Andy on Startup Weekend: “Work like a banshee, learn something new”

Startup Weekend is dangerous. It gives you a chance to sample what running a start-up is like, and once you are hooked you might start questioning some assumptions about the things that you are good at and your prospects in your current role.

This is exactly what happened to me. I met my co-founder Chris Saunders at last year’s start-up weekend and 2 weeks later we had set up Inductive (inductive.co.nz).

Last year, Chris and I competed in different teams and Chris still ribs me that his team won! We’ve now built our first product chesschecker.com – a website that helps chess players improve at chess by converting paper records of the game into a digital format (so drop me a line if you play chess!).

If you attend Startup Weekend this year, you will almost certainly work like a banshee, learn something new about yourself, make some new friends, and have an insane amount of fun.

Guest post by Andrew Masters








How a Team from Startup Weekend Christchurch Launched a Kickstarter

This is the story of Swoppy, a protective case that turns your smartphone into a handheld console.

Swoppy first prototype
First prototype – Swoppy

 

It all began when Regina, the founder and Chief Unicorn Wrangler at Swoppy, found a rubber phone case that looked like a GameBoy online. She couldn’t resist buying one. From the day she had it on her phone, it was a major conversation starter with strangers as well as friends. Regina found herself pushing buttons (a lot) and dreaming about playing right there on her phone. She planned it out in her head, thought through a few ways of making it a reality and bought a ticket to the 2016 Startup Weekend in Christchurch.

The weekend exceeded her expectations by far. A talented team of incredibly passionate individuals formed around her and within the first 20 hours they had a working prototype, talked to many people on the street and had a decent amount of survey feedback that validated the idea. They even made their first sale on that Saturday. More followed on Sunday and eventually team PGC (now Swoppy) became runner up of the weekend. Astonishing to see what can be achieved with a focused, dedicated team, inspiring mentors and a bit of fun in just one weekend.

Over the course of 54 hours, valuable connections were made! A room full of inspiring, driven and passionate people led to great opportunity to learn and establish new relationships. The original team walked their different ways to work on other projects or went back to their day jobs but Aydin, another Startup Weekend attendee, came on board.

Regina & Aydin, Team Swoppy
Regina & Aydin, Team – Swoppy

 

Aydin, Swoppy’s Lord Commander of Hacking All Things, is a passionate gamer with a great technical mind. They made a plan towards a Kickstarter campaign and started working on it. There were legal hurdles to jump, tricky prototyping issues, lots of R&D on the material, IP and branding alongside many other challenges. One lesson that almost every entrepreneur faces on their journey, did not go past those two – It has taken nearly double the time than expected to fulfil the plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign. But it was surely worth the wait!

The Swoppy phone case is well designed to protect your phone and to enhance your mobile gaming experience. It will be available for all recent iPhone models as well as popular Android phones. Every case comes with an emulator that emulates the GameBoy games you own using Dropbox integration. It will also run web based games. There is also an open source developer kit in the making.

swoppy

Head along to EPIC INNOVATION to support the launch of the Kickstarter campaign on the 24th of February, at 12:30pm. There will be your favourite retro consoles to play, craft beer, and snacks to kick things off with a bang!

Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or get an email reminder for the Kickstarter launch by signing up here: http://getswoppy.com/#contact

To launch your idea, meet co-founders, and grow your network sign up for Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017 on May 19th-21st!








‘Edible Bugs’ Business Spreads Its Wings

After Startup Weekend Christchurch in May 2016, Anteater have well and truly caught the edible insect bug.

Anteater source edible insects for restaurants and high end food producers. They provide chefs with fresh crunchy critters to help them stand out and attract more diners.

We caught up with Co-Founders Peter Randrup and Rebecca De Prospo (Bex) to talk about their journey through Startup Weekend and beyond.

anteater


So what’s been happening with Anteater since Startup Weekend back in May?

Peter: We’ve been busy that’s for sure. We have continued to grow our customer base, been on a bug research mission to South East Asia, and supplied TedX Christchurch with sky prawns (locusts). We took out the Grand Prize at the University of Canterbury’s Entré 85K Challenge, and we have a few bigger projects on the go like supplying insects for Te Papa’s Bug Lab exhibition which just opened on 10 December.

14589734_1278585685519184_1756426707093053210_o

Thinking back to where it all started, what can you tell us about your Startup Weekend experience:

Bex: I bought my ticket from a friend’s Facebook post at the last minute having no experience and not knowing anyone… and now my life is completely unrecognisable. I have nothing but good things to say about Startup Weekend. It completely transformed my life!

Peter: I think it’s a fantastic event. Really cool. It was my second one, and I went there not intending to pitch, but I brought an idea just in case. About 25 people had pitched and nothing had resonated with me so I jumped up and pitched ‘edible bugs’ and got a fantastic response!
It was so much fun over the weekend, we got out in the field, out of our comfort zones, we nailed it.

