“For the first time I have a street front and it’s exciting. Lower Hutt is the ideal location to be in business. It is the ultimate in-between location for my customers in Wellington and my suppliers in Gracefield and Seaview. We are ideally situated for corporate clients, we have a large production space, there’s great coffee in Petone and we can go paddle-boarding at lunchtime in the harbour. ”
David runs two companies from his new premises. Makegood, a product design, computer aided design (CAD) and prototyping company which David runs alongside Foundry Lab, an advanced manufacturing start-up business looking to find a new way to do short-run metal production.
Foundry Lab has received investment through Technology Incubator WNT Ventures, alongside pre-incubation funding and a repayable loan through Callaghan Innovation (New Zealand’s innovation agency). The capital means David can take the business to the next stage.
“Without giving too much away I’ve developed an idea that fills a niche in the market that will address low volume manufacturing. I built a simple prototype for proof of concept and that was accepted by my investors. I’ve employed a staff member and have a student on board to help. We’re making a functional prototype now, and then we’ll build the production version.”
1st Assembly played an important role in getting David’s businesses to where they are today providing a collaborative working space for Makegood and other early stage startup companies in Lower Hutt. “Designers aren’t good by themselves.
“1st Assembly is really encouraging of new businesses and the companies there really help each other. It’s a great place to source skills from the other companies there without having to engage someone. I found people to help me with graphic design, electronics and even sign-writing for my new businesses. In exchange I provided assistance with industrial design. The co-working space really encouraged collaboration which is incredibly helpful in establishing business networks.”
“The professional development courses were great too and helped me in the early stages of setting up my businesses. I learnt about accounting and marketing, and how to deliver a pitch to clients.”
David plans to stay in touch with 1st Assembly for the future networking and learning opportunities. The ongoing support will help David with his plans to not only meet New Zealand market demand but to export his machines overseas.
1st Assembly is managed by Creative HQ with funding from Hutt City Council.