EVENT RECAP: Coffee and Jam #244

Here's what you missed from the 244th Coffee and Jam session. 



ABI Piers / Chris Colenzo

Chris Colenzo and his team at ABI Piers have developed the world’s first base isolation system for houses.The ABI Pier system is designed to minimise damage to lightweight buildings, their occupants and contents from lateral earth moments during earthquake events. Chris spent the last two years in the trial and error phase of the design before even testing the system.

These are some of the key learnings shared by Chris;

  1. Seek out business advice in the early stages. His team seeked technical advice but not business advice.

  2. Identify your target customers and build a marketing strategy before market entry.

Kaila Colbin

Kaila is a Co-Founder of Ministry of Awesome, New Zealand Ambassador of  Singularity University and board member of Christchurch NZ. She spoke about her recent trip to Antarctica and about our city’s special relationship with the icy continent. From landing on Ross ice shelf, a floating glacier the size of France to visiting Shackleton's hut she had awesome experience.   

Antarctic scientific missions have a big impact on New Zealand economy as it leads to $ 178 million direct spending and leads to creation of 3,500 jobs in our city alone. Christchurch is one of the five gateway cities to Antarctica in the world and New Zealand has had a continued presence there for the past 61 years. One of the key objectives of her trip was to raise awareness of this special relationship globally and locally.


  1. Andrew Moss from Flipout will be organising a Mental health and Anti bullying week, he i looking for volunteers. If anyone is interested please contact Andrew at andrew.moss@flipout.co.nz

  2. If you have Startup looking for funding reach out to Rob Lawrence from Callaghan Innovation at rob@cecc.org.nz

  3. Angus Whitehead is a Bachelor of ICT graduate from ARA Institute who majors in software development. If you are looking for a software developer ring him at 0226092740 or mail him at anguswhitehead@me.com


Speaker One Bio: Chris Colenso will be pitching ABI Piers. Chris moved to Christchurch in 2017 to manage the startup company ABI Piers.  In the wake of the Christchurch earthquakes, ABI Piers developed a foundation system that protects New Zealand homes from the damaging effects of earthquakes. Chris is passionate about future-proofing New Zealand homes and works with the Superhome Movement, QuakeStar and BRANZ to promote better and more sustainable building techniques.



Speaker Two Bio : Kaila Colbin, NZ ambassador for Singularity University, Licensee & curator for TedXChCh, co-founder, and chair of MoA will be sharing her experience from her recent expedition in Antarctica and the some of the environmental challenges they are facing there.


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Coffee & Jam is Christchurch's longest running weekly meet up for entrepreneurial-minded people. It’s a great place to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things, be inspired, network, and share in an innovative space. Coffee and Jam is your opportunity to meet new people in the Christchurch entrepreneurial ecosystem and indulge in a little bit of free coffee, jam and bread.

If you have an idea you'd like to pitch get in touch with Gina at gina@ministryofawesome.com