One weekend goes by pretty fast. What did you learn in that time?

Bex: To every member of our team the learning was more important than the competition. Rather than just throwing up a survey and going through market validation as an exercise we went out and talked to people in restaurants and at farmers markets. This is where the learning happened. On that weekend we even got our first customer..

Peter: I walked in and pitched the idea to Giulio Sturla at Roots Restaurant [Cuisine Magazine’s Restaurant of the Year 2015] and he was all over it. He was so keen. They’re still a great customer.

tedxlocusts

Bex: Meanwhile I was outside getting shouted at by people on the street.. ‘Why are you trying to survey me? I’m at the Farmers Markets.. Move along!’ hahaha

So during Startup Weekend you met your first customer, any other significant connections?

Peter: Yeah Roots Restaurant… and of course Bex who became my business partner =)

Bex: Yeah, Peter! …contacts in the chef community, Geoff Brash who ended up being our mentor during the Entré competition and will remain a close friend and ally of our business. We also keep bumping into chefs who we cold-called or connected with during Startup Weekend.

What tips do you have for first-timers at Startup Weekend?

Peter: I would say take passion, know where your skills are, and fully embrace it. Get to know your customer inside and out. Talk with them, really try and understand them.

I think Bex and I work well together as we have the same values, but different skillsets. So look for teammates with those attributes.

Bex: I would have liked someone to tell me before I went that if you are going to pitch, you don’t need to have a fully formed business plan in mind, just an idea.

Be really clear on the problem you are trying to solve. Be aware that to solve this problem you may need to solve a different problem for your customer. We want to solve sustainable food, but chefs want easy access to items which can help differentiate their offering.

img_0146

What’s the next big focus for Anteater?

Bex: Increasing our production capacity and market expansion which will likely involve export as the New Zealand market is only so big.

Between now and March, we are pretty busy at Re:START Christmas market (Dec 15-16, and 22-23), the Great Hagley Beer Festival (Jan 28 2017), Splore Festival near Auckland (Feb 17-19 2017), and Nostalgia Festival (Mar 4 2017).

Wow, busy! I better let you get on with it. Any last words?

Bex: Regarding Startup Weekend, my advice is ‘go’. To anyone who is thinking about going, just go. I’m the perfect example of going to a Startup Weekend and your whole life changing. You don’t need to have an idea or to know other people that are going.

And if you want to know more about us check out Anteater.co.nz
If you want to try any of our products we are in every major centre over the summer, or head to Te Papa while the Bug Lab exhibition is on. Or we can let you know of a restaurant near you that has our edible insects.

Peter: Yeah, get in touch with us if you have any questions, or ideas or anything. Just flick us an email or message.



Thanks Peter and Bex!

If you have any questions about Startup Weekend Christchurch in May 2017 you can find more information and register here. Feel free to join our Facebook group for updates.

The interview and post is by Alex Procter, one of the organisers for Startup Weekend Christchurch 2017.








Stories From Last Year: Andrew Masters

Andy is a long time attendee of Startup Weekend having attended four events in several different locations. Last year Andy’s team created The Cheese Board, a subscription based service that delivers a monthly platter of curated premium cheeses to your home or office.

Andy works full time as a software developer at Jade Software but has found that Startup Weekends expose him to more of the business side of startups which has helped him to develop a whole new set of skills.

Andy describes Startup Weekend as a real challenge but great fun. The most valuable part for him is “meeting the different teams and people that are there to make things happen.”

Listening to all of the different concepts put forward at the beginning of each Startup Weekend is Andy’s favourite part, “hearing all the innovative and creative ideas is really inspiring, and often sparks off other ideas.”

Andy will be back for his 5th Startup Weekend this year, limited tickets available here.

The Cheese Board






Stories From Last Year: Rupert Curry

FANCY-NZ-Design-Blog_Noble and Savage17Rupert Curry attended his first Startup Weekend in 2015. Since then he has continued to work on several different entrepreneurial ventures, with Noble and Savage being his main focus. Noble and Savage is a tea merchant company which makes premium loose leaf tea and is available in cafes and restaurants throughout New Zealand and Australia.
The main thing Rupert learnt from Startup Weekend was around, “never being too afraid or too proud to admit when something isn’t working.” Startup Weekend focuses on validating ideas quickly and changing what doesn’t work. Rupert also felt that Startup Weekend emphasised the importance of team and demonstrated the value of having a wide range of skills.
During Startup Weekend, mentors and business leaders are available to provide feedback on your idea. The challenge is that conflicting advice is often given by various people. Rupert recommends “filtering advice and making your own judgement call.”
The favourite part of Startup Weekend for Rupert was the general buzz and meeting so many clever people. The core group of people from his 2015 Startup Weekend venture have all become really good friends and still hang out every few weeks. Rupert has only attended the one Startup Weekend but plans to do another when he isn’t as busy as he currently is.
Tickets for startup weekend are available here. 







