Much like our athletes in Beijing, New Zealand tech companies continue to punch well above their weight on the world stage. You only have to think of success stories like Navman, Xero and Virtual Spectator to appreciate what happens when you take a healthy dose of Kiwi spirit, ingenuity and sheer hard-work and apply it to the software market. LITMOS is the heir apparent to the title “New Zealand’s next big software success”. Currently filming the TV reality show Start-Up TV, is turning heads on the global IT stage. In a nutshell, LITMOS is an on-line training company that seems to have successfully found a way to not only simplify the on-line training environment, but to do so in such a way that engages the end-user and trainer. Most attempts to transfer training on-line stumble because they require huge resources to manage, are impersonal and fiendishly complicated to use. LITMOS has changed all that with a simple interface that does not require additional software installations to run (as a trainer you upload your content and LITMOS takes care of the rest) and that engages users with an interactive experience that fully utilises the web 2.0 environment. LITMOS
Their approach has earned them the opportunity to star in a Start-Up reality show to screen on TVNZ profiling New Zealand start up companies in which start-ups are pitched one against the other to help identify and support the next big thing in the New Zealand software world. The winning company is rewarded with unprecedented public exposure for a new start up, but also the chance to pitch for a global market launch in Silicon Valley, USA.
From an initial line up of over 100 hopefuls, LITMOS has made it through to the final rounds and is in with a chance to go for the big prize. Already it has signed up new customers with Telnet, Safe Access New Zealand, and Learning Takeaway utilising their services, but they will only know if that is enough to impress the judges on September 11th when they make the final decisions.
LITMOS founder and CEO, Rich Chetwynd: “It’s an exciting time for LITMOS. Participating in the TV show has forced the pace, made us accelerate the market validation stages of our development, and given us the kick we needed to push on. We’ve known from the outset that our idea was a good one, and had an intuitive feel for what would be needed to make on-line training a serious alternative to face to face training. Being in the programme has forced us to address a lot of the execution issues that turn the good idea into a good business. We’ve had access to fabulous advice from our mentors and have really focused our thinking along the way. Regardless of whether we win the top prize, the work that we have done to get this far has put us in a great position to achieve our market place success.”
Whether LITMOS does indeed win first prize will be determined by the panel of judges that include some of the top names in the NZ software industry – Richard MacManus (ReadWriteWeb); Tim Norton (PlanHQ); and Andrew Hamilton (The ICEHOUSE). The progress of the competing entries will be tracked during the filming of the TV show, with the winner announced when Start-Up TV is due to go to air on TV One in October. One thing’s for sure, LITMOS is yet another bright example of exactly the kind of world leading initiatives that young Kiwi software firms are capable of. The success of and their contempories will play a critical role in defining the shape of the New Zealand economy into the future. LITMOS