UPT Digital is a web, app, and games development class, based at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery School, in Christchurch NZ.  We have been innovating in this space for 6 years.  Our experience, through practice, has led to the development of the Kohknowco Innovation Framework.

Please visit the Kohknowco website to find out more:  www.kohknowco.org

UPT Digital students in 2016 are working on a new website for the class.



UPT Digital is a games | web | apps development class at Ao Tawhiti Unlimited Discovery high school (formerly Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti), in Christchurch, NZ.  It is the flagship pod of  IT HOTHOUSE, an education consultancy.  This is a ground up innovation, co-created by students and Project Developer, Renea Mackie. UPT DIgital collaborates directly with industry mentors worldwide. Mentors have been donating their time since the end of 2009, to help students build a model FOR students that nurtures tech entrepreneurs.

IT HOTHOUSE Pods use Microsoft Visual Studio,  Microsoft Expression Studio, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, GIMP, Inkscape, Blender, Autodesk Maya, Unity 3D Game Engine, Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Apache, Linux, MySQL, WAMP, LAMP, MAMP, Mono For Android, Mono Touch, Atlassian JIRA with Greenhopper and Confluence, and anything else the students choose to use - they decide.

UPT Digital has development teams, freelancers, and an enterprise team working on Outreach Projects, particularly in the area of NFP Youth Organizations.

Students are not taught in a traditional sense.  They are provided with the scaffolding necessary to support their own learning, and industry mentors are an integral part of our structure.  We use industry methodologies such as Agile and Design Thinking.

Our aim is to provide students with experience and knowledge to make informed choices about their tertiary study path, and to prepare them for a real world work environment.

QUICK LINK: CLICK HERE to learn about the IT HOTHOUSE model and how we do things.

UPT Digital Presentations:

UPT Digital @ Microsoft Tech Ed 2011 in Auckland! > Click Here

UPT Digital @ Tech Hui 2011 in Wellington! > Click Here

UPT Digital @ NZiDev 2010 > Click Here

BIG THANKS to Nat Friedman, CEO of Xamarin, for donating Mono Touch and Mono For Android licenses to UPT Digital!  Also thanks to Rony Kubat for the intro.  Kiwi Foo rocks!!

A special thanks to the Canterbury Software Cluster for being such interesting and gracious hosts.

OUR CUTTING EDGE MENTORS: Mark Finch, from the Graphics Group at Microsoft Research, is working on a very cool new Freeform Vector Graphics program.  You can check out the video from their SIGGRAPH Asia '11 Presentation here and download the program to try it out here.  You will need lots of RAM and a decent graphics card!

Mark made this profile pic for Renea, using the Freeform Vector Graphics program:



UPT Digital and the Earthquakes: See the photos and check out our stories > here.

LATEST NEWS : UPT Digital has relocated to the Wairarapa Campus at the University of Canterbury's Dovedale site.




Alejandro Haiek Coll - Artist
Derrick Cherrie - Elam
Jim Speers - Elam
Chris Henderson - Cognition
Gray Rathgen - Design Manager at Jade
Christian Sax - UX Designer at Jade
Andrew Plimmer - Motim Technologies
Deirdre Kohler and Anastasia Kohler - WTFL
Phil Smith - CDC
Phillip Ridge - CDC
Peter Dwan - Chambers PR
Jamie Cairns - CRIS Ltd


Mark Nichols - Trimble
John Hanna - CEO at N4L
MJ Kaplan - Kaplan Consulting
Ronli Greyling - ARAP
Seven Sharp TVNZ
Matt Richardson - Director at Effectus
Sir Jerry Mataparae - Governor General
Lianne Dalziel - Mayor
Sacha McMeeking - Catalytic
Bob Parker - Mayor
Tim Hatherley-Green - Star54
Andrew Plimmer - Motim Technologies
David Downs - NZTE
Tom Hooper - CDC
David Shearer - CDC
Ed Wegner - Tait
Tom Furness - HITLab (USA + NZ)
Myles Sutherland - ESRI (USA)
Simon Grigg - Audioculture (Via Skype)
John Schilt - IBM
Kerry Frith - IBM
Mark Cathro - Lane Neave
Anna Ryan - Lane Neave
Mark Lodder - BDO
Angela Searle - Baldwins IP
Mike Field - CYDP
Steve Davis - IITP
Carol Moffatt - GCSN
James Kyd - CMO at Tait
Trevor Laughton - CTO at Tait
Paul Fairbairn - iMagic
Kathy Olsen - Squiz
Sam Rye - Enspiral
Tom Mitchell - Enspiral
Chris Clay - The Mind Lab
Jamie Gough - CCC
Ngaire Button - CCC
Louise Edwards - Canterbury Community Trust
Les Black - Bright Sparks
Trevor McIntyre - Ministry of Education
Dorenda Britten - designindustry
Hon. Amy Adams - Minister
Jamie Cairns - CRIS Ltd


John Ascroft - CIO at Jade
Colleen Bardsley - HR at Jade
Michael Trengrove - ex-Orion Health, Assurity
Ian McRae - CEO at Orion Health
Cary Bishop - Telogis
Rony Kubat - MIT (USA)
Myles Sutherland - ESRI (USA)
Seeby Woodhouse - Voyager
Helen Shorthouse - CDC
Tim Trewinnard - ex-CDC, Dynamic Controls
Dave Lane - Catalyst IT
Paul Sweetenham - Sapien
Larry Podmore - Pono Innovations
Peter Young - ex-Youth Hub Barbadoes, Careers NZ
Martin Luff - Digimojo
Alex Mercer - Mercer Consultants
Rod Drury - Xero (via Skype)
Paul Millar and James Smithies - Digital Humanities at UC
Michael Denton - Design Sense
John Holt - Kiwi Landing Pad (via Skype)
Brett Roberts - Cucumber
Daniel Birch and Board from Hobsonville Point School
Hanno Sander - HannoWare


Mark Billinghurst - HITLab NZ
Adrian Clark - HITLab NZ
Hazel Bradshaw - HITLab NZ
Mateus Velloso - Microsoft
Leonard Dench - CEO at NEC
Glen Cameron - NEC
Manfred Friedrich - AdScale Labs
Clare McLennan - Clarus
Peter Jones - Xero


Mateus Velloso - Microsoft
Mark Finch - Microsoft Research (via Skype)
Peter Jones - Xero
Manfred Friedrich - Co-founder, AdScale Labs
Clare McLennan - Clarus, ex-Dice
Brendon Thornton - ex-Rock Star Studios
Indy Liu - Thinking Cactus
Keegan Gibson - Cerebral Fix
Eric Woods - Mindspace Solutions
Brett Roberts - Cucumber (via Skype)