#VentureUp19 Week 2

VentureUp19: Week 2 – Validate, Test, Refine…

What?!?! We’re halfway already!

#VentureUp19 WGTN is full-steam ahead – our teams are validating, refining and testing solution concepts.

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


“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stressed. Working hard for something we love is called passion”

Simon Sinek, author of Start with Why


Our programme is intense, so one thing we make sure to instil in our founders is well-being alongside resilience – aka self-care and managing pressure, things that are super useful in day-to-day life, and not just for startup founders!

As our 2015 alumni Emily said:

“You’re going to keep hitting brick walls – this is a part of growth, keep putting one foot in front of another.”

But when you keep hitting those brick walls, it can be stressful no matter how much you love what you’re working towards, so we want our cohort to feel comfortable.

On Friday, we were joined by Jen Young of Jen Y Insights for a session focused on Resilience, Mindfulness & Wellbeing.

After reiterating the differences between fixed and growth mindsets, and how these relate to growing our comfort zone, Jen lead our teams through some exercises to demonstrate the physiological effects on energy (low power and high power body positions) – check out the group power-posing below!

With so much good information, we’ve picked our key takeaway… Micro-pauses!

Whether it’s one minute, five, or half an hour, taking a mental pause can help reduce stress, increase productivity and build resilience. Want to try it yourself?

Set a timer for 1 minute.

Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.

Fix your eyes on a spot on the floor or horizon, or close your eyes.

And breathe deeply.

If you find thoughts coming in, that’s fine – acknowledge them. And if it makes it easier, count your breaths 1,2 in… 3,4 out…

See if it works for you!

Jen Y Insights
Jen and the #VentureUp19 cohort work on their power poses

Other highlights for the week include:

Last week, we encouraged the teams to get out and find out more about the problems they’re wanting to solve – and this week they were out testing the solution concepts they’ve come up with.
What better way to do that than take the proposed products back out to the people with the problems to test them?

Terry Shubkin

Inspire session with Terry Shubkin
We were joined by Terry, CEO – that’s Chief Excitement Officer – of Young Enterprise Trust, early in the week to hear a bit more about her story, as she explained how ‘failures’ have helped get her to where she is today.
It was a welcome mental break for the cohort who have been working hard to refine their problem statements, delve deep with their audiences and develop their prototypes.
There were a lot of nuggets of wisdom, but narrowing it down Terry’s top three were:

  • Plan what you want to do and then go for it!
    Because if you don’t work hard for it, why should anyone else?
  • Be prepared for disappointments. Sometimes those are the best learning opportunities
  • Be open to those possibilities that you never dreamed were possible

Week 2 – Halfway Demo

Halfway Demo!
How crazy is it we’re past the halfway point already?!?
Our halfway demo was well-attended, with mentors, a judging panel AND a government minister!
Our judging panel was made up of:

  • Nick Churchouse, Head of People & Practice at Creative HQ, who has extensive experience working with startups as well as plenty in public speaking
  • Laura Ansell, Manager at the Akina Foundation, with a background in social enterprise and socially conscientious business.
  • And last but by no means least, Suse Reynolds, an investor with Angel HQ, NZ Ice Angels and MIG Angels, with boundless experience hearing startup pitches.

Our teams pitched for 2–3 minutes, showcasing their progress and wowing our judging panel before receiving feedback and suggestions on areas to focus and refine over the next two weeks before the final Showcase!
Thanks to all – and especially to Minister Kris Faafoi – for taking the time out to join us.

Minister Kris Faafoi

‘Til next time!

If this is the first time you’re hearing from #VentureUp19…Welcome aboard, and where’ve you been?! Check out our previous post here – and stay up-to-date on all the goings-on via our mailing list and follow us on social (Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram) for daily content!

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