Pivot, Pivot & Pivot!

As expected, there have been a lot of changes to the teams over the last 24 hours. From simple name changes to become more punch and memorable, to completely different ideas altogether.

The teams have gone through a huge learning experience from learning how to validate their ideas, find competitors in their space, make adjustments to their unique value proposition, as well as taste failure when things don’t go according to plan. Most importantly, team have discovered the power and necessity of pivots!

An update of our original teams as of Saturday Night are as below:

  • Access Map
    An app for reporting accessibility issues in public spaces to advocate for change.
  • Me!Social
    A customised user experience app delivering simple, relevant and interactive social experiences (events).
  • GrabGrub
    It’s a surprise!
  • Educate Me IT
    A single online platform that enables the user to directly compare IT education providers and specific courses based on the user’s unique preferences.
  • Ziwi
    A simple addictive geo-positioned trading app that links buyers and sellers. The initial aim is to target backpackers, those offloading items when they leave a city/country and those coming in.
  • BasketTrack
    Tracks customer movement through supermarkets and creates heat-maps and descriptive summaries from the data. Possible applications include predictions of customer activity and scientific basis for stocking and layout decisions.
  • Sieni
    Pacific Island mobile-first social marketplace.
  • CoCreate
    Work together seamlessly on web-based design or development projects. Video chat and views change simultaneously, in real-time. Collaboration in the cloud – made easy!
  • On My Game
    A service and platform that improves wellbeing, as well as enhances the effectiveness of treatment programmes. This is achieved through an app and web services which integrates a virtual mentor, bio metric data, discreet notifications and other solutions such as tips for being mindful, perceptive and relaxed.
  • Flexpass
    One membership pass that can be used at many yoga, Pilates, and meditation classes. Allowing the buyer to try before they commit to anything or have a variety to their exercise regime.
  • Craft Beer Critiq
    An app pitting one craft beer against another to motivate craft enthusiasts to go to certain establishments and try new craft beers.
  • PlayM8
    Tinder for sports and other activities.
  • Xignal
    Converting your presentations into sales. Xignal is a web-based mobile app for your audience. You create opportunity with your presentations, now you can capture it. Generate real-time, honest feedback from your audience. Seek permission to follow-up with warm leads. Convert your audience into customers.

Stay tuned for final team updates tomorrow!

Friday Night – Let there be TEAMS!

Friday night at Startup Weekend is always a field of frenzy as teams form and the negotiation for talent pushes participants to stretch their boundaries. An insane scramble for the best talent in the room ensues and teams clamber to snatch passersby who might possess the skills to give them the edge.
The teams have now formed and the planning and strategies are coming together, a.k.a they now delve into parts of their minds that have never been explored as they attempt to formulate some resemblance of a plan.
It’s time to pull those ideas into shape and start planning for Saturday’s validation and development.
Here’s a snap shot of the teams so far:
  • Access 4 All
    Identifying accessibility issues through crowd sourcing
  • Better Me
    A game that improves your life
  • Its still good
    Addressing the food wastage problem
  • Educate Me
    Trip adviser for education
  • ZiwiTrade
    Instant trade between tourists
  • Shoptrack
    Tracking shoppers to provide analytics
  • Wingman
    Making people more interesting conversationalists
  • 2 the Cloud
    Converting SME’s with 2003 servers onsite to the cloud
  • Calm Puppy
    Distress product (of some sort)
  • Class Compass
    One fitness card to use anywhere
  • Wine Guru
    One app to help users to choose their wine
  • Playmate
    Tinder for sports
  • Bubble Box
    Honest feedback for presenters
We’ll update you again on Saturday night as teams lock in their ideas or pivot and change direction.
Watch this space!

AKLSW – Getting to the Action!

GridAKL 132 Halsey St

This is where the action happens, at GridAKL in the Polperro building on 132 Halsey Street, Downtown Auckland. The entrance to the building is right on Halsey Street and there will be plenty of banners and volunteers around to prevent you from getting lost.


