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Cadpro sets an example

Hans and Jen Grootegoed have grown their business, Cadpro, to become the leading supplier of professional Computer Aided Design technology. Now they’re giving others a hand up to find their own place in the industry.

CadPro Systems
Hans Grootegoed, MD CadPro Systems is pleased to be helping Hayden develop his talent in STEM

Cadpro Managing Director, Hans Grootegoed

Cadpro remains a family business, but that hasn’t limited its positive impact. In fact, with First Foundation, Cadpro is paving the way for other organisations to do their bit in developing talent and a better Aotearoa.

Cadpro has been operating since 1992 and became a First Foundation Scholarship Partner in 2022. Hans explains,

“Jen and I wanted to give something back by supporting someone who was less advantaged into university.”

“We particularly wanted to support someone doing STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths. We see a huge shortage of technical people in the manufacturing industries. We did some research and discovered First Foundation.”

When Hans met scholar Hayden Mellsop, he was impressed. Hayden has chosen to study for a Bachelor of Engineering at the University of Auckland. Even before Hayden confirmed his enrolment, he was able to chat with Hans about different course options. Hans is a Civil Engineer himself and was able to share his insights as an industry expert.

Hayden says, “The scholarship is such a great programme because it’s not just financial, it also comes with the support and networks.”



A scholarship full of firsts

For Hayden, the First Foundation scholarship has been a series of new experiences on the journey from Avondale College to tertiary education and a career. He even flew on a plane for the first time to attend a Cadpro event.

“First Foundation’s programme has already changed the opportunities available to me. It’s allowed me to make so many connections and start growing a network.”

Hayden has embraced the opportunity for work experience through his scholarship. Hayden is employed as a software tester at Cadpro, which is allowing him to earn before he starts his first year at university. Hans says his work ethic has made him immediately valuable to the team.

Hayden is particularly grateful for the personal advice and support of a mentor. He’s been matched with Blake Noble, a senior director, innovator and strategist in the transport sector. It brings a whole extra dimension of support and opens a window into a new professional world.

Hayden says, “It can be daunting going to events and needing to develop your confidence so quickly, but I’ve found it’s so worth putting yourself out there.”

Hayden Mellsop, First Foundation scholar is developing his talent in STEM


Playing a part in a powerful vision

Both Hayden and Hans encourage others to find out how they can be involved with First Foundation. Hans’ motivation is to nurture interest and access to qualifications anywhere in the sector. And he can see the potential of other organisations following this lead. He says if larger consultancies and corporates were to consider supporting First Foundation scholarships, they’d all reap the rewards of a richly diverse and driven talent pool.

Cadpro has always been a good ‘corporate citizen’ in supporting its industry and learners.

The company is the largest reseller and support provider of core software products, including the industry standard, ‘AutoDesk’, the makers of Revit, AutoCAD, Inventor and Fusion 360. These products are available free to students at every level. Additionally, Hans offers free training spots to educators alongside corporate sessions.


“Cadpro is a successful business, and I want to share the spoils – we just want to help someone get into the broader industry,” says Hans.