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Matthew Gorman is the CEO of Gallaway Cook Allan, one of the South’s larger law firms, with offices in Dunedin and Otago. Matthew will be bringing his extensive business and legal experience to Startup Weekend 2015 as a mentor.

1. In a few sentences, what do you do?

I manage a law firm. A law firm is a service business like any other and needs managing if it is to remain successful over the long term. It is also a Partnership, which introduces a fascinating dynamic, in some ways perhaps quite similar to a startup.

2. What startup experience do you have?

I have started a business three times in my life, each time in the consultancy sector. On each occasion I was drawn back into employed roles after a period of time. As a Business Coach I have worked with a number of startups in businesses such as Event Management, Performance Sports Clothing and Organic Ice Cream production.

3. What is it about Startup Weekend that you’re looking forward to?

I get a real buzz out of working with people who are starting businesses. I like the energy and the enthusiasm of people involved in startup business and get a kick from helping them make the best of their ideas.

4. What would be the biggest piece of advice you have for startup founders or would be startup founders?

Learn to listen! As a startup you have to get very good at pitching, at persuading, at being an advocate for your ideas and your business. It’s vital not to lose sight of the flip side of that – listening to others, whether they are your partners, employees, customers or competitors.

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