Venture Up 2016

Update on teams – Week 6

A previous update on the teams and the head space they were in during the last week of the Venture Up programme! Have a read on their progress, their thoughts on their current status, and a quick look into what the future holds for each of them and their teams!

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Crave

Team members:  Jakobb M, Nick H, Jacob VW, Jacksen L, Alana K.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience? 

Number one is confidence – we have been constantly challenged by the high expectations of the programme and having to rise to that challenge has shown us just how much we can get done. The other big skills we will be taking away with us are resilience, and learning how to work in a (sometimes dysfunctional) team.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up? 

The intense workloads – there is a huge amount of time pressure when you only have 6 weeks to get something from an idea to a functioning business, so working to those tight deadlines has been really tough. Pitching has been difficult in terms of navigating the perfect way to clearly and concisely communicate ourselves. More than anything it is probably being worn out and needing to push through exhaustion to get results!
What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up? 

Oliviah, the Programme Manager, telling us in the first week ‘you can’t redo this programme -you only get one shot’ really fuelled the fire to make the commitment and put 110% in so we could come out the other side knowing we had given it everything we’ve got.

What has been the most significant moment of Venture Up for your team – where everything just of clicked or had a huge impact on your business? 

Dave Clearwater’s advice really set Crave’s direction on the first day. It was around going online, looking up startups and doing your research basically. It influenced our whole journey and shaped where we have ended up.

What key things do you think need to happen for Crave to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

Motivation, good communication, knowing that we have enough time in the day to dedicate towards it. Agreeing on a vision as a team and being really honest about whether we are committed to working on it or not. Justin Scott talked to us about the ‘promised land’ being all about all working towards the same goal and wanting the same outcomes, so that is the ideal!

Want to know more about Crave? Check them out on Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/gocravenz

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Part-Timer

Team members: Rebecca G, John R, Loren T, Michael S, Dylan R, Dani W.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience? 

The importance of getting out of the room and validating our assumptions. There has been a lot of personal growth in learning to give people the chance to rise to the challenge, and really trusting others. One of our team members had never pitched to a big room before but she wanted to do it and we backed her – and she did awesome! Really cool to see the team thrive in different scenarios we’ve have had thrown at us! The team work is really the glue for the whole thing.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up?

Pure exhaustion. In the last few weeks you really have to dig in and make sure you are 100% present to make the most of all the awesome speakers and mentors that are giving you really useful feedback and advice.
What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up? 

Oliviah – take the opportunity and make something of it. Claudia Batten – you’re never going to get anywhere if you are just a cookie cutter of a human being!

What has been the most significant moment of Venture Up for your team – where everything just of clicked or had a huge impact on your business?

The point at which we decided to scrap our original ‘project water’ idea and start working on Part-Timer was definitely huge growth for us as a team. We came to the realisation that with Project Water we had no experience in it and we would really be relying on others to try and progress it in terms of domain expertise. We were always being told to be ambitious – but we realised that there is a big difference between being ambitious and being naive and that was the moment that we realised that we wouldn’t get as much out of the six weeks as we could with an idea that wasn’t as relevant and achievable. At the same time, Part-Timer wouldn’t be what it is now if we hadn’t tried to do Project Water first – it help us build our drive and the mentality we needed to pull something off and really tested our resilience.

What key things do you think need to happen for Part-Timer to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

Setting goals around getting businesses listed to keep the momentum up. Being really clear about the commitment of the team and making a plan (and sticking to it).


Find out more about Part-Timer on their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/parttimernz

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Influencer

Team members:  Felix P, Hunter W, Omer H, Jordan P, Rachel Y.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience?  

Communication – how to approach business people, confidence, methodology – getting to grips with the Lean Startup methodology to the point that we would be really comfortable applying it to new concepts on our own in the future.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up?

Mentor whiplash and difference of opinion – learning how to navigate that space. In the end it came down to having an open mind but staying true to ourselves, saying ‘this is what we want to do’ rather than trying to please everyone.
What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up? 

