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VU18 WK 2: Value Propositions & Resilience

This is the second blog post pulled straight from Venture Up 2018. You’ll hear all of the ins and outs of The Leading Entrepreneurship programme for New Zealand’s Young Leaders right here.

We’ve reached the halfway point of #VU18 and teams are under the pump validating, refining and testing their ideas and approaches. “Get out of the building and talk to people”, is easily the most used phrase of the week as the VU-ers learn as much as they can from their customers. This week two questions have been put to the cohort; “what is your value proposition?” and “how do you manage stress-levels in the fast moving pace of the startup life?”

To begin, we had Jessica Venning-Bryan, Chief Marketing Officer at Flick Electric Co, join the teams to unpack what makes a meaningful and engaging value proposition. A value proposition grounds the purpose of a business and helps anyone understand how you deliver unique value. Jessica’s workshop underpinned the importance of pairing functional and emotional competitive advantage – “Ultimately we all ask one subconscious question before we purchase anything…Is it worth me buying this product to solve my problem?”

Jessica also worked with the cohort to dissect familiar services and products to better understand their value propositions. Asking questions like “why does the product hold value for you?” and “how does the product meet your needs?” Great exercises to figure out how to best define what value is brought to the customer.

Within Jessica’s workshop, she shared her varied background and spoke on the true realities and pressures of entrepreneurship. Her experiences could easily be summed up as –“…get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because that’s what a startup is.”

It’s easy to forget that success it met with barriers, grind, struggles and failures. As the cohort’s workload begins to build now is a great time to take a breath and get some fresh air. Entrepreneurship is extremely demanding; with short deadlines, low funds and hot competition, it can easily becoming overwhelming. Founding a business is the easy part, sustaining and growing one is the real challenge. Resilience, a measure of a person’s ability to manage stress, is the most important skill any entrepreneur can learn. You have to develop the courage to take the good with the bad, and do so with a smile. No one is free from the ups and downs, but everyone is responsible for being self-aware and supportive.


The Venture Up team uses a simple technique to build awareness and resilience  – red, yellow and green. Each colour represents our emotional state from amazing (green) through to stressed (red). We can share as little or as much as we like, no judgement or advice is given only openness and trust. The feedback allows the team to structure our daily workflows to align with how we feel. Anyone in the red is given fewer tasks, diverted instead to the greener members of the team. This tiny act of self-awareness improves the team’s adaptability to recover faster from stress and anxiety. Check out Creative HQ’s handy resilience resource to help you and your team get started.

If this is the first time you’ve heard or read about VU18. Stay in the loop with all the latest news from Venture Up by jumping on our mailing list. See you later alligator!

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