Website could earn big bucks for pupil

A new website built by Bayfield High School pupil Indy Griffiths has been launched nationwide...
A new website built by Bayfield High School pupil Indy Griffiths has been launched nationwide this week, and is expected to go global within two years. Photo by Linda Robertson.
An 18-year-old Bayfield High School pupil is on his way to becoming an internet tycoon after launching a website which could earn him more than $250,000 a year before he even finishes university.

Indy Griffiths is the mastermind behind a website which allows schools to easily manage parent-teacher interviews online.

Parents book online, and everything is handled by the website, leaving teachers to focus on teaching rather than the time-consuming job of sorting out their interview schedule.

The website was launched nationwide this week, and Indy has plans to eventually make it available to schools around the globe.

Despite the website's rapid growth, Indy said it started out humbly last year as a school project.

He had noticed Bayfield High School was using a website to arrange parent-teacher interviews, which cost the school about $300 a year for a subscription.

''I thought I could do it better.''

At the same time, he was looking for a project to submit to get an NCEA New Zealand Scholarship in technology.

He set about creating a program to allow teachers and parents to go online to book time with each other.

Bayfield High School staff were impressed and have been using it for the past 12 months to arrange parent-teacher interviews.

The website was an instant hit with parents, and earned him a Scholarship in Technology - a rarity for a year 12 pupil.

One year later, he has teamed with fellow pupils Evan Amezcua and Matthew Baird (both 17) who helped with the design and development of the website to the point where it can now be launched at schools throughout New Zealand.

''Everything is automated. The night before the interview, parents receive an email reminding them of the time and place they are to meet the teacher, and they can cancel or change the times as well.

''Teachers and parents love it.''

Indy said schools paid a yearly subscription to access the site, and he hoped to have about 45 subscriptions by the end of the year.

He believes it is feasible to attract 1500 schools within the next two years, which could earn more than $250,000 in subscriptions per year.

When asked if he thought he was destined to become an internet tycoon, he said: ''Who knows?''He also hopes to register the website as a company within two months, and take the company global within two years.

''We've already had interest from schools in the United Kingdom.

''But we don't want to rush this because we don't want to disappoint schools.''

Indy plans to study computer science at the University of Otago, and hopes the proceeds from the website will help pay his university fees.

- john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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