Stories From Last Year: Michelle Panzer

Last year was Michelle’s first ever Startup Weekend. Since then she has become increasingly more involved in the entrepreneurial space,first as part of the management team for Lightning Lab and now as the Incubator Manager at the University of Canterbury.

Michelle was encouraged to attend Startup Weekend and was promised it would be a great experience. Her favourite part was building a team around a problem that everyone was equally passionate about. Michelle acknowledges that their “idea wasn’t great, but our team became extremely close and still catch up most weeks.”

A lot of practical skills are gained from Startup Weekend including putting a lean canvas into practice, talking to potential customers and identifying pain points. “The strict timeframe of Startup Weekend forces you to achieve as much as you possibly can in a short timeframe and consequently makes you question your efficiency beyond Startup Weekend” says Michelle.

Having a startup experience condensed into a single weekend has given Michelle additional insight into what various ventures are challenged and inspired by. Now working with entrepreneurs and innovators every day this has proven to be extremely helpful.

Startup Weekend tickets are available through Eventbrite.

Hard at work (1)






Stories From Last Year: Ryan O'Hara

RyanOharaLast year Ryan attended his first ever Startup Weekend. He’d heard plenty about it and thought it would be a great way to check out what the startup scene was like in Christchurch. Ryan currently runs two businesses, Voyage a web design company which he founded prior to his involvement in Startup Weekend and Waggle, an online marketplace where Kiwis can launch and bid for jobs which was launched afterwards.

Startup Weekend involves 100 people including designers, developers and non-technical people interested in startups. Participants experience levels range from those being exposed to startups for the first time to seasoned entrepreneurs. For Ryan the best part of Startup Weekend was being in a room full of likeminded people. Ryan said “Startup Weekend provides you with the tools to develop and validate an idea quickly.”

Ryan found making connections with likeminded people really beneficial. “The networking aspect was invaluable and being able to take those connections and use them outside of Startup Weekend has been great.” Ryan said they’ve already used connections made through Startup Weekend to help with PR and recruitment.

Ryan is looking forward to another Startup Weekend and encourages those that have a job that needs doing to sign up and list it on Waggle. Early bird tickets finish this Friday so make sure you grab a ticket quick.








The Teams of SWCHCH 2015

Startup Weekend 2015 sold out about two weeks before the actual event, and that was after we increased our limit to 100 people. In the end we had 87 people actually attending the event.  In all there were 13 teams.

Here below are some information on the teams:

Teams

Lago (Winner)

Lago Team Lago Team 2

LAGO LogoDescription:  LAGO is paving the way for trampers, hikers and outdoors-people to share their knowledge and experiences on one platform, using a smooth, user-friendly map interface. Map out little-known trails manually or via live GPS, post photos and stories, plan your trip from start to finish and gain access to the vast wealth of information available on the NZ outdoors all from one sleek web application.

Our vision is to be the place to go for anyone looking to traverse the NZ outdoors, experienced or not. We are looking to simplify the planning and preparation process of expeditions, by providing easy access to critical safety information, as well as relevant suppliers of gear, accommodation and transport, depending on the adventure you have in mind. LAGO is uncovering the tracks less travelled, and if you’d like to join us, head to lagotlt.co.


Nightscape (2nd Place)

Nightscape Team

Nightscape logo3Description:  “even the bouncers couldn’t have told you that”

It is an app for the Nightlife industry that solves two key problems

  1. Bars and Nightclubs cannot turn a night around when they need to
  2. Partygoers want the best experience and want to know the hottest places NOW

Through a simple LIVE map, partygoers can see their city and the places that are popular, giving them an unparalleled view of what’s hot and how to get there.

A simple Business interface gives bars and nightclubs the power to send deals INSTANTLY through the NIGHTSCAPE app to entice partygoers to their bars. At the end of a night they can analyse the effectiveness of their decisions with our analytics package.

  • Team: Alex, Ben, Joseph, Rachael, Richard, Tom
  • Website: nightscape.co
  • Social Media: none
  • Contact: email

Intelligent Interiors (3rd Place)

team

intelPodDescription:  IntelPod is a behaviour aware heatpump controller. It extends the capability of modern behaviors aware technology to already installed heatpumps.

The simplicity of IntelPod is its strength. No installation or programming required. Just put it somewhere close to your current heatpump and use your heatpump as always. IntelPod learns your behaviour and will do the controlling automatically for you.

No more cold breakfast.

