Hamilton local and aspiring entrepreneur Kerwan Rose has created technology that automates the background checking process for recruitment agencies and employers hiring tradespeople, eliminating the need for multiple background checks.

Rose launched Meport in March 2022, just one year after he started working on the concept – an impressive feat for the 24-year-old business founder.

Like many successful startups, Meport provides a unique solution to a business problem. While working for a recruitment, immigration and training agency, Rose noticed that candidate compliance is a slow and disjointed process, with several background checks required to ensure that potential employees are compliant with site and company regulations.

Meport features compliance software that automates the background checking process for new candidates seeking employment, appealing to recruiters and employers who want to simplify the recruitment process when recruiting tradespeople.

“My goal is for Meport to be a widely used system that helps Kiwis get into employment faster and smarter. New Zealand is currently experiencing a number of labour shortages, particularly in the trades industry, and I hope that Meport will help to ease some of these issues” says Meport founder, Kerwan Rose.

Rose, who grew up in Te Awamutu and is of Ngāti Maniapoto descent, discovered his love for technology in computer science classes at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton. He studied information systems and computer science at the University of Waikato and has worked in a variety of jobs including labour on building sites, 3D modeling and web development – all excellent preparation for his new role a business founder.

With a solid idea and some market validation, Rose placed second in one of Soda’s seed grants in 2021, winning $3,000 cash to put towards advancing his business idea.

“The Soda seed grant and support from family and friends gave me the confidence to fully commit to creating Meport,” says Rose who has been working with the Hamilton-based business growth ecosystem for the last six months.

Starting a new business always comes with challenges and, for Rose, being a sole founder has been difficult.

“I’m used to team sports and thoroughly enjoy working with others, sharing, and brainstorming ideas. Being a sole founder has been tough and lonely at times,” says Rose.

He believes that’s where having an experienced mentor to guide him along his entrepreneurial journey has been a lifesaver. Soda matched Rose with the Australian co-founder of CONQA Construction Software – Daniel O’Donoghue.

“Daniel shared his startup journey with me, and I was able to apply these learnings to Meport which has helped me avoid and overcome personal and business challenges. I’ve introduced things like morning rituals and routines, started managing my time smartly, and overall am trying to deliver the best possible product to market by being the best founder I can be,” says Rose.

Mentor Daniel O’Donoghue says: “Kerwan is a humble, authentic, and hungry young founder. I have zero doubt Kerwan is on the path to becoming one of New Zealand’s tech leaders, and it’s a true privilege to be part of his journey.”

Initially Meport has launched as software as a service (SAAS) targeting recruitment agencies and employers, but Rose has big ambitions.

“As Meport gets bigger there are other features I plan to integrate, such as the ability for tradies to showcase their work portfolio, find work and connect with one another. I also want to introduce Meport to the Australian market within two years,” concludes Rose.

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