Who attends a Startup Weekend and who would win in a bar fight?
Okay, they didn’t walk into a bar, but they did walk into Biz Dojo for another edition of Startup Weekend Wellington (SWWLG).
Each Startup Weekend a bunch of strangers get together to tackle real world problems, create businesses and learn some new and rather unique skills.
How does it work?
People buy tickets to the weekend long Startup event. Participants pitch an idea on a Friday evening. Teams then form around the most popular ideas. The newly formed teams spend the rest of the weekend exploring the idea in more detail with the aim of pitching a validated and functional business idea to a Panel of expert judges on the Sunday evening.
Design discipline: Graphic
Why did you come to SWWLG? I like being able to do something outside of my normal working realm. I like competition and jumping out of my comfort zone.
As a designer, what did you learn? At SWWLG you can’t just dive into a project and then re-scope. Here you don’t have that time. You have to go back to the roots of the design process, there is no time for error. SWWLG and our business (Tane Kaha) made me go back to the creative process and be really thorough.
Who would win in a bar fight? Whoever is the better fighter. Whoever loses is the person that assumes they are the best.
Why is design important? Communication.
What advice would you give to someone coming to the next event? Expect the unexpected and find the best team!
Final words: I was really impressed with all of the volunteers and people running the programme. To see them all come together on this!
Best thing about being a dev? The ability to create shit. I enjoy the ability to make some of these real!
Role this weekend? I led the team
Who would win in a bar fight? The designer probably cares about what they look like and goes to the gym so they would kick my ass.
What advice would you give to someone coming to the next event? Take advice with a grain of salt.
What do you wish you knew before you came in?
I enjoyed being thrown in the deep end and trying to get a team together and develop an idea.
Did you have a moment when you thought shit this won’t work? Saturday afternoon around 4pm when we started looking into raising capital
Final words: This has been a lot more enjoyable than I thought it would be.
The Entrepreneur (non-technical)
Role this weekend? Business development and market research. I’m also pitching!
Day jobs: Full time running Square (event discovery platform) and part time running Iruya (ethical trading with accessories)
What can a non-tech bring to SWWLG? It is really important because a lot of this weekend involves idea validation – talk to potential customers to refine the value proposition – how we can solve their problem. Really identify where we fit in the market. Big picture perspective.
Who would win in a bar fight? Non-tech because we are used to using all of the resources and thinking outside the box (Jackie Chan styles… you do what you can to win the fight)
What advice would you give to someone coming to the next event? It’s really important before you come to figure out that if you want to work on an idea you are really passionate about or if you want to learn about the process. What is your goal?
Final words: You don’t need a tech idea to come and do this. A lot of the ideas that are here now don’t have much to do with tech!
Expertise: Business Models
Have you ever participated in SWWLG? Yes, I came in with an idea of having an online platform to match performers with venues.
Wisdom drop: Clarity of thought. Speed of execution.
Why should someone come to SWWLG? It’s a really good training ground for early stage entrepreneurs. If you have an idea that you want to see if it has any merit or traction then this is a really good space to learn.
Who would win in a bar fight? You are missing the hustler, they will always win because she will bring the money home!
What is one bit of advice you give every Startup weekend? I don’t give advice. I ask questions, what are you trying to do? What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Can you think of a time when you really helped a team out of a rut? A lot of the time the teams that form at SWWLG miss the finance person – that’s where I feel I have the most impact.
Final words: Do not miss this event! There are so many good things happening in Silicon Welly – don’t miss this one!
Expertise: Angel investment and international trade (I’m a used diplomat)
What Judges tips do you give out every Startup Weekend? First, be your very best self, especially when you are working with investors. It’s like a marriage, if you aren’t honest going in, then there will be problems. Secondly, Don’t take it personally if you don’t get investment, even though it is personal. You aren’t going to connect with every investor.
Have you ever participated in a startup weekend?
Yes, it was so much fun. I remember the energy and then getting to the end of sunday evening and feeling wrung out. People were so excited about what they had achieved.
Who would win in a bar fight? The entrepreneur because they conjure up an image of somebody who has broad shoulders and a beard and they’d be good in a fight.
What is the first thing you notice when a team comes up to pitch? Are they smiling. Does it matter if they are smiling? No. It just gives me a sense of the kind of person that they are.
