Hamilton based startup EC8 wants to shake up the building industry by supplying pre-cut plasterboard to site, reducing the overall build time of a residential house by two days and decreasing waste by up to 30 per cent.

Founder Christopher Staal is now one step closer to achieving his goals after pitching his business to a virtual room of investors at Soda’s investor showcase.

The online event was the culmination of BOOST – a three-month programme where participants learnt how to create a capital raise strategy, led by Hamilton-based business growth ecosystem, Soda.

“The BOOST programme has been a step change getting us in fighting fit for investment. We’re so much more confident now when we pitch knowing we have the fundamentals right and a clear proposition to present,” says EC8 founder, Christopher Staal.

“It’s pretty daunting preparing for your first capital raise but working with the Soda team, my mentor Timothy Allen (founder of Ubco), Deloitte and Tompkins Wake has put us in a good place as we go through the offer process,” he adds.

With 34,000 houses built annually in New Zealand and more than one million built each year in the United States, EC8 has enormous potential. It’s impact on the environment could be just as big with the ability to save 12,000 tonnes on waste annually in New Zealand alone.

How does it work? EC8 has created a tool for builders to digitally measure walls. Builders can then send the order straight to the factory where it is cut on a custom-built CNC machine, designed by EC8, before the pre-cut plasterboard is delivered directly to building sites, ready to go on the wall.

EC8 has been trialling the system with GJ Gardner Waikato, and has received excellent feedback with other builders also interested in trialling the technology.

Plasterboard is just the beginning for EC8 who intend to offer additional pre-cut building products such as cladding in the future. With support from investors, Chris is planning to launch in 2022.

“EC8 has created innovative and sustainable technology and systems that has real potential to disrupt the building industry,” says Erin Wansbrough, Soda Chief Executive.

“The Soda team has been working with Chris over the last year and are excited to see what the future holds for EC8. We wish Chris all the best on this exciting stage of business growth and look forward to helping more Kiwi founders in our 2022 BOOST programme.”