Week 3 – Half way mark!!!

I cannot believe that Venture Up 2016 is half way through!! The time spent here by the Venture Up crew and participants have flown past and so much has been achieve in the time we have spent together. The week kicked off in the best way possible, with a holiday!!! Wellington Anniversary saw all the teams having an extra long weekend which was welcomed with open arms by all. But like anything, with longer breaks comes a shorter week, making for one of the more compact learning blocks of the programme.

We saw some familiar faces back on the Venture Up scene at the beginning of week 3 with Rollo Wenlock coming back into the frame to check in with the progress of the teams, whilst introducing concepts like Total Addressable Market (TAM) & figuring out who your First Addressable Market (FAM) are! The value and honest feedback the guys receive will go a long way in the early stages and this is something that was address from the start. The time throughout the day was well utilized with meetings and customer validation in any time made available, which is amazing to see. A visit to a casting company making big moves internationally based in Wellington called Starnow opened the eyes of those who thought it may not be a feasible option running operations locally.

The next day saw Kendell Flutey making an appearance and chatting to the group about customer support and the different aspects that come along with the growth of a company to keep in mind. Her experiences winning multiple award and successfully starting up a company called Banqer along with being a very young bright spark made it more relatable for the guys with fun interactive exercises to help illustrate concepts learnt later in the session. Again, time in between was spent getting out and about while touching on the topic of coding with Rohan Wakefield & the team from Enspiral Development Academy coming back and getting the basics defined for those interested. CSS, HTML, Javascript, and many other languages to name a few that have more acronyms than the alphabet.

It is always a pleasure to have Jessica Venning-Bryan come back in with the most interesting stories through the power of videos that I have ever seen! Her wealth of experience on partnership and the techniques around how to secure meaningful partnerships was taken on board with the teams hoping to get out and secure a couple of their own! This set the scene for the halfway demonstration with sponsors and stakeholders with representatives from Callaghan Innovation, Wellington City Council, Young Enterprise Trust, Victoria University of Wellington, Ministry of Youth Development & Creative HQ to name a few. The teams rose above the occasion to deliver a smooth, seamless pitch, which was so encouraging to see! The birthday cakes and dinner came flowing out during the mixing & mingling time with the special few luck enough to celebrate their 18th birthdays whilst at Venture Up!

The end of the week had Venture Up programme manager Oliviah coming in with tools & techniques on how to build resilience into their daily life, something necessary for being in such a fast paced environment! The afternoon saw another familiar face reintroduced back into the Venture Up lineup, Rachel Taulelei – a prominent business/ entrepreneur who has achieved so much, serving on multiple boards and heading the F&B organisation Kono NZ. The importance of networking, spotting key opportunities, having a hard work ethic, and knowing that “you can do anything, but not everything” were key lessons taken from the session. With it being the halfway mark of the second ever Venture Up, the guys had to do something to celebrate, and what way to do it than smashing a few pins at the local bowling alley!! Can’t wait for the weekend with a well deserved break so will check in next week for the beginning of week 4!

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