Natalie Sisson really helped us get our heads around valuing our offering, and working with perceived value. Rollo Wipster was an awesome sounding board in terms of solid business advice. Max Bessone was another favourite and showed us how much impact design thinking and process could have.

What has been the most significant moment of Venture Up for your team – where everything just of clicked or had a huge impact on your business?

When we got our first contract and our first payment and the huge learnings that came with putting together a deal when you are still learning as you go. But at the same time the huge amount of market validation and confidence that comes with money in the bank as a proof point that you are doing something right.

What key things do you think need to happen for Part-Timer to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

Using technology to our advantage – Skype and Facebook for good communication. Having a realistic game plan for building contacts and continuing to grow.


Find out more about Influencer on their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/InfluencerHQ

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Intrude-a-lock

Team members? Keith T, Elisha F, Hayden W.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience? 

Brushing up on the existing startup methodology skills in the team, the experience and the access to contacts have been the most valuable! We’ve learnt a lot about the concept of value for value – building a business around a problem. This is a change in mindset from some of the ventures we have built previously in Young Enterprise. So learning the importance of getting out of the room and asking the right questions, even just observing people to see how apparent the problem is. It has been a mindset shift.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up?

Working with hardware is challenging and we didn’t have as much technical skillset as what we would have ideally liked, making it harder to progress in that particular domain. What we have had is a lot of interest and we have really focused on developing those connections and planning our growth strategy.

What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up? 

Brett Holland and Amanda Santos provided the most resonating advice in terms of how to break into a market and being careful of where to take investment, as well as how to sell. We also got a lot of insight from Rachel Taulelei around building something to last and the value of bringing in your cultural background to your startup.

What key things do you think need to happen for Intrude-A-Lock to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

Intrude-A-Lock will definitely continue to run outside of Venture Up. For sustainable operations, we will need to continue to improve the hardware in order to enter new sectors, source manufacturing and find someone to join the team with technical hardware skills.


Find out more about Intrude-A-Lock on their website – http://www.intrudealock.com/

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Relay

Team members? Aiden S, Sophie S, Derek L, Sam Y, Cameron F.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience?

Learning how to apply the whole build-measure-learn framework, how to seek feedback, and do user testing – basically the theoretical ins and outs of startup methodology. Learning the importance of finding a problem first – there will be a lot of people that came to Venture Up with a solution they tried to find a problem for. So learning that making assumptions and justifying everything rather than going out and talking to people is not going to work! 

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up? 

Competition – dealing with it, turning it into a positive and a challenge – learning from them and finding our niche, which is still a work in progress.
What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up?

Claudia Batten talking about the squiggly line to success and going with your gut. Nick Rowney talking about the University of Experience. Jessica Venning-Bryan talking about humanity and how at the end of the day it’s all about people, as well as how to use story telling to reach those people.

What has been the most significant moment of Venture Up for your team – where everything just of clicked or had a huge impact on your business?

It was really early at the mentor mixer in week 1 – hearing people actually say I believe in your idea and what your doing could work, we really thrived off that affirmation. And then after the final showcase, talking about continuing on after Venture Up, it brought it home that what we’ve done is real life, not just working on an assignment or theoretical project. What the teams are doing has the potential to have impact outside of the programme. Finally hearing from mentors who had quit their job because it wasn’t what they were passionate about and finding a whole new career path – ‘If you don’t like what you are doing, change it. Simple.’

What key things do you think would need to happen for Relay to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

Getting initial traction going – finding niche in the market than we can really dominate and grow from there. Finding a really effective communication method online, nothing compares to working side by side every day for 6 weeks so finding an alternative that works for us.


Find out more about Relay on their website – http://relayapp.nz/

Venture Up 2016

Team name: MultiMenu

Team members? Charlotte K, Tiger C, Kim E, Toby H.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience?

Learning the ins and outs of Market Validation, how to contact people and ask the right questions, and the different ways you can validate your market. Learning that even if they don’t say what you want them to say its still valuable in redirecting your path. That your idea is defined by what your feedback is rather than what you want to do.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up?

