Queenstown web start-up in top 50

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A fledgling Queens­town web business has been named as one of the world’s most innovative start-ups. 

Scrattch, founded by serial entrepreneur Louise Donnelly-Davey (right), is an internet site which enables people to create, share and search online libraries about specific topics. 

It is the only New Zealand business to make the finals of the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s Startup Open competition. 

Donnelly-Davey, 40, and her two co-founders/developers Colin Burns and Matt Tester have been hothousing the project for the past year. 

“With Scrattch, if you go onto a website and like what you’re reading you can take that content completely and put it in your Scrattch library,” Donnelly-Davey says. 

“You can then use it and share it as you like. 

“So you’ll come into the Scrattch community to store information, so we’re an archival service, but also come in to find great information. 

“Basically we’re looking to be the Facebook for data.” 

The platform is being beta-tested and could launch as early as next month. 

With more than one billion new pages every day, Donnelly-Davey says Scrattch will enable users to find information judged important by other people. 

Users will also be able to add original content and share content over private groups. 

“Scrattch has academic, medical and enterprise potential. We’re exploring those things as we evolve.” 

Donnelly-Davey, who came up with the idea in the shower, already has three start-ups behind her – including a children’s wear brand, a related online social network and an internet magazine. She also has three children under 10. 

“With the last three start-ups, I quickly built and then quickly sold because I could see there was no scalability.  But this one feels different.” 

Scrattch pitched to investors in Auckland last week and has developed contacts in Californian internet business hotbed Palo Alto. 

“Geography isn’t such a huge factor right now because one of our advisors is in Palo Alto and has been crucial in connecting us to people there. 

“Having said that, if we do get venture funding from the US we’ll drop everything to live there for two years to build the product. 

“It is about networking and being personable. Investors invest in people and ideas, not just great ideas.” 

The Global Entre­preneurship start-up winner will be announced this coming Monday.