Have you ever told anyone to stop in the middle of their pitch? No
Final words: The world needs more of you!
There is no weekend without the organising team – did you know they are all volunteers? Hats off to you – SWWLG Squad!
This is the first ever environment-themed Startup Weekend in Wellington!
Participants pitched over 40 eco-tech and planet-saving ideas at Startup Weekend Wellington Environment 2017.
11 of these ideas made it past the initial vetting round.
How do we whittle down from 40 ideas to 11? Each person that pitched an idea creates an enticing and descriptive poster about their idea. Participants get 5 colourful dots that they then go and place on their favourite ideas. Posters with the most dots have teams form around them and just like that… 11 teams begin the intense weekend long process.
The problem: People do not have access to the energy cost related to their future property.
The solution: An energy efficiency rating for New Zealand homes. It allows home hunters, including renters and home buyers to see the estimated energy running costs of that property through a data driven rating
Quote: From Jessica Venning-Bryan (Judge), “I presume you are all Flick customers!?”
Our team looks like: Data scientists, Economist, Engineer, Web Developer and a Business Analyst.
Highlight: The thought process into developing a business. The way to move. We’ve come across road blocks, through a number of processes we were reasonably effective at overcoming them.
Like this idea? You can contact Sebastian Doelle: email@example.com
The problem: There is a lot of construction and trade waste.
The solution: An app that links builders to D.I.Y consumers to re-use building left overs.
Quote: “We all know builders like pies, our first method of advertising will be on pie packaging, followed by a more ambitious goal of advertising on ‘The Block’.”
Our team looks like: Business magicians, Designer, Developers and Marketing Adviser.
Highlight: “All the people you meet, the networking, the great conversations with people in the public.”
Like this idea? You can contact @SWWLG
The problem: There are many women in the world and most of them are using disposable, one time use sanitary items.
The solution: We are creating a pair of underwear that makes liners redundant.
Quote: “Each year New Zealanders use enough disposable panty-liners to run the length of the length of New Zealand 4 1/2 times!”
Our team looks like: Lingerie Designer, Business Advisor, Designer, IT specialist, Communications Specialist and an Environmental Specialist.
Highlight: We pulled together a videographer, a make up artist and a model to shoot our product – a full team effort.
Like this idea? You can contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Teams (in no particular order)
The problem: There is poor solar adoption among consumers. In addition, solar retailers do not have targeted customer knowledge to generate sales.
The solution: To provide a service that generates targeted customer leads based on intelligent data for solar retailers.
Quote: “We can provide a reduction in cost on leads to solar retailers of up to 60%.”
Our team looks like: Business Analysts and Developers
Highlight: Very early on we decided to pivot and look at our problem differently.
Like this idea? You can contact: email@example.com
1 Thing Today
The problem: People feel powerless to save the planet.
The solution: An app that helps you do one small thing to save the planet.
Quote: “That’s well clever. Simple and easy to use. Yes it motivates me to do more!”
Our team looks like: Designers, Developers and Researchers.
Highlight: The teams ability to collaborate and create something we are proud of from nothing, and have fun doing it.
Like this idea? You can contact Philip: firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem: There are too many t-shirts (clothing items) ending up in waste dumps.
The solution: We are going to up-cycle these t-shirts into three items; carry bags, cushions and quilts.
Quote: “Don’t send your t-shirts to die in a landfill…Give them a new life and help the environment too. join T-Shirt Revolution!”
Our team looks like: Business Analyst, Developer, Graphic Designer and a Fabric Goddess.
Highlight: A massive pivot – from mass market, low cost single item to value added customized/bespoke product.
Like this idea? You can contact Zak: email@example.com
The Grower’s Standard
The problem: YoPro’s can’t get into gardening.
The solution: No fuss, micro-garden – with a supporting mobile application.
Quote: “Nothing says grown-up like sprinkling fresh herbs atop your home-made dinner.”
Our team looks like: Developers, Designers, Marketer and one environment guy.
Highlight: We spent a lot of time trying to validate and cycling through different ideas. There was a moment when we found the right market and started working together seamlessly.
Like this idea? You can contact Russell: firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem: We live in a throw away society where people undervalue the things they have and long to consume more.
