Geoff Brash, the program director for Lightning Lab Christchurch, organiser of Coffee & Jam, and former co-founder and VP of SLI systems is coming to Dunedin to be a mentor for Startup Weekend. Geoff has mentored at and organised several Startup Weekends, and we’re looking forward to getting his input at this year’s event.
1) What is your current company and what do you do?
GBJ Innovation provides support to startup companies. It supports the startup ecosystem, provides direct one-on-one startup support, and operates startup ventures of its own.
2) What startups you have been involved with in the past?
SLI Systems – provides search solutions to ecommerce companies. I was a co-founder and was involved in technical, finance, and marketing roles. SLI listed on the NZX in 2014.
Rocket Languages – provides online language training courses in more than 12 languages including sign language and english as a second language.
3) What are some of your favourite startups at the moment?
Glass Jar – have to back local Canterbury startups that have come through some of the services we support.
Uber – I first used this service in San Francisco and you have to experience a US taxi to truly understand how transformative Uber is.
4) What is your biggest piece of advice to first time startup?
Invest your limited resources wisely. I spend most of my time working with startups on the issue of how to focus their resources in the right way. Try and remember the amount of progress you can make over the weekend and take that into your startup. Build your business not just your product.
5) What are you looking forward to at Startup Weekend Dunedin 2015?
Its been awhile since I was last in Dunedin (Startup Weekend Dunedin, March & September 2013) and I’m looking forward to connecting with the various people and finding out how the ecosystem has developed over the past 18 months.
Dunedin has always provided some of the most memorable Startup Weekend experiences, from great ideas to outstanding founders.
One I remember is Emily Sutton. We also had a large variety of ideas in 2013 from jewellery (Emily’s), to soft drinks, and scientific methodologies.
Often people think startup weekend is all about Apps but this is not true.
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