IT services company CSC is to offer incubation services to small New Zealand software developers.
Unlike many programmes, where the incubator throws money at the start-up or small company seeking growth capital, CSC aims to partner with local developers and give them the benefit of its infrastructure. CSC managing director Kimbal Riley hopes to have a formal programme in place later this year offering services such as human resources, marketing, public relations, financials, hosting and sales. “We’re looking to be a partner not an investor. In this way companies don’t have to give up their equity,” says Riley. “As a large corporate citizen we have an infrastructure that smaller companies don’t have. For example, if they’ve got to the stage where they need servers and technology, we have it available on a dollars per month basis rather than them having to make an up-front investment. We also have the ability to engage [with customers on their behalf] with our sales force.” CSC recently entered such an agreement with Auckland-based software developer Time Disciple and is now distributing and supporting the smaller company’s time and resource management product. It has also set up partnerships with other small developers on an occasional basis and now wants to formalise what services it can offer. “In terms of small Kiwi organisations a formal programme gives us something to engage on, rather than just saying ‘That sounds like a good idea’ and never getting any further. Expectations will be clear.” Riley says CSC will be looking at companies with about five to 10 staff. “I think it's right for a corporate citizen like CSC to do this and it brings us alongside companies that are doing innovative customer-oriented things. "I’ve been in situations where we’ve been working with a small software company and a client. The small company was fast and flexible and the client was surprised that a large company like CSC could react so quickly.”