Lightning Lab strikes Auckland
Ahead of its Demo Day next week, New Zealand’s first digital start-up accelerator Lightning Lab touched down in our Auckland pop-up event space with some tips on how to ensure accelerator success.
With a wide range of the local startup community in attendance, including new Auckland accelerator Hopscale and angel investors Sparkbox, around 60 participants were able to get valuable insight with where people go wrong, and then get back on the right track, when it comes to the growth of accelerator initiatives here in the land of the long white cloud. And almost no one knows as much about how accelerators can triumph over those ‘start-up hiccups’ than Laura Reitel, the former programme manager for US-based accelerator Techstars who was invited over to New Zealand by Lightning Lab founding partner, Wellington’s Creative HQ. (Lightning Lab is NZ’s only member of the Global Accelerator Network, established by Techstars and with 50 particpating accelerator programmes globally).
Reitel’s main point that hit home for the Dojo team: the minute an application is submitted to an accelerator programme, the individual or team needs to be drumming up interest and activity around their concept.
“Most people just apply then wait for an answer but the acceptance stage takes two and a half months. If you’re just sitting on your idea, you’re not the people to do what you’re saying. Create a website or start collecting some signups, start a blog and get an audience around your product.”
Nick Churchouse, Venture Manager at Creative HQ, also got in amongst the discussion using some real life experiences of how the current intake is managing the accelerator process.
“In the first four weeks the Lightning Lab teams got hammered by mentors. Everyone has a different opinion and they all have their advice, but you have to pick what works for you and your team.”
Lightning Lab has certainly been an exciting venture for the BizDojo to be supporting, with co-founder Nick Shewring also acting as a mentor for the programme. We are definitely looking forward to seeing what fantastic new businesses will emerge from next Wednesday’s Demo Day at Te Papa in Wellington - watch this space!
BizDojo Checks In at the Microsoft Imagine Cup NZ Finals
BizDojo partner Nick Shewring was invited by Microsoft to be a judge in this year’s Imagine Cup New Zealand National Finals held over 24/25 March.
The Imagine Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious student technology competitions, bringing together student innovators from all over the world. Over the past 10 years, more than 1.65 million students from 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup.
This year’s NZ leg of the competition saw a massive 549 teams enter, with 25 finalists selected to showcase their software solutions to the judges, all hoping to be in with a chance to represent NZ at the Worldwide Finals in St Petersburg, Russia this coming July.
Team InfinityTek won the overall grand prize for its wristband UV sensor and app combo, while MyStory took out the Innovation category with their childrens storytelling app, and Quaketown won the Gaming category with their physics-based app that raises awareness of earthquake-proof construction.
Nick and the other judges were impressed by the quality of the ideas and execution displayed, with many teams having fully functional pre-production prototypes. Nick says “it was awesome to see the enthusiasm levels from the teams, and huge props to Microsoft for their continuing investment into growing these students and encouraging their interest in app development.”
Quote of the day has to go to one of the team members who when questioned on stage by the MC about his role, said “I turn caffeine into code”. Our kind of guy!
BizDojo Signs Foundation Partnership with ANZ
The BizDojo is pleased to announce the formal signing of our first major corporate alliance, with ANZ Bank.
Phil, Nick and Jonah from BizDojo first began casual discussions with ANZ way back in June last year. What began over a few coffees slowly percolated into an understanding of how the two organisations might work together more closely, resulting in a new partnership agreement. ANZ comes on board as BizDojo’s highest level sponsor.
Campbell Wright, Head of Business Sales and Execution for Business Banking, was the internal champion for the partnership within ANZ. Campbell writes:
“We’re really excited about our new partnership with the BizDojo. ANZ is committed to helping small business be successful, and are looking forward to enhancing this with our new relationship. The BizDojo is an innovative environment with some really smart people that we will work alongside to deliver some great banking solutions for businesses.”
Phil Williams, BizDojo Partner, helped craft the partnership from the Dojo end.
“We’re stoked to announce this strong association with ANZ. Not only are they Australasia’s powerhouse bank, but they have huge ambitions around innovative product and service… something we share. Best of all, Campbell and the rest of the senior team at ANZ are interested in new thinking, and believe in the great potential the Dojo environment provides. We’re looking forward to doing some great work with them.”
ANZ’s sponsorship funding will be applied to BizDojo’s core co-working and innovation environments, as well as our ongoing plans for expansion and world domination.
BizDojo will be delivering insight and innovation work for ANZ. Also in planning is a Scholarship Program for ANZ businesses, showcasing the support the Dojo and the bank can provide to smart New Zealand SME’s.
Coworking – Hell of a Lot of Wisdom to Share
In the past few years, Coworking Conferences have been popping up across the globe everywhere from Paris to Tokyo. The concept for these conferences was conceived in 2008 in Austin, where the biggest Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC or “Juicy”) still takes place. (Read more about the background on this Deskmag article.)
The purpose of these conferences is to share learnings and discuss the future of the coworking movement regionally and globally. Last weekend’s Coworking Conference Australia, held in Melbourne, was the first one of its kind held in Australiasia.
Darrin Brinsden, Founder of new-clarity
COLLIDE Alter-Ego Event @ BizDojo Co.Space
This Friday, COLLIDE and BizDojo Co.Space are bringing people together in unexpected collisions.
COLLIDE Alter-Ego will feature performances from DJ Philippa, pat.Cash, Marcel Marceau, Kit Lawrence, Han Law, and Daniel Davis, with visual performances enabled and inspired by Jon Baxter of Perceptual Engineering.
’Mile High’ Hacking Competition to be Held at BizDojo Co.Space
Hacktivate brings coders, designers, and spectators together in a live programming competition called ‘Mile High’, at the BizDojo Co.Space on 23 November. Six teams of four – three programmers and one designer in each – race against the clock to complete the aviation styled challenges in this entertainment-packed hackathon.
Ben Irving featured on Stuff.co.nz and Idealog
Auckland BizDojo resident Ben Irving, CEO of jobs.co.nz, has joined the advisory board for One Percent Collective, a new charity model where people donate 1% of their income to various charities. One Percent Collective will launch tomorrow in Wellington with a charity gig at San Francisco Bath House. One Percent Collective was featured on Idealog today.
Ben was interviewed earlier this November for stuff.co.nz. The article covered Ben’s personal history as a thriving young entrepreneur, and the innovative social recruitment model of his company jobs.co.nz. Read the interview here.
Ben also took part in organizing this year’s TEDxAuckland in October. The event was held in the Aotea Centre with over 2,000 attendees.
Good going, Ben!
Japanese and New Zealand Creatives Collaborate
Amanda Wright, long time BizDojo Auckland resident, and founder and Creative Director of the Splore festival, has arranged for Japanese artist Yosi Horikawa to be based out of Co.Space for this week. Yosi is preparing for the sold out ‘Tiger Translate – Streets’ event Saturday November 17 at The Studio on K’ Rd. The Japanese musical innovator is collaborating with Tom Gould, a New Zealand director/filmmaker, who will produce visuals for the show.
Conversation at Co.Space:
Tom: What do you call yourself, Yosi? Producer, artist..?
Yosi: Hmm… Discoverer of sounds.
HYPE pop-up store has opened at the Biz Dojo Co.Space. HYPE has fantastic pieces by five young Kiwi labels:
Pardon My French
6 x 4
Check out the Instafeed from HYPE Pop-up Store Opening Party Oct 9 @ BizDojo Co.Space!
Halloween @ BizDojo Co.Space!
The BizDojo space resembles miniature versions of Google’s or Facebook’s headquarters.
Our favourite line from the recent article on The BizDojo by Computerworld NZ - “Co Working Business Model For Startups”. A nice little bit of press!
Events Galore at BizDojo Welly
The last couple of weeks have seen some fab events being hosted at the BizDojo in Wellington.
‘DoJobs Drinks’ (BizDojo partnering with jobs.co.nz) saw a whole lot of new connections and friends being made under our roof.
At the latest Design Meetup, the lucky designers learnt more about eye-tracking and optimizing usability over a cold Old Mout Cider.
Then the Wellington Producers Group did some serious brainstorming in our boardroom (over a few wines of course). More to come…
Webstock Offer. Heading to Wellington this week for Webstock? Feel free to stop into the BizDojo on Vivian St, jump on a desk, check your emails, have a meeting or make yourself a coffee! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us up on Twitter @bizdojo. Boom!
Some more positive press for the team recently, when BizDojo co-founder Nick Shewring was interviewed for the NZ Herald’s Mac Planet column, where Nick was asked about BizDojo, and the role that Apple plays in our environment. Awesome stuff!