Exciting Times

The end is quickly approaching, and everyone here at Venture Up are run off their feet with activity! So with only a week until they are set to pitch to a crowd of businesspeople and possible investors, I asked them all one question:

What has been a breakthrough moment or turning point for your company in the past week?

Flatpak:
Flatpak heard through Emily’s grandma that NZ would be phasing out quad bikes – which would destroy the entire market for Flatpak. Then after more research, they discovered that farmers had taken a stand and lobbied to keep quad bikes, so instead of phasing them out the Coroners Court had decided to endorse more stringent safety requirements. What originally looked like an extreme obstacle has actually turned into an opportunity, as their product is one of the few on the market which can actually be endorsed as safe – as it contributes to the security of farmers carrying equipment on quad bikes.

El Paleo:
These masters of chocolate have managed to reach one of their programme goals – to have a product ready to take to market – 2 weeks earlier than they had planned! They have stabilised their chocolate, and created rustic handmade packaging just in time for Valentines Day sales. If you’re in Wellington and want to check them out, they’ll be at the night market this Friday.

 

Loan Smashers:
Loan Smashers had a meeting with Sam Bonney which was the catalyst for a pivot point for this company. Something just clicked, and they figured out how to refine their idea down and simplify their platform. They’re re-framed, and now their product will be ‘tinder for businesses and students’. In the same way that Tinder is a platform to connect people in similar areas dating, theirs is a platform to quickly connect students who want internships with businesses in their local area. They say they ended up doing more work in 1 day than in the previous 3 1/2 weeks after their chat with Sam. It got them focused and excited – awesome!

Illuno:
Illuno have made the massive decision to base their company in Auckland in the future. Three team members are originally from Auckland, and another is definitely moving there, so it’s a natural progression. They collectively decided that Auckland is a good place to jump start their business.

Kudos:
After a bit of searching, these guys have come up with a way to differentiate themselves from the rest of their market. They will compile the content which they will collect from posts on their website, and create a book of remembrance for family members or friends of a person who has passed. This provides a point of difference which should make their concept even more appealing to customers who want to remember someone special!

Sohler Homes:
Not only do they now have a distributer/supplier set up for their houses, Sohler Homes have gained the interest of Housing New Zealand’s CEO, and been put in touch with their senior management team. They have a meeting set up in Auckland to talk about their ideas for providing extra rooms in state housing, with a possibility of working with them in the future!

Engage24:
These guys have signed up to run a pilot, using their app to collect feedback from students for Victoria University of Wellington’s Orientation ‘O’ Week. It’s exciting stuff, but lots of work as they need to have the product ready and working in less than two weeks!

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