Simon Elliott and his business Tri-Tector have taken out top spot in Idea Summit 2019, against some very strong competition.

Tri-Tector, a protective device to use with containment plastic around scaffolding, solves a number of problems that cost the construction industry time and money.

“Failures in containment plastic on scaffolded building sites can cost thousands of dollars and shut down whole sites. Tri-Tector offers a simple, reliable, safer and sustainable solution to current practices when it comes to securing the ends of scaffold.”

Simon has been working on the idea for a couple of years, and it’s currently being trialled with very good responses.

“I’m absolutely stoked about winning the competition,” Simon said.

Simon found out about Idea Summit after he knocked on the door of Venture Taranaki to find out more about support for launching his business. Originally he wasn’t keen on entering, but pressure from his kids helped him change his mind.

“It was a bit of a journey, and not one I’d anticipated,” says Simon.

“The whole thing has been amazing. The process taught me a lot about myself and about setting up a team. I’ve learnt that you can have a perfect product, but if you haven’t got the right team working on it, then it won’t get far – I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learnt from this.”

Like all the finalists, Simon has invested a lot of time in his business idea since being selected in the top five, compounded by starting a new job in the middle of it.

“The last eight weeks have meant a lot of early mornings, working until midnight most nights, and I haven’t had any weekends. I’m looking forward to a week off!”

Idea Summit is just the start for Simon and Tri-Tector.

“I’d love to use it as a platform to create jobs and take a kiwi product to the world. That’s where I’d like to be.”

The finals event, held in front of a live audience, saw five finalists pitch their ideas. Judges commended the strength of the ideas pitched, noting their decision was a difficult one. All finalists were advised “don’t you dare stop now.”

“Idea Summit Taranaki is in its second year this year, and the standard of entries was impressively strong,” says Justine Gilliland, Chief Executive of Venture Taranaki, the region’s development agency who conceived and run the event.

“Taranaki’s innovation is legendary. We have a proud history of people having great ideas and our region has become globally competitive on the back of that innovative thinking.”

“The finals was an opportunity to celebrate both the courage and the effort required to act on those ideas, whether it’s taking the first step and entering an event like Idea Summit, or throwing everything you’ve got into a start-up,” Justine said.

“All of these ideas have significant potential, and I encourage all those who pitched tonight to build on the momentum you’ve already created through the Idea Summit process.”