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California to get Jucy-fied

Jucy is launching into the US with its $500,000 prize from the 2011 University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge.

Jucy is on the verge of launching into the US with its $500,000 prize from the 2011 University of Auckland Business School Entrepreneurs’ Challenge.

The tourism company plans to build the Jucy brand in California starting in January before spreading into other parts of the US, beginning with 100 Chrysler Town and Country vans it will convert into Jucy campervans.

Chief executive Tim Alpe said its headquarters would be in Los Angeles and further depots would open in San Francisco and Las Vegas.

"We’re totally excited about launching into the US. No one has really ever before launched a product like Jucy into the US rental market,” he said.

"Jucy is a business with one clear goal and that is to be a global tourism brand. I think the entrepreneur award judges loved the Jucy story and love our passion for the business. They also can see the potential in us Jucyfing the world.”

Jucy started out nine years ago with 35 Daewoo cars bought off the Auckland Hospital Board. Today it boasts revenues of $40 million, 2500 vehicles, a hotel in Auckland, and a Milford Sound cruise company.

Alpe was the 2010 Ernst & Young NZ Entrepreneur of the Year and represented New Zealand at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monte Carlo in May.