If anyone thought we would be where we are now 4 weeks into Venture Up 2017 with 7 teams all getting their business ideas off the ground and running, you could have been fooling me! This week was all about marketing and the art of sales starting off with identifying different ways to do so with Barry of the crowdfunding platform PledgeMe skating in to chat about different models to use when seeking money from various sources. It was not long after until Pete Russell, founder of Ooooby found his way through with an amazing story to inspire the young would be entrepreneurs with stories of success and failure when scaling a business, not only to our neighbors in Australia, but also offshore to the USA!
It is always a pleasure to have one of the mentors stop in and present a session, especially if it is Anne Walsh of Unilever. The session around the tricky subject of pricing was explored and positioning your product/ service correctly is crucial for brand image for the teams to take away and ponder. No time was wasted as the halfway stakeholders and sponsors pitch evening loomed for teams to have their first official pitch to the wider community. All teams managed to get up and conquer their fears of public speaking with a few nervous shakes of those who were stepping out of their comfort zone and pushing themselves in front of a 50+ wide audience.
Different areas of sales and marketing were covered by a wealth of knowledge ranging from Justin Scott of Growth Devil explaining the concepts around growth hacking to the return of Melanie Langlotz from Geo AR Games illustrating how to market in a startup context with very limited resources.
The teams were then boosted away into the amazing AR/VR Garage, a co-working space where like-minded companies working in the Virtual/ Augmented reality industry can meet, connect and share wealth around knowledge (see photo above). Grateful to have companies like Staples Rentals & Method Studios NZ come and share lessons learnt while giving some of the lucky crew a chance to experience VR/AR first hand!
The week finished up with Creative HQ’s Nick Churchouse discussing the finer points of delivering an effective pitch, something crucial with the final showcase just around the corner, along with the law firm Lowndes Jordan coming along to give a quick spiel on all things legal in a startup context. Thank you to Andrew & Luke for making the time to come and school up our young guns!
Exciting times ahead with week 5 just around the corner! This weekend is a bitter sweet feel for the students as Auckland Anniversary provides them with a long weekend but 1 less day next week to work so lets see how the participants come out on the other side!
A quick shoutout (the first of its kind) to the Venture Up Boost crew, a group of YR12 students based around Auckland (+1 from Wellington) who came to spend the week along side the Venture Up teams to get a taste of the accelerator and help “boost” the teams with each of them splitting into various groups.