The solution: We are connecting people with underutilized adventure gear that they are open to lend out to people that want to borrow it. We are getting people to share instead of buying new. We are rewarding the sharers financially. Facilitating the global sharing economy.
Quote: “In 2004, New Zealand produced 400kg of household waste per capita – which means each of you produce the same amount of waste as an Australian!”
Our team looks like: Designers, Developers, Analysts and an Educator
Highlight: “The food was F***in awesome.”
Like this idea? You can contact Eryn Rogers: info@gear/share.co
The problem: There is a problem around growing food, specifically around shortage of space for people who want to grow their own food.
The solution: is a product that uses no soil. enabling you to grow food vertically. That solution is aeroponics.
Quote: “It’s a system that requires no soil to grow plants. It’s a system where the plant gets fed exactly what they need, no more and no less.”
Our team looks like: Product Developer and Consultants
Highlight: “Hearing the development of everyone’s ideas and how they change, particularly around pivoting moments.”
Like this idea? You can contact Nelson Curry: email@example.com
The problem: Not enough people using low carbon transport.
The solution: Using a reward system to motivate people to take more public transport.
Quote: “So Paulie has a PhD in environmental psychology… no pressure!”
Our team looks like: Mechatronics engineer, data scientist, environmental psychologist, environmental policy advisor, sales guy
Highlight: the point where we realised that the idea clicked, people were interested and the business model was validated – aka 3pm Saturday.
Like this idea? You can contact Charlene Leong: firstname.lastname@example.org
The problem: New Zealand’s water citizen water quality data is not all in one place.
The solution: To put water quality data in a central database.
Quote: “Water quality is important for a number of different reasons: cultural, health of people, health of the stream life.”
Our team looks like: developer, data analyst, hydrologist, project manager and Kaitiaki Taiao.
Highlight: “Its amazing how everything came together.”
Like this idea? You can contact Te Kawa: email@example.com
Startup Weekend Wellington is an event like no other. I talk to numerous people about the weekend and the conversation usually goes something like this:
“What is a Startup Weekend?”
“Well, its a weekend for people with burning ideas. It’s an event where people challenge themselves to create a business over a weekend.”
[…Confused and puzzling stare…]
“Let me explain a little more. People buy tickets to the weekend event. Participants pitch an idea on a Friday evening. Teams then form around the most popular ideas. The newly formed teams spend the rest of the weekend exploring the idea in more detail with the aim of pitching a validated and functional business idea to a Panel of expert judges on the Sunday evening.”
“Oh! That is actually pretty cool.”
[…Head spinning thoughts; perhaps I’ll head along to a weekend, I have ideas, I have skills…]
So who was involved in the May SWWLG and which team won?
Yes you can contact a team if you like their business idea!
Rocko’s Dog Food
Nutritious dog food delivered weekly, whilst also helping dogs in need.
The problem: The majority of people have no idea how much they’re spending a week on dog food and they are uncertain about how much to feed their dog.
The solution: We have developed a subscription dog food service, direct to your door, fresh and healthy. Every subscription supports dogs in need.
The pitch: It was all Rocko’s idea.
Our team looks like: Business Analysts, Hustler, Strategist, Growth Hacker, Designers and Developers.
“80% of the people we talked to over this weekend would pay a premium to help less fortunate dogs.” Rocko
Like this idea? You can contact Jordan: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE TEAMS (in random order)
local plate (formerly local dish)
Get local. Get fresh. Try new recipes.
The problem: There are a lot of people that go to the produce market and are overwhelmed by the amount of options and produce they’re not familiar with. 50% of consumers come to the market with no recipe in mind and because of this people usually stick to what they know.
The solution: The Farmer’s Bag. This is a produce bag that provides consumers with fresh, seasonal produce and a recipe to create a meal. We have built a mobile website prototype where users can browse our seasonal recipes, select their seasonal Farm Bag and pick up directly from their produce from their favourite weekend produce market.
From the pitch: Why this is different? We have a direct relationship with the vendor, you don’t lose that great weekend market atmosphere.
Our team looks like: Designers, Developers, Business Analysts and Marketers.
“We were surprised and excited by the passion that Wellington’s had for local produce and fresh options.” Farmer Brown
Like this idea? You can contact – Mary: email@example.com
Wafflr (formerly Waffl)
We are helping people write better emails – Write less, say more.
