Wellington firm Alphero counts banks, Fonterra, TAB among its clients

Alphero co-founder Caroline Dewe says she won't grow the business too much bigger as
MONIQUE FORD/STUFF

Alphero co-founder Caroline Dewe says she won't grow the business too much bigger as

It all began six years ago when Caroline Dewe starting scribbling on a napkin in the middle of a coffee shop.

And it was in that moment that her and her business partner Kostia Shinderman knew they were on to something good.

They had identified a gap in the technology market, and planned to give it all they could.

So with their creative minds combined, the pair came up with an idea for a company which helps corporates design, develop, and implement their digital future. And so Alphero was born.

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Alphero was founded in 2011. It started with just Dewe and Shinderman, but has since grown to a team of 62.

The company has helped develop apps and websites for the likes of the TAB, Studylink, Fonterra, media outlets, banks, and electricity companies.

"Our space is very much to work with those organisations, and help them figure out how the world might look for them in the future," Dewe said.

"We help them visualise it, then come up with a road map, and a plan, and actually start delivering towards that vision and getting results."

Dewe and Shinderman started the company because they saw an opportunity in the market, she said.

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"One of the things that we felt was a real gap in the market was the fact that there are companies that go, 'Here's a strategy, you need to roll out a new digital programme and move your customers to digital', but they don't say what that looks like, or what you need to do, or how.

"I looked at it and thought there's got to be a better way.

"So when I was talking about it with Kostia we drew a picture on a napkin – and that's still what we do now."

One of the biggest challenges for the company had been finding the right people and showing them "how we do things", Dewe said.

"We put a lot work into and a lot of effort into finding the right people, who are going to not just have that creative thinking, but also follow-through."

The firm would turn down work if they did not think the project was going to be successful, she said.

"At the end of the day, it's about more than the money, it's about feeling like you've made a difference."

The future for Alphero was bright, though not too much bigger, Dewe said.

"We know we can get a bit bigger, but it won't be too much bigger, because there reaches a certain point where you can't do the innovation work anymore, because you are actually too big.

"But we want to keep evolving and keep moving up the value chain."

The company had about 30 active clients who they partnered with long-term, she said.

One of the clients and programmes Dewe was most proud of was work they did for the Co-operative Bank.

Alphero designed and developed the bank's mobile banking, online banking and public website.

Alphero was the winner of the Team Gold category at the Wellington Gold Awards on July 7.

 - Stuff

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