Kiwi startup heads to HK

MARTIN MOORE
Last updated 15:30 26/11/2013
Rachel Lacy standard
D'Arcy Polychrome founder and chief executive Rachel Lacy.

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A young Auckland paint technology company is one of 12 businesses from around the world selected to compete in a Hong Kong startup competition.

D’Arcy Polychrome will go to Hong Kong next month as a finalist in the 2013 Startmeup HK Venture Programme.

It and 11 other companies were selected out of 384 entries from 39 countries.

The finalists will take part in the competition from 2 to 7 December, with the three winners receiving a package of services and support to help them launch their operations into Asia and internationally.

The competition will help the company access investors, potential partners, advisers and customers offshore, D’Arcy Polychrome founder and chief executive Rachel Lacy says.

Asia is the biggest growing paint market in the world, and being able to have a base in Hong Kong would be a great opportunity, she said.

“Our market is the growing middle classes worldwide. More people simply means more demand for more building materials, including paint.”

D’Arcy Polychrome’s speciality is making dry colour pigments. Its product Drikolor is easy to formulate and mix into standard water-based paints, the company says.

It was set up in 2011 and has gone from lab-based proof of concept to a working production facility in that time. It is backed by the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, Pacific Channel and its own network of angel investors.

The company is a “great example of the technology-based manufacturing opportunities emerging in New Zealand”, Lacy said.

“We are a company which combines a strong intellectual property position with high value manufacturing. We are literally taking an idea to commercial reality to solve real world problems, globally.”

The finalists were assessed by the StartmeupHK panel as having a viable, sustainable and scalable business idea.

Criteria included solving a real problem and having potential economic benefit in terms of knowledge, skills, job creation, and social and environmental value.

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