The problem: There is something lacking in the current communication between employees and employers. Emails are not getting read and are not getting actioned.
The solution: We are improving written communication through gamification. We want people to constantly improve the way they communicate. With a scoring system, people can see how well their email is written. The better the content, the higher the score.
The pitch: Today’s email got 100 points. Tomorrows 110. Can you beat Jen in accounting? We think so.
Our team looks like: Developers, Designers, Business Analysts and Marketers.
“Personal messaging is now incredibly short and to the point. Email hasn’t quite kept up with that and we are bringing it into the 24th century.” Chief Wafflr
Like this idea? You can contact Aaron: firstname.lastname@example.org
stepping stones(formerly Intentional Curiosity)
A social platform for setting intentional goals in a supportive community.
The problem: Taking a holistic view of your life is tricky and tools to help align your short term actions with long term vision are difficult to access and be held accountable on.
The solution: The goal is to get people living their life with more intent. We have created a holistic platform to keep track of your intentional goals. You are accountable to a supportive community, with recognition for achieving your goals.
The pitch: We want to improve peer support during those key transitional moments in life and we have taken a holistic view of a person’s life goals: finances, career, romance, spiritual, health, self-development, recreation, social, family.
Our team looks like: Developer, designer and Subject Expert.
“It’s hard to be holistic, especially when you have an MVP to produce.” Chief Stepper
Like this idea? You can contact Natalia: email@example.com
We are Pinterest for purchasing.
The problem: People browse the internet and create wish-lists. However, all these wish-lists are hosted on different sites and people don’t necessarily remember the item that they want to buy.
The solution: Meow helps users remember the item that they want to buy via a collective wish-list with pricing information. At the same time, Meow, gives online vendors the access, through the app, to the customers who don’t buy at first sight.
Pitch: We want to help you have a collaborative purchasing ‘wish-list’ online, right meow.
Our team looks like: Marketer, Software tester, Project Manager and Developer.
“Keep on meowing until you get what you want.” Chairman Meow
Like this idea? You can contact – Kali: firstname.lastname@example.org
rookie takes the risk out of hiring
The problem: The impact on a business from hiring the wrong graduate can be the difference between success and failure. Why? It’s risky, expensive, complex and time consuming.
The solution: We minimize the risk of a bad hire. We do this by matching the employer and the graduate. We verify the graduate’s skills. You do the employing.
The pitch: The value actually lies with proving that grads have the skills they say they do. It’s about creating a more valuable recruitment experience, that gets the right person at the end of the day.
Our team looks like: Developer, Designers, HR and Business Analysts.
“Stuff the CV.” The Boss
Like this idea? You can contact Lucas: email@example.com
We make investing simple and accessible for everyday kiwis.
The problem: At the moment the stock market is this giant scary thing for everyday people and it’s discouraging them from investing in their future.
The solution: This platform is allowing people to make basic decisions with more purchasing power. Other companies require you to have $500 to invest, we require $5.
The pitch: Investment made easy!
Our team looks like: Designers, Legal Advisor, Developer, Financial Advisor, Entrepreneur and Business Analyst.
“Knowledge is power. Power to the people.” The People
Like this idea? You can contact Cameron: firstname.lastname@example.org
Crowd funding for justice.
The problem: The problem is simple; people have an issue accessing justice. If someone feels really strongly about a legal case, all they can do at the moment (if they don’t have enough money!) is voice their opinion online, with peers or in protest.
The solution: We have created a crowd sourced platform for worthy legal causes. We want to put money to the people’s voice by making sure the public can contribute financially to a cause that they believe in. With our platform they have the assurance that the financial support is directly contributing to the legal battle.
The pitch: Our validation has confirmed; people have a problem accessing justice.
Our team looks like: Lawyers, Developers and Marketers.
“It’s amazing that people can feel so passionate about justice, but at the moment there is no collective and safe way they can act on it.” Justice League Organiser
Like this idea? You can contact Sam: email@example.com
Open Circle(formerly Take Me Out)
Expanding your social circles.
The problem: You have a day off, you want to hang out with someone, but everyone is busy.
The solution: A hassle free place to find like-minded people. Our app intuitively connects you with people with shared interests. You can post something you want to do and create your own circle (you know, like getting a group together for a round of golf).
The pitch: 66% of our respondents said they would feel comfortable meeting someone new if they had shared interests. The focus is on friendships.
