Auckland's Yippee gets millions from HP programme

Auckland Internet company Yippee is quids in after becoming the first Kiwi company to benefit from the Hewlett-Packard garage programme for dot.com start-ups.

Auckland Internet company Yippee is quids in after becoming the first Kiwi company to benefit from the Hewlett-Packard garage programme for dot.com start-ups.

The five-month-old business gains up to $3.6 million of HP funding plus technical, equipment and other support.

"It also gives us huge amounts of credibilty," says Yippee hosting and e-commerce manager Damian Douwes.

"Hewlett-Packard's contacts are huge. It gives us the ability to tap resources we would otherwise have had great difficulty tapping into. When we knock on someone's door, we are a friend or partner of a big company instead of an unknown," he says.

This week, Yippee launched Mambezi.com, a Web site offering free software from around the world in return for an advertisement appearing on users screens.

The company plans other services and to create 20 jobs over the next few months. It has 10 staff and 25 part-timers.

"The HP support will help us accelerate our development, grow sooner and bring people on board quicker. We have work for twice as many as we employ now but we don't have the ability to bring on the resources," says Douwes.

"HP will help us get services on the market a lot quicker. The support recognises New Zealand exists on the world stage and global businesses can be run from here," Douwes says.

Hewlett-Packard New Zealand says about 50 firms have applied for support from the HP garage programme since it was launched in June. Support for up to 20 Australasian companies is offered under the $600 million worldwide venture capital programme.

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