Go Vocab founders Michael Dowse and Jeremy Geros headed back to Wellington a couple of weeks ago, but before they left, I sat down with them to get a feeling for what they had learnt during their time here at KLP.
Michael and Jeremy won the BNZ Start-Up Alley prize at Webstock which gave them a month at KLP plus money for most of their expenses. They were impressed at just how focussed San Francisco is on technology – and it really is a wholly immersive experience. Standing on Harrison St, tech billboards are visible in every direction. Main stream network channels like NBC Bay Area cover all the latest technology news, there is an app for almost anything you can think of. You don’t order a taxi – you Uberit. Feel like some truffle fries – then Get it Now. Need that “thing” done now – Task Rabbit.
Coffee at The Creamery or SightGlass Coffee is an immediate introduction to how entrepreneurs venture capitalists, consumers and job seekers keep this community an active and exciting environment. Both Michael and Jeremy commented that they have very general skill sets, primarily web design. They were blown away at how specialised people’s skill sets are here. Most nights Michael and Jeremy headed out to events like Airbnb Meetups where they meet with other entrepreneurs and listened to inspiring stories at Airbnb Fireside Chats.
Read more about their experience at KLP and how winning the BNZ Start-Up Alley prize at Webstock will accelerate Go Vocab here.
Guest Post written by Christian Hirsch founder of Mohio.
Since I started a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Auckland in 2007, I always took an applied approach to my research. Being able to address real-world problems with new software tools has guided much of my work. Now seeing the results of this research form a startup is extremely exciting! Recently I had the opportunity to be based at Kiwi Landing Pad for a few weeks and explore opportunities in the US market for our early-stage startup Mohio.
My research at the University of