Our team looks like: Designers, Developers and Entrepreneurs.
“Most people think with all the apps out there that the space is covered, but you realise that there are opportunities and it hasn’t all been done before.” Head of the Round Table.
Like this idea? You can contact Naoya: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracking your bits
The problem: Samples aren’t getting tracked when they are processed in laboratories. The current software and hardware tracking solutions in histology labs are vendor locked, complicated and they are expensive.
The solution: Software tracking systems that records every step the specimen goes through. The tracking system logs all steps in a central system. Advantage is that Histotrack is not vendor locked and is compatible with all hardware.
The pitch: What if we could apply this solution to third world histology labs where often there is no tracking system at all?
Our team looks like: Developers and a Scientist.
“Making sure that your liver is in the right place.” Chief Organ Tracker
Like this idea? You can contact Yuriy: email@example.com
SaleTrail (formerly GeoLead)
We use today’s data to find tomorrow’s customers.
The problem: It is currently expensive to indiscriminately advertise offline to your target audience.
The solution: A prediction tool that enables marketers and SMEs to find their next customer using existing customer data. Our solution will help to bring offline marketing techniques into the 21st century.
The pitch: If you have the addresses for all your customers, we can help you identify new addresses at which you’re most likely to find your next customers.
Our team looks like: Developers, Entrepreneurs and a Communications Expert.
“If you have a smart bunch of people, and you do a bit of research on a promising nugget, there is always an angle you can take. There is always an opportunity to add value.” Trail Runner
Like this idea? You can contact Kieran: firstname.lastname@example.org
Freezer ready meals to eat at your convenience.
The problem: People struggle with the time it takes to prepare food and the effort in creating something healthy and nutritious.
The solution: A weekly meal plan, plus fresh ingredients to your door. You only need to cook twice per week to create all your meals, which you can then freeze and eat at your convenience.
The pitch: We have found that people don’t necessarily want to eat the same meal over and over, our focus is about providing variety whilst doing the main cooking only twice per week.
Our team looks like: Legal Advisor, Financial Advisor and Business Analyst.
“Despite the huge presence of the food delivery services, people still aren’t satisfied with current solutions.” Head of Product Testing
Like this idea? You can contact Tom: Thomas.email@example.com
uPlanit (formerly PlanetTravel)
Crowd sourcing travel plans.
The problem: Organising and visualising travel plans is hard, it’s stressful and it’s time consuming. Often you have never seen a place before you visit and people struggle to trust the current planning and booking sites.
The solution: We have identified that the thing people found most exciting about their travel planning process was being able to see where they are going. We enable your friends to share tips about your holiday destinations and help add to your itinerary. People also love giving travel advice. Value from both perspectives.
The pitch: uPlanit helps you create a stress free itinerary from the people you know the best. So go on… uPlanit.
Our team looks like: Developers, Entrepreneurs, Business Analysts, Marketers, Project Manager and Designers.
“People can now humbly brag about their travel experiences, which in turn will help their mates with their future travel bragging.” Bragging Lead
Like this idea? You can contact Wai: firstname.lastname@example.org
A social change movement that helps local kiwis host shared meals with newcomers to New Zealand
The problem: Refugees coming to NZ find it hard to connect with the local kiwi community.
The solution: Hosting shared meals in homes.
The pitch: We can’t solve geopolitical problems overnight, but we can lay a table.
Our team looks like: Designers, Developers, Business Analysts, Narrative Designer and Entrepreneur.
“This is a simple and easy idea, that I’m surprised hasn’t happened yet.” Local Host
Like this idea? You can contact Amelia: email@example.com
An app for organising your sewing pattern stash
The problem: Have you ever been in a fabric store and you don’t know what and how much fabric to buy?
The solution: We have created a database of sewing patterns, where users can set up their own profile to get a personalised shopping list for making garments. The app prompts you, if you need additional items (for example, zips). It is also a great way to discover cool new sewing patterns.
The pitch: We have found that whilst our target audience is currently beginners, there is also room for providing a service for more experienced garment makers.
Our team looks like: Designer, Communications, Developer, Business Analyst and Branding.
“This process has emphasised the strength of the online sewing community.” Sewing Master
Like this idea? You can contact Rosie: firstname.lastname@example.org