Quentin Pidduck, who reached the finals in Tauranga's Young Innovator Awards last year, has pushed ahead to begin commercialising his smart phone app concept Roomready, and recently won his first contract.
Roomready allows motel and hotel owners to get updated information on whether cleaners have finished processing rooms, so that guests can be allocated more efficiently.
Mr Pidduck, a systems engineer at local hi-tech firm TechnologyWise, came up with the concept and got colleague Richard Hills to do the coding.
The inspiration came from helping out in his parents' motel during holidays a year ago.
"I found myself being a guinea pig to run around and find out if rooms were finished by the cleaners or not," said Mr Pidduck. "I thought, there has to be an easier way."
Roomready provides an electronic check list for the cleaners, which they run through and then send directly to the front desk. Mr Pidduck said the response from the cleaners wasn't what he had expected.
"No one likes to be checked up on or be bothered," he said.
"But I had more cleaners come to me and say it actually helps to not forget the little things, than cleaners who had problems with it. It serves as a reminder on what to do in each room."
The cleaners can either use their own phones, or motel clients could arrange to lease phones from Roomready that have been specially set up to handle the app.
Mr Pidduck is still in the early stages of marketing the Roomready app, but has just sold and set up its first commercial contract with a motel in Whangarei. The aim is to build the app's commercial potential and then sell it.
Priority One's Lyn Parlane, who is involved in running the innovator awards, said it was great to see a young innovator taking his ideas to the next level.
"After a successful test period in the Bay, Roomready software has started signing clients," she said. "It demonstrates how local young people with innovative ideas can do the same."