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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 conference.
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 organisers.
The competition was looking for the start-up with the best chance of creating a ''real'' business and making money, Mr Baker said.
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 from Wellington.
''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 established
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.