  • Team: Helen, Jurgen, Kunal, Latifah, Lisa, Muhammad, Robert
  • Website: intelpod.github.io
  • Social Media: none
  • Contact: email

Cheeseboard

thecheeseboard_team_small

cheeseboardDescription:  The Cheese Board – is a new subscription as a service product that delivers you a monthly platter of curated premium cheeses.

We deliver directly to your workplace, so the cheese is fresh and you don’t have to worry about being in.

We have 2 subscription tiers:
Explorer – lets you experience 3 of our wonderful cheeses ($30/month)
Connoisseur – gets an additional cheese and specialty condiment. Members are also invited to our quarterly cheese board social tasting panel, getting to participate in the cheese selection decision making process for the next few months. ($50/month)

Additionally each pack comes with tasting note cards and our own virtual Maître d’ Fromage content via YouTube, that guides you through your cheese tasting experience.


Crowdie

team_crowdie

crowdie_logoDescription: Crowdie connects people looking for help with people offering their skills.
We aim to skip the hassle of finding a business and arranging times by linking you with people in the community who are willing to do the job. On the flipside, Crowdie is a place for people to advertise their skills and make some money on the side doing what they are good at.

Crowdie: Make life easy.

  • Team: Aleaddin, Blake, Cade, Christian, Henry, Joe, Mitchell, Nicola, Riria
  • Website: crowdie.co
  • Social Media: Twitter
  • Contact: email

Food For Good

FFG team SWCHC 15

FoodForGoodDescription: FoodForGood is a social enterprise that connects people with excess food to people who need it.

We are creating a service that deals with fruit wasting in urban backyards during fruiting seasons. It is a social enterprise that connects members of the community and existing social distribution channels with those who’d like to make their fruit available to a good cause.

  • Team: Anthony, Hemon, Ian, Jennifer, Kerepeti, Richard
  • Website: foodforgood.co
  • Social Media: Facebook
  • Contact: on website

HateIt (Flipside Analytics)

No team photo available

Haters LogoDescription: FlipSide Analytics is a market research company specialised in providing your business with customer demographics and marketing insights around the most disliked or hated companies or websites on the Internet.

We have built built a Hate/Dislike button or “bookmarklet” that allows you to “Hate” or “Dislike” any page on the Internet. You can see how many other people hate this page and the top most hated pages on the Internet.

For our business model, we have a global analytics product that enables you to determine customer pain points broken down by demographics (e.g. Google Analytics for haters). This is available as a subscription service for analysing global trends ($25/week). We also have a branded analytics product which provides a static report ($250) regarding demographics on the haters of your clients/competitors (URL based) and ongoing subscription for access to real-time data ($1000 per month).


Kinnetic

IMG_3469

Kinnetic Logo (1)Description: We have created a system which helps companies increase employee interaction to enhance the water-cooler effect. Our system matches two people from targeted groups and automatically sets up and facilitates an online meeting between them. Our system seamlessly organises these interactions so they can happen more frequently, less disruptively allows us to integrate this behaviour into the culture of your company. This can help companies break down both vertical and horizontal silos and help them onboard new staff.


MatesRate

20150509_150407 2015-05-10 16.37.48

MatesRates_Logo_bigDescription: Online peer-to-peer community-based proximity-defined tool renting/letting service.


Missing Piece

11227052_10153276283177378_2272874114571682477_n

Screenshot 2015-12-01 16.13.18Description:  no info provided

  • Team: Adam, Catarina, Hannah, Lina, Ryan, Samantha
  • Website: None
  • Social Media: None
  • Contact: email

Photobomb

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

vector logo - USE - orange with blackDescription: PhotoBomb is the Uber of sporting event photography – crowd sourcing those “special moment” photographs to give sporting participants a much larger pool of event photos, at a more competitive price.


Quick Pay NZ

QuickPay_team

QuickPay_nameDescription: We are QuickPay! Transferring money between friends is hard. We need to either hand over cash in person or use online banking. We believe it should be as simple as sending a text message.

We are creating a service that will enable just that – money transfer via SMS to anyone who has a phone number. We want to change the way small amounts of money is transferred between individuals and small merchants. All it takes to register is a phone number, a credit card and optionally a bank account to receive money.


Tooot

11210407_10155601721945637_2535532177420480351_n

ToooT LogoDescription: ToooT recognises the lack of education around healthy eating choices, particularly for children. We learned from teachers that the #1 way to promote healthy living for children is through fun, particularly games. In our game, the child will feed their character of choice and level up to receive rewards. These rewards come in the form of countdown dollars for the kids to spent at Countdown.

  • Team: Andrew, Ivan, Michelle, Peter, Rupert, Tui
  • Website: None
  • Social Media: None
  • Contact: email

 

cover photo credit: Erica Austin