Cinema software company Vista has teamed up with an American MBA programme to develop a business plan for the US, after being introduced by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.

Vista is one of four New Zealand companies that, through NZTE, have been matched with employed MBA students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

The Global Access Program (GAP), part of UCLA's Anderson School of Management, has worked with 328 international companies from 10 countries since it was founded in 1998.

Since then, more than 1700 MBA students have been matched up with international technology companies, such as Vista, to develop a business-growth strategies.

Vista chief executive Murray Holdaway said the company had worked closely with the students and he would be flying to Los Angeles this month to receive the completed plan.

Vista software is in 2000 multi-plex cinemas in 50 countries and has a 15 per cent market share in those countries except for 2 per cent the US.

But it is hoping to increase that to 10-15 per cent through GAP.

In June 2009, Vista opened an office in Los Angeles to facilitate this growth.

Holdaway said it was through that office that NZTE introduced the company to UCLA's GAP programme.

"NZTE does a great job around the world, in all sorts of different capacities within many countries. We wouldn't have known about this programme without them.

"Four or five students are matched up with a company to do a six-month study about how that company can make a marketing trend in the US, or how they can increase their market share in the US.

"The students go to trade shows [in the US]. They [for Vista] have conducted more than 100 face-to-face interviews in our industry, talked to other organisations - and held interviews with our competitors to gain an insight into their business," Holdaway said.

UCLA runs the programme every year.

NZTE director of business services Carole Wright said the organisation had a network of offices around the world to support New Zealand companies and their expansion plans.

Wright said NZTE offered advice on market research and helped businesses build contacts and identify partners.

"We can connect businesses with our overseas offices to help them with their strategy, at entry level for businesses that are looking for further support in that market.

"We can help businesses in a wide range [of ways] whether they are starting out, or are fairly new to export or are established. We work with companies across the spectrum.

"Once we have accessed them to see where they are at, we can look at supporting them with standardised reports and information through our websites, or through our in-market research team or through more customised research that we can obtain through our offshore offices."