Cod­ing his way up

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - PAUL MITCHELL

A Feild­ing coder’s cre­ation is now one step closer to tak­ing on the world, af­ter win­ning the In­no­vate en­tre­pre­neur­ial chal­lenge.

Paul Simp­son’s stock­man­age­ment soft­ware com­pany Stock­Trim, which is pro­jected to make just un­der $20 mil­lion a year by 2019, has made him the cham­pion of In­no­vate 2017 – an en­trepreneurs’ con­test run in Manawatu¯ .

Simp­son said it was awe­some to win, but ev­ery sin­gle fi­nal­ist de­served the hon­our as much as he did

‘‘They’ve all got great busi­nesses and are very tal­ented peo­ple. It’s been a plea­sure to meet them all.’’

Simp­son thanked the In­no­vate team’s sup­port and said all six fi­nal­ists were well on their way to get­ting their busi­nesses off the ground.

The judges com­mented that Simp­son had shown an amaz­ing will­ing­ness to learn and ded­i­ca­tion to launch­ing Stock­Trim.

He’d come a long way in the 10 weeks since his ini­tial pitch. He’d built an im­pres­sive team around him and learned to ‘‘sell the siz­zle’’.

Simp­son, a Massey and Stan­ford uni­ver­sity-ed­u­cated coder, had spent the past four years per­fect­ing his ‘‘ma­chine-learn­ing al­go­rithm’’ that learns to pre­dict and plan for ev­ery­thing that af­fects a firm’s stock-lev­els so they won’t get caught short, or ac­ci­dently buy too much prod­uct.

It’s en­tirely new, right on the cut­ting edge of soft­ware de­vel­op­ment. There’s noth­ing like it on the mar­ket in New Zealand and it has less than a hand­ful of ri­vals over­seas.

Simp­son said other pro­grams do sim­i­lar tasks, but his is eas­ier to use, bet­ter at it and cheaper.

He was so cer­tain of it he quit his six-fig­ure job to work on Stock­Trim full-time this year.

And he’s got good rea­son to be con­fi­dent. His mar­ket re­search, com­pleted with the aid of In­no­vate’s ex­pert men­tors, es­ti­mated Stock­Trim will have $18 mil­lion in an­nual rev­enue and 10,000 users, within two years.

The $5000 he re­ceived as part of the cham­pi­onship prize pack­age will help him pay his ad­ver­tis­ing ex­penses un­til the money starts com­ing in from Stock­Trim’s clients, he said.

‘‘And, it’ll mean I can eat some­thing other than two-minute noo­dles for a change.’’

The other win­ner was Scrub Col­lab founder Stephanie Buck­eridge, who was work­ing to scale-up her home-based busi­ness.


Feild­ing coder Paul Simp­son has spent years de­vel­op­ing a ‘‘ma­chine learn­ing’’ al­go­rithm that learns to pre­dict the ex­act amount of stock a busi­ness will need at any given time.

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