Blog: C&J 154 Short Film Festival and ChCh Tech Strategy

What a pleasant surprise to have our awesome volunteer and ambassador, Nic Hetherington join us today at Coffee and Jam! At this session, Brindi Joy, winner of CHCH Soup in Spring, pitched Canterbury Shorts: A film festival showcasing the best and most upbeat Canterbury short films. All donations from the event go towards the next CHCH Soup, helping kick-start another awesome idea in Christchurch. Helen Shorthouse (CDC) spoke about Growing a Vibrant Tech Sector in Christchurch.

Brindi, a writer who moved to Christchurch after the New Orleans Hurricane Katrina - knows the importance of storytelling. Today she spoke about the Canterbury Shorts film festival happening April 2nd 2016, 7pm at The Commons (70 Kilmore St). The films being shown have a theme of positive storytelling and have been submitted by emerging and established filmmakers. 

Register your interest on their Facebook page ‘Canterbury Shorts: A Film Festival' or show up on the night!

Helen spoke today about the Tech sector in New Zealand - which is our third biggest export earner after dairy and tourism - and the Canterbury Development Corporation’s (CDC) strategy to grow Christchurch’s tech sector. The strategy focuses on 5 themes:

  1. Known: We must be known – let’s raise the profile of Christchurch’s tech sector locally, nationally and internationally.
  2. Connect & Support: We need to connect and support each other – the different parts of Christchurch’s tech sector must work better together.
  3. Go Global: We need to go global – Christchurch tech businesses and entrepreneurs will have the inspiration, knowledge and capability to grow globally.
  4. Talented: We need talent – Christchurch’s tech sector must focus on attracting and developing great local and offshore talent.
  5. Centre of Excellence: We must develop centres of excellence – in areas of commercial, research and academic capability that will set Christchurch’s tech sector apart.

To help grow the tech sector ourselves she suggested encouraging our kids to look at tech as a career option, if you’re in the tech sector yourself then speak to people about the cool projects you’re working on, and if you’re not a part of the tech sector yourself then talk to people about cool tech stories you’ve heard about yourself...such as the awesome speaker we had right here at Coffee and Jam today!  

For more information about CDC’s Tech Sector Strategy go to:

The TEDxYouth@AvonRiver team will be coming to Coffee and Jam next week to share their learnings, so come along and invite any young people you know who may be interested! 


Shout Outs


- Femke van Bon who interns at the Mental Health Foundation is looking for people who have played The Wellbeing Game to fill out a short survey on how they’ve found the game (usability etc.). She is also looking for anyone with a knowledge in web development to lend a hand. You can contact her at:

- The Water Bearers are raiding funds to bring water to those who do not currently have access to it. Their Goal is for 100 Women to lead a 30-day fundraising campaign. Each Team Leader has a Goal of 100 Water Systems donated by World Water Day – March 22, 2016. To find out more info or to donate go to

- Start-Up Activator workshopThe  Launch Club will be happening on Thursday 14th April from 5pm - 7pm at Greenhouse. This workshop is great if for idea validation if you have a bunch of great business ideas you want to look into. Click here for more information. 

- Startup Weekend Christchurch is coming up on April 29 – May 1. Start Up weekend is a 54-hour events where designers, developers, marketers, product managers and start-up enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch start-ups! Tickets are selling fast so get in quick! For more info go to They are also looking for volunteers for the weekend so if you’re interested then talk to Geoff Brash or one of the team at Ministry of Awesome.  

- Awesome people in Kaikohe Auckland have started up an Architectural Design Studio: ĀKAU. They’ve been so grateful to be working with the youth of Kaikohe and would love to set up a scholarship for the likes of Te Teira (who features in the film) to pursue their dreams once they have graduated from ĀKAU. We have set up a 'give a little' account to get the ball rolling on this and if you would like to contribute we’d be so grateful. The money raised will go to help Te Teira out with his material costs in his first year of Unitec. Every little bit helps! You can find more info here: