Website graduates to take on world

Parent Interviews chief executive officer Indy Griffiths is preparing to expand his company globally by selling shares in the web-based business. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Parent Interviews chief executive officer Indy Griffiths is preparing to expand his company globally by selling shares in the web-based business. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
What started out as a school project for a former Bayfield High School pupil is now selling shares and about to go global.

Indy Griffiths (19) is the mastermind behind Parent Interviews, a website which allows schools to easily manage parent-teacher interviews.

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.

Since the website was launched in May 2013, the company has grown to manage parent-teacher interviews for more than 23,000 pupils at more than 50 schools across New Zealand.

Now Parent Interviews is hoping to expand globally by using PledgeMe to sell shares in the company.

Selling shares through the PledgeMe internet site would be easier for buyers than going through the stock market, Mr Griffiths said.

The company aimed to raise $50,000-$150,000 by selling 4.8%-13% of the company, he said.

''We're fans of the idea that the people who use and interact with Parent Interviews can be a part of our company as we start our global expansion.

''We're at a stage where we've built a product already used and loved by hundreds of thousands of parents and teachers across New Zealand, and now we want to grow.''

His goal was to build an effective team to help lead the company into new markets, and develop the website further for parents and teachers, Mr Griffiths said.

''The number of schools and institutions in markets such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States is massive compared to New Zealand, and the design of Parent Interviews offers a one-size-fits-all solution for event management for schools and institutions in other markets.''

It was hoped the company could be managing parent-teacher interviews for more than 300 schools by the end of this year, he said.

Mr Griffiths is a second-year computer science student at the University of Otago and hopes the increased workload of being chief executive officer of the company does not interfere with his studies.

The website started out humbly in 2012 as a year 12 technology project at Bayfield High School.

He noticed the school was using a website to arrange parent/teacher interviews and that it cost the school about $300 a year for a subscription.

He believed he could do it better, so he set about creating a programme to allow teachers and parents to go online to book time with each other.

''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.''

Bayfield High School staff were so impressed they began using it, and continue to use it, to arrange parent-teacher interviews.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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