If you’re driving in, car parks can be found as marked on the map.  There are also limited street parking available around the area, but take note of the Parking note on this map.

Taking the bus?

The venue is well served by bus routes. If you’re situated in the city or nearby surrounds, check out the link bus services and schedules here: http://www.maxx.co.nz/link-bus-services.aspx

If you’re further away, all bus routes and timetables can be found here: http://www.maxx.co.nz/timetables.aspx

Taking the Train?

Another option is to take the train to Britomart. Full train routes and timetables can also be found in the above link. From there, it’s an easy stroll to Wynyard Quarter along the waterfront and across the Wynyard Crossing.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Startup Weekend: What happens next?

Lorraine Warren, Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Massey University

Last month, I had the privilege of acting as a mentor in Palmerston North’s Startup Weekend. Startup Weekend is a nationwide format where participants spend an intensive 54-hour weekend, with food and beer provided, working on new ideas with a view to taking the successful ones through to real businesses. Over the weekend, teams form and storm around new ideas, and then use the Business Model Canvas to develop those ideas. The weekend culminates in a competitive pitching event, where winners are chosen, and teams receive valuable critical feedback. It was my first experience of this format, as I’m new to the country. It was particularly exciting for me, as a group of my students were actively participating as part of their 152.334 paper in Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship. Feedback from the students was excellent – they really enjoyed the intensity of the weekend, and clearly a great deal of personal growth had taken place in many different ways.

But what happens next?  Clearly not every idea or team is viable beyond the weekend. But as the Palmy Startup team point out “Whether entrepreneurs found companies, find a co-founder, meet someone new, or learn a skill far outside their usual 9-to-5, everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic but fun world of startups.” So how do you make sure that happens, and get the most out of the weekend?

1. Keep a reflective log – it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement, and lose that energy in the following ‘come down’ period.  Making a record of your feelings, emotions and learning experiences will consolidate the benefits of the weekend in your mind. And maybe spur you to further activities or learning experiences.

2. Build your network – get business cards not just from your team and other participants, but also from the mentors, organisers and judges.  A few days later, send a brief note thanking them, or noting the connection as appropriate. Not to ‘sell’ anything but just to let people know you’re out there.

3. Even if you’re not taking your idea forward, arrange to meet your team in one month’s time over beer or coffee to see if any new opportunities have arisen – after all, you know each other pretty well now!

So, if you have a new business idea that you want to test out with skilled mentors, or want to find out more about the start-up process and perhaps get involved in someone else’s team, come along and give the Auckland Startup weekend a go! You’re bound to have a lot of fun.

Get Started with Microsoft BizSpark

700 Kiwi startups and counting have joined BizSpark in New Zealand to launch their solutions. The BizSpark program and Startup Weekend have a bit of special history together: all new startups who are forged in the fires of Startup Weekend can be fast tracked through BizSpark. Startup Weekend superstars TranscribeMe are testament to this beautiful relationship, but also check out Wipster and Timely for a small insight into other successful local BizSpark startups. Startup Weekend Auckland is a highlight for the NZ team who, over the last five years, have spent their days at the coal face of NZ’s growing tech-ecosystem, helping to hoist our technical reputation up onto the world stage.

Across all startups, the free cloud benefits are the most popular part of the three year program – US$150/month for 3 years and US$5k/month for a year as part of BizSpark Plus. But everyone is quick at making the most of the technical support and access to all Microsoft software. There’s also support for things that start to matter more and more as you get on your feet, like marketing and business matters. If you have a startup and you’re a little curious, the NZ team are a friendly bunch. Introduce yourself via cyberspace or they’ll be there in person at Startup Weekend (they’ll also have some goodies on them too).

Meanwhile follow  @bizspark and feel free to do a bit of reading here too: http://www.microsoft.co.nz/getstarted