Dunedin man Ryan Baker pitched the business he co-founded in
front of a live audience and a panel of judges at the recent
Webstock conference in Wellington, he likened it to the
television show Dragon's Den.
Mr Baker represented Timely Ltd, a company that produced a
cloud-based appointment management system for businesses
requiring scheduling of their staff and services, at the BNZ
Start-Up Alley competition, held in conjunction with the
Eight finalists pitched to judges including Xero chief
executive and founder Rod Drury, and the judges provided
''brutally honest'' feedback at times, he said.
Timely was one of two winners - the other was video
collaboration platform WIP - and received $10,000 from the
BNZ and a trip for two to San Francisco from the conference
The competition was looking for the start-up with the best
chance of creating a ''real'' business and making money, Mr
Timely, which was launched in July last year, now has
customers in nine countries. Mr Baker is based in Dunedin,
while Andrew Schofield, Will Berger and Justin Hewitt work
''We're thrilled to win it. It's been a year of hard work by
our team and this is great validation to receive within a
year of starting the business,'' he said.
Mr Baker and Mr Schofield will travel to the US later in the
year to meet international names in the web industry and to
visit the Kiwi Landing Pad, which was established in 2011 to
help selected New Zealand technology companies get
in the United States.
The prize money would be spent on advertising and attending
other conferences. The competition was also an amazing
opportunity to ''get the word out there about Timely'' and
they had received a lot of interest from investors, he said.
''There was a cool mix of start-ups and a bunch of really
passionate founders putting themselves out there to make
their business work. It's not an easy thing to do in front of
a live audience and panel of judges, so we have a lot of
respect for all of the other finalists,'' Mr Baker said.
Timely's business was growing steadily, having processed more
than 100,000 appointments and with its monthly subscriptions
growing about 60% month-on-month, and feedback was good. One
customer tried 80 appointment scheme systems before choosing
Timely. Timely had a lot of customers in the health and
beauty industry, but also supplied systems for the likes of
music tutors, photographers, tradesmen and accountants.
If a head office was established for the company ''in the
next year or two'', it would be in Dunedin, Mr Baker said.