A road trip on a 50cc scooter around New Zealand in 2006, collecting GPS coordinates, was the genesis of an exciting new business for Adam Hutchinson.
From this humble beginning Geozone, which was founded by Adam in June 2013, has turned into a growing company with a network of travel apps used daily by thousands of tourists in New Zealand. He used the GPS coordinates to create a free app called CamperMate to help tourists travelling around the country find services and facilities.
In 2014 Adam took part in Canterbury Development Corporation’s Hi-Growth Launch Programme (HGLP), which is aimed at propelling businesses with scalability potential to their next level.
"The programme was a good opportunity to dedicate three hours each week to learning new skills required for scaling GeoZone. It was particularly helpful to hear directly from successful entrepreneurs that had overcome obstacles and successfully grown their businesses,” he said.
There are now about 13,000 tourists per day, throughout New Zealand, using the 17 apps GeoZone manages. The additional apps are all based on the original CamperMate concept but branded to look like they are specific to other companies. For example, a camper hire company can have their ‘own’ app containing the information also on CamperMate. The apps are available in English, German, Chinese and French.
Adam said Avis, Budget and New Zealand Motor Caravan Association had all recently signed up as app partners and the business was looking to launch in Australia in December 2015.
“We’ve also been doing some very interesting work with the large amount of GPS data we hold to not only help contact tourists during emergencies, but using it to provide insight into tourist flow and behaviour," he said.
Applications for the 2016 Hi-Growth Launch Programme are now open. The programme will run from April 2016 and culminate in a graduation evening.