US opportunity for Chch entrepreneurs
Christchurch entrepreneur Scott Barrington has been given a US$10,000 chance to learn how best to "get big fast" from experts at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Chief executive of Christchurch-based start-up BIMStop, Barrington is one of 10 New Zealand entrepreneurs selected by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to attend the MIT Entrepreneurship Development Programme in Boston in January.
The Ministry will sponsor the US$9500 (NZ$11,244) course fee.
Barrington started his company, BIMStop - named after the Building Information Modelling software architects use - as a one-man operation in 2008. He now employs seven fulltime staff as well as part-timers.
Barrington's company works with manufacturers to create three-dimensional models of manufacturers' products so architects can search BIMStop's website to find products that will fit into their 3D building designs, and can select dimensions, colour, size and shape. Architects have free access to the site while manufacturers pay BIMStop an annual fee to have their products modelled and added to BIMStop's online "catalogue".
The BIMStop chief executive is one of a group of 10 Kiwi entrepreneurs selected to attend the programme. It introduces New Zealand entrepreneurs to MIT's culture of high-tech entrepreneurship to help them learn how to develop ideas into successful businesses. The programme includes lectures by senior MIT faculty, visits to high-tech start-ups, and case studies with successful entrepreneurs. The participants will work on team projects, develop business plans, and network with members of MIT's entrepreneurial community.
Barrington said he hoped to learn more about scaling his company globally and how other companies in the US market were doing that.
"With their 'get big fast' mentality they tend to ramp companies up quite quickly so I was keen to learn more about that."
The firm has an office in Melbourne and another in the United States and is focused on growing that market.
BIMStop had signed up "a couple of big clients" in the last few weeks.
Biotech company Canterbury Scientific chief executive Neil Pattinson has also been selected to attend the course.