interns and staff in its first phase, with additional capacity coming on stream in 2019 for a further 12 residents. It is anticipated that over 45 startup companies will pass through its doors during its first three years.
“Our residents want high quality premises to showcase the best of New Zealand’s XR experiences to their international clients and potential investors,” Michael explains. “The facility we’ve secured is 100% of Building Code which has been an important factor in deciding permanent premises for our initial residents, given the omni-present threat of damaging earthquakes.”
PROJECTR® Central will house a VR room to showcase work in progress and shared technology for residents, such as the Insta360 Pro 2 six lens professional 360 degree camera with FlowState stabilisation. The centre is installing the latest Virtual and Mixed Reality headsets and partnering with industry leaders on rendering and immersive technologies.
PROJECTR® has partnered with the XR1 Fund, which is currently closing its first capital raise. This boutique and collegial pre-seed fund for early growth companies will offer investment in the form of convertible notes to companies looking to expand offshore and have protectable intellectual property.
The first offshore location, PROJECTR® Taipei, is currently being constructed and some of New Zealand’s most innovative disruptive tech companies will locate offices there during late 2018 and 2019.
Mr Gregg is excited about the prospects that this co-location model offers to the New Zealand AR/VR community.
“I’ve been honoured to work with many startup XR companies over the past two-plus years and seen firsthand that the challenge of scaling to a sustainable business is significant,” says Michael.
“I believe this premium location will help to attract international talent to Wellington and the PROJECTR® model allows our top New Zealand companies to springboard offshore, yet maintain a local base,” he says.
Founder, Michael Gregg was the first Chair of the New Zealand VR/AR Association, which he helped form in 2016. He stepped down from that role after two terms to focus on opening PROJECTR® XR Centres offshore. New sites have been earmarked in Australia, Singapore and USA, to add to the existing Wellington, Auckland and Taipei locations operated by Projectr New Zealand Ltd and Projectr International Ltd.
“Having a network of PROJECTR® venues with reciprocal rights gives New Zealanders a ‘tech embassy’ and a soft-landing pad in key international locations. Residents can access the hardware they need in other countries and can leverage our networks to facilitate commercialisation of locally developed hardware and to secure offshore contracts for XR content creation,” says Michael.
Projectr New Zealand Ltd operates the PROJECTR® Central XR Centre as well as the PROJECTR® Auckland XR Centre. Its parent company, Projectr International Ltd owns and operates the PROJECTR® Taipei facility.