The amount of pivoting we did – more than any other team. Sometimes having to make quite big pivots and then not knowing where to go next. So staying focused and motivated when we have been knocked down and lost direction. Our mentor Stefan Korn was a great sounding board for us to help get us back onto a clear path when we would get stuck.
What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up?

The squiggly line, i.e. the first talk from Claudia Batten, was really important to us. It helped us keep perspective in terms of all our pivoting being part of the process rather than feeling like we were doing it wrong.

What has been the most significant moment of Venture Up for your team – where everything just of clicked or had a huge impact on your business?

Bailing on our old idea – realising that we were flogging a dead horse, being honest to ourselves and knowing when to step away. It was a huge growth step for us because we had to be really clear about what was and wasn’t working and accept when it is time to try something new.

What key things do you think would need to happen for MultiMenu to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

First thing would be needing someone to complete the website, but there is still serious work to be done on growing, keeping the communication up and finding a way for us to all pull the weight.

Find out more about MultiMenu on their facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/multimenu0/?fref=ts

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Story Unfolded

Team members? Francisco S, Emily C, Liberty T, Eleanor J, Emma F, Nicholas B.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience?

Resilience from being pushed down and getting back up, over and over again! Making connections. Learning how to work in a team and how to work through problems as a group under pressure. Building confidence to trust your own business instincts.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up?

Mentor whiplash was quite a big thing for us, we finally got to the point where we realised that when we get shut down we can turn that into a good thing and help it grow our idea. We have dealt with lots of conflicting advice and it has taken plenty of reconnecting as a group and working through what we wanted to do together, in order to find a way forward and listen to the people that were most aligned with us rather than everyone.

What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up?

“If you lie you die on the beach” – Rollo Wenlock letting us know that if we try to make stuff up in a pitch we will get caught out eventually, Jessica Venning-Bryan’s 6 word story workshop, Justin Scott saying to be an entrepreneur is to take something that no-one else believes in and prove that it is worth doing. That really resonated with us.

What key things do you think would need to happen for Story Unfolded to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

Finding a way to harness our driving force and passion when we are working remotely. Having a key person to keep us all in sync, finding a tech person to fill that skills gap on the team.

Find out more about Story Unfolded on their website –

 http://storyunfolded.com/#our-story

Venture Up 2016

Team name: Youth on Board

Team members? Cameron O, Joy W, Logan J, Jimmy P.

What are the most important skills/learnings you will take away from the Venture Up experience?

We’ve built on our endurance and perseverance skills in a big way – what we’ve done with Youth on Board is quite hard and we’ve managed to get somewhere so even just acknowledging that is important. We’ve learnt to always have an open mind, but also to stick to our guns – find a balance basically.

What challenged you the most during your time at Venture Up?

Monday morning week 4 – we got really lost with mentor whiplash, it was the point of our journey that we had to make a decision about what methods we would use to solve our problem. It was also the first time we had conflicting views in the group. Ruth our mentor shined a mirror in our face and said ‘why not both’ and made it sound so simple. That really opened us up to the possibility of what we were building and not being so constrained.
What was your favourite bit of advice you received at Venture Up?

Taking in what Oliviah said to us on pitch day – Venture Up feels like a blink and you’ll miss it type experience because of the pace we are running at. It’s important to reflect, stop and think, and really acknowledge the progress that has been made.

What has been the most significant moment of Venture Up for your team – where everything just of clicked or had a huge impact on your business?

After the pitch, having so many people come up after showcase and tell us how much they wanted Youth on Board to succeed and that they understood the problem we are tackling. One guy from The Ministry of Education is really interested in what we were doing so exciting to see potential opportunities like that come as a result of the Showcase.

What key things do you think would need to happen for Youth on Board to continue to operate as a business moving forward?

3/4 of us are living in the same place so that is a big advantage, but just really tight communication between us all to keep us accountable and motivated to continue.

Find out more about Youth on Board on their website – http://youthonboard.weebly.com/

Leave a Reply