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Student story

Shane Davidson

20 July 2023

"Without studying at UC, I couldn't do what I’m doing now…"


Bachelor of Forestry Science

Founder and Director, MAProgress

If you want to change the world then science is the way to go, tech entrepreneur Shane Davidson says.

"It’s never been more easy to make an impact on other people, your innovations can have wide-reaching influence."

Shane should know. As the founder and managing director of MAProgress, he’s transforming the way the world sees and experiences outdoor sporting events.

"Creating stuff that people love is what motivates me."

Shane went to Temuka High School (now Opihi College) in South Canterbury and gained a Bachelor of Forestry Science from UC, specialising in conservation forestry, before returning to study computer science and GIS.

He did a range of jobs — from software developer to business analyst — but it wasn’t until his wife and business partner Jane walked the Te Araroa Trail (which runs from one end of New Zealand to the other) that he had his eureka moment.

"She walked solo for 53 days and her personal GPS tracker was her connection with home. I saw her on the map with this satellite tracking and thought, 'it’s a pretty cool thing – but with my skills in science, tech, and the outdoors, I can do something that works a whole lot better'."

That’s when MAProgress was born. The company initially focused on tracking individual athletes, but quickly expanded to cover entire events from the Coast to Coast multisport endurance race to the Air Race Classic  – a Women's light aircraft race in the United States. 

Shane’s long-term vision is for MAProgress to be the world leader and default provider for event and personal GPS tracking worldwide.

"I have three main passions which I combined to form my business – mapping, software development, and adventures in the outdoors. Without studying at UC, I couldn't do what I’m doing now."

Shane’s advice to anyone thinking about studying science?

"Go for it! You’ll need a wide range of skills for the future, and it may not be specifically in the areas you study. If you have a desire to be in your own business then science will help you expand your horizons to get an understanding of other areas and enable you to relate better to more people."

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