NZ champ heads to UK

MARIA SLADE
Last updated 17:00 18/12/2013
Tim Brown
ToBe founder and former All White Tim Brown.

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A former All White has been chosen to take part in a British entrepreneurial programme.

New Zealander Tim Brown and his company ToBe aim to launch the world’s first seamless, sock-free running shoe.

ToBe will join UK Trade and Investment’s Sirius Programme, which enables graduates with innovative startup ideas to make Britain their home.

The young firm competed with 160 aspiring entrepreneurs from around the world to be one of seven startups chosen.

As part of the win Brown and his team receive a 12-month place on a UK accelerator programme, mentoring, £12,000 in financial support each, and help with visas.

Brown has developed Fitwool, a wool fabric he says has the potential to revolutionise the way athletes train. ‘‘Wool has never been used in footwear before,’’ he said.

‘‘Being based in the UK will enable us to start up and develop alongside like-minded entrepreneurs. The UK market’s understanding of wool is also a great advantage.’’

Brown played for the Wellington Phoenix and represented New Zealand from 2004 to 2012.

The Sirius programme aims to attract entrepreneurs to the UK to set up businesses, creating jobs and bringing in foreign investment.

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