Queenstown – Angus Pauley

Queenstown 2019: Week 1 – Teams, Ideas and Interviews

Blink and it’s done! Week one is down and that means we’re halfway through #VentureUp19 Queenstown!

It’s going fast but our #VentureUp19 ZQN crew are making the most of their time…

“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Winston Churchill

Venture Up’s Queenstown edition is packed to the brim so that our young entrepreneurs can get the most out of it… Despite the packed schedule, one thing we are always working to instil with our founders is wellness – and developing the self-awareness, tools and techniques, to build resilience and self-care routines for personal well-being when times get tough… something that’s super useful in the day-to-day, not only for startup founders!

As Michelle Obama said:

“We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.”

We know that there will be stressful times, in life and especially in ‘startup-life’, so we want our cohort to feel comfortable managing it and keeping going.

So on Tuesday, we were joined by Sonia Voldseth for some top tips around wellness.

Prioritise setting personal goals just as you would work goals.
We’ve all heard of career paths, career planning, 5-year plans… but one thing that Sonia was a really keen advocate of was creating a personal goals plan, not focused around our professional lives.

Take time for yourself!
Many people recommend meditation, but don’t beat yourself up if when you meditate you struggle to clear your thoughts… that’s not what it’s about – it’s about creating the space to process things with more focus.

Queenstown – Sonia Voldseth
Sonia Voldseth shares some wellness techniques with the #VentureUp19 ZQN cohort


Other highlights from the week include:

  • Teams…
    After meeting a mere 5 hours earlier, our cohort came together to form four teams around the problem pitches they felt most strongly about… so what does that look like? Well, we have teams working on projects such as:

    • helping highschool-leavers determine their career paths
    • helping people create good environmental habits that are sustainable in everyday life
    • connecting startup founders with co-founders and staff who share company values
    • And, last but not least, helping emerging clothing designers source sustainable fabrics.
  • Customer interviews!
    Lead by Angus Pauley, Chief Storyteller at Startup Dunedin and Venture Up alumnus from our 2017 Auckland-based programme, our cohort was taught about the importance of talking to customers… But also that it’s not enough to talk to your customers – you need to do it well!

    • Identify your interviewee (make sure you’re interviewing the right person)
    • Ask unbias and open-ended questions… (that don’t lead to them talking about a problem). A great starter could be “Tell me a story about…”
    • Wrap up the conversation with contact information, a referral and, most importantly, a thank you!
Queenstown – Angus Pauley
Venture Up alumnus Angus Pauley talks Customer Interviewing


  • Mentor Mixer!
    Every single programme, we’re astounded by the talent, kindness and openness of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, as we pull together a pool of mentors to pass on their hard-earned experience and knowledge to the Venture Up’ers… And it’s a perfect opportunity for our young entrepreneurs to put their networking skills to the test!
    Stay tuned to hear a bit more from some of our mentors!
  • Inspire session with Ezel Kokcu, serial entrepreneur and founder of Passphere.
    • Be open with your ideas.
    • Understand what your competitors are good at, but also what they don’t do well.
    • Shit happens, it’s how you recover from that that will be the ultimate metric.
Queenstown – Ezel Kokcu
Serial entrepreneur Ezel Kokcu speaks with our #VentureUp19 ZQN cohort

…And that’s not even it!

We may only have been in Queenstown for a week, but we’ve set the challenge and our #VentureUp19 ZQN crew are stepping up to test their solutions over the weekend before we get back into it next week.

Interested in attending the Venture Up Queenstown Showcase? RSVP now and join us on Friday 26 April!

Stay tuned to all the latest from our #VentureUp19 Queenstown programme, make sure to keep up-to-date through our social channels (Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin | Instagram) and our mailing list– and stay tuned for more news just around the corner.

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