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Lessons Learnt from NZ Startup Bootcamp

Our Collaborative Innovation Manager Joel Anderson flew across the ditch to hang out with our friends at Soda Inc. and mentor some of the teams at their 48-hour NZ Startup Bootcamp Competition. Here is what he had to say about the experience.

Over the weekend 20 teams from across New Zealand arrived at the Soda Inc. – NZ Startup Bootcamp to compete in a 48-hour challenge. Over the 48 hours the teams were exposed to inspiring key note talks by top New Zealand entrepreneurs, expert workshops covering all the principles of startup life and a pool of 26 mentors with years of specialty experience.

The teams were relentlessly challenged and had a series of daunting deliverables due incrementally over the 3 days. This saw tears, drastic pivots, arguments and most importantly incredible resilience to keep picking themselves up when times got tough.

“If you can’t handle criticism, it is probably not a good idea to be an entrepreneur”

Out of the 20 teams, 6 had completely new concepts at the end with some truly EPIC pivots resulting from discoveries of previously unknown industry challenges through the customer validation process.

Three teams from each category were chosen to pitch to a panel of judges and 300 attendees at the end of the 48-hour timeline.

New Idea Category

  • Luprio – A compression vest with sensor technology to help people going through back rehabilitation keep perfect form during exercises at home
  • Chameleon – A paint on polymer adhesive that when applied to piping changes colour when a gas leak occurs
  • Poi – A 12-year-old girl hand crafting traditional Māori Poi and spreading traditional Māori culture

Best Start Up Category

  • Share Seat – A peer to peer platform that utilizes spare seats or space in vehicles to ship large items across NZ for a fraction of the price of a courier
  • RH Innovation – A revolutionary moisture sensing company that empowers farmers to make accurate decisions about their irrigation to save water & money
  • VoxPop – A mobile App that transcribes callers for radio stations allowing them to quickly identify quality viewer messages and replay them on Air

The winner of NZ Startup Bootcamp; Chameleon ended up walking away with the $10,000 prize in the new Idea category and RH Innovation took the honours in the other. The people’s choice award was given to Georgia, a 12 year old future leader who wowed the audience with her passion and vision to create equality across NZ.

“The less the words, the more the meaning”

Amongst all the excitement, I did learn some top tips for young players thinking of entering a competition like this to create the next BIG impact company.

  1. The common theme across the presentations was to BE BOLD. Life is too short to think about doing something. If you have passion have a crack.
  2. These events add an incredible amount of value to your idea whether it is a new or an existing idea. You are forced outside of your comfort zone and will achieve in 48 hours what you would normally take you months, you will fail and that is ok because you will do it quickly before you waste any of your precious time or money. Understand the market, understand the opportunity.
  3. “Premiumisation” is taking over the world. People are prepared to pay more for a better product if it adds value to their lives and the community.
  4. Mentors are the backbone of these events, they are experts in their respective fields and have knowledge that has been gained through experience. Ask questions and most importantly listen.
  5. Collaboration is key, you are in this together as a team. Culture creates the team and the team makes the company and investors back them.

If you are interested in being a part of solving global challenges take a look at our Collaborative Innovation Labs.

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