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UPDATED: ATEED in talks with BizDojo Auckland liquidators to discuss recoveries
Fri, 2nd Feb 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Co-working space BizDojo Auckland has gone into liquidation and ATEED has taken over operations of the GridAKL Innovation Precinct.

Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) chief executive Nick Hill says, “While BizDojo Auckland Ltd has only recently been placed under the control of the liquidators, ATEED being a creditor is looking to meet with the liquidators to discuss the potential for recoveries through the liquidation process.

“As a result, ATEED has taken possession of the Lysaght building and is committed to providing the 62 businesses who operate out of GridAKL Lysaght with the continuity, service and support required to ensure ‘business as usual.

The liquidation commenced last month on January 19, when creditors appointed liquidators.

It's understood that the company operates a complex structure with only its Auckland CBD location which was in Auckland Council's GridAKL precinct falling into liquidation.

GridAKL, Auckland CBD's innovation precinct, has been removed as one BizDojo's locations on their website.

ATEED last year announced that it was adding two new buildings to its innovation precinct and chose co-working provider Generator to operate it.

The liquidator's first report states that BizDojo Auckland Ltd has not been able to provide a balance sheet and does not own any assets.

It states further that the company has liabilities of approximately $372,927 that primarily relate to the lease obligations on the Auckland CBD premises, and has no resources from which to meet the ongoing lease obligation.

February 9 has been fixed as the date on or before which creditors of the company need to make their claims to establish priority of their claims.

Co-founders Nick Shewring and Jonah Merchant started BizDojo in 2009, and have since expanded the network of co-working spaces to offices in Wellington, Christchurch, and three spaces in Auckland.

BizDojo spokesperson Paul Brislen says the company cannot comment at this time but will be releasing an announcement soon.

On the BizDojo website, it mentioned three other locations – Ponsonby, Sylvia Park, and Queenstown – which were opening in 2018.

Cash flow difficulties

At the pre-launch of its Ponsonby space in October last year, Shewring mentioned that the space had been slated for an April launch which had been delayed to December due to cash flow problems.

He apologised to the incoming residents of the Ponsonby space, thanking them for their patience.

He said the first cohort of 120 residents would be accepted in December 2017, with more cohorts to be accepted monthly.

Ecosystem involvement

Co-founders Shewring and Merchant are prominent figures in the New Zealand startup ecosystem.

Shewring especially is a strong advocate for founder mental health and wellbeing.

BizDojo launched Founders Central with Wellington City Council last year, a programme of learning and business development initiatives for founders of high-growth businesses.

“Through extensive surveys, workshops and conversations with our Collider and BizDojo communities, we recognised a gap in ongoing support for founders of businesses in Wellington,” Shewring said at the time.

Shewring also launched ColoLife, a website listing co-working spaces in New Zealand last year.