A Feilding coder's creation is now one step closer to taking on the world, after winning the Innovate entrepreneurial challenge.
Paul Simpson's stock-management software company StockTrim, which is projected to make just under $20 million a year by 2019, has made him the champion of Innovate 2017 – an entrepreneurs' contest run in Manawatū.
Simpson said it was awesome to win, but every single finalist deserved the honour as much as he did
"They've all got great businesses and are very talented people. It's been a pleasure to meet them all."
Simpson thanked the Innovate team's support and said all six finalists were well on their way to getting their businesses off the ground.
The judges commented that Simpson had shown an amazing willingness to learn and dedication to launching StockTrim.
He'd come a long way in the 10 weeks since his initial pitch. He'd built an impressive team around him and learned to "sell the sizzle".
Simpson, a Massey and Stanford university-educated coder, had spent the past four years perfecting his "machine-learning algorithm" that learns to predict and plan for everything that affects a firm's stock-levels so they won't get caught short, or accidently buy too much product.
It's entirely new, right on the cutting edge of software development. There's nothing like it on the market in New Zealand and it has less than a handful of rivals overseas.
Simpson said other programs do similar tasks, but his is easier to use, better at it and cheaper.
He was so certain of it he quit his six-figure job to work on StockTrim full-time this year.
And he's got good reason to be confident. His market research, completed with the aid of Innovate's expert mentors, estimated StockTrim will have $18 million in annual revenue and 10,000 users, within two years.
The $5000 he received as part of the championship prize package will help him pay his advertising expenses until the money starts coming in from StockTrim's clients, he said.
"And, it'll mean I can eat something other than two-minute noodles for a change."
The other big winner of the night was Scrub Collab founder Stephanie Buckeridge, who was working to scale-up her home-based business making and selling all-natural body scrubs and scented bath bombs.
Buckeridge's dedication and verve impressed the judges so much they gave her a two-year business development scholarship with CQ Collective Intelligence – and then created an entirely new prize to award her $1000 for her business.
Buckeridge said Innovate has been 10 weeks of tears, fun, stress and sleepless nights. She got through it thanks to the amazing support of her friends and family, and fellow Dannevirke Innovate finalist Rachael Farrell.