Confidence soars with business win

17:00, Sep 06 2013
Ryan Southam
HIGH FLIER: Gore pilot and Critical Angle director Ryan Southam is the regional winner of the ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition.

A Gore-based avionics company designing an aviation helmet has been given a kickstart to even greater heights after being named the regional winner of a national business competition.

Critical Angle Ltd, an aviation products designer and supplier, has been named the Southland winner of's 2013 ANZ Flying Start Business Plan Competition.

Director Ryan Southam said winning the regional prize was just the confidence-booster he needed to move forward.

Mr Southam, who is also chief pilot at Croydon Aircraft Company in Mandeville, was about 90 per cent through the process of designing an aviation helmet which would be a "world first".

There was a big gap in the market for helmets for general aviation use because most were ex-military designs, he said.

"I felt there was a need for something new to be used in general aviation."


It was great to have his idea verified as a viable one by winning the competition, Mr Southam said.

He hoped to have the helmet available in the next 12 months. manager Katie Wellington said having a well thought out business plan was crucial for business success.

"A business plan is like a blueprint for the future - it helps businesses stay on track and realise their goals," she said.

"With over 600 individual entries from businesses of all shapes and sizes, it was amazing to see so many quality business plans that will set our firms up to compete nationally and on the world stage."

The Southland Times