77 Pieces is a platform technology, that every potential investor who has looked at it reckons is a great idea and will be a great enterprise according to its founder.
The globally unique software, allows a 2-D pattern to be imaged as a moving 3-D item, be it clothing or an inflatable wing. Adjustments to the rendered image translate back to an altered pattern, and vice-versa. (See fuller explanation of the CAD software’s capability in an earlier sticK story, here).
There’s nothing like it in the world says chief executive, Wellington-based American Sebastian Marino, applied mathematician and film industry animation expert.
The start-up company is now on the hunt for outside investment capital. Marino, who in an earlier life has been part of U.S.A-based CAD-oriented software start ups, says ideally the $1 million required will come in large part from his original homeland.
This will provide a secure base on which potential kiwi investors could syndicate, “without necessarily requiring any more reporting,” he says.
The capital injection will also enable patent protection of some of the heavy-duty mathematical modeling and algorithms associated with the software.
Marino intends testing a Beta version of the software within a network of friends in fashion; and initially staying within the fashion industry roll out its distribution through traditional CAD software sellers, firstly in America. He describes the product as a traditional application, not one that is in the cloud or particularly internet based.
“We’re costly software that requires training,” Marino says. “Finding the right partners who can provide support and training is crucial. We’ll train them, they’ll train our customers.”
Though the clothing industry is the first that 77 Pieces is going to target, it is by no means the only market – there being many vertical within a broad horizontal range of business types.
“New Zealand is not a market that could support us,” he says, “though being a developer in New Zealand has many advantages.”
He expects many customer inquiries to come from other industries, and 77 Pieces will be “more than happy to customise it for them.” An example could be hot air balloon makers, or upholstery and furniture makers.
In a year’s time he envisages the company being in a comfortable office, with perhaps 10 staff, creating an environment that is happy, creative and focused.
And while Marino sees himself as being the ‘ring master’ at this early stage of the company, he can also see that later on another type of chief executive may be more suitable to sustain 77 Pieces’ growth.
For now he’s preparing investor pitch-type documents and answering calls during the day, and making Skype calls back to the States while perfecting the software at night.
The fledgling company kicks off in earnest early next year. And while Marino may have a preference for an initial U.S. investor, anyone with a spare million would be sure to get a good reception.