IT entrepreneur Adrien de Croy is to break his media silence and tell his story at the next IT Investment Forum in Auckland on Tuesday.
De Croy rose to prominence when he signed a licensing and bundling agreement with Compaq for his Wingate proxy software, which he developed so he and his flatmates could make several simultaneous internet connections over a single phone line. He also did a marketing, support and distribution deal with US company Deerfield.
Wingate is used by thousands of users around the world and is still being downloaded off the internet in masses every day.
De Croy remains head of his Auckland-based business, Qbik, which has grown to 14 staff with eight developers working full-time on Wingate upgrades and on new products, focused on new packet technologies. These include a network driver application, or a NAT (network address translator), now in beta testing, and a still-in-process VPN (virtual private network) product.
But he has also diversified his interests and bought into a recording studio – he plays bass in a band called Crave, currently recording an album – a marine services company, and a restaurant. He also heads an arts trust, sponsoring music in schools.
De Croy told Computerworld he plans to tell his story at the forum and point out why he stayed in New Zealand and hasn't gone public with his company.
The story in brief: other countries are too “money-centric” and going public “seemed like a huge amount of work for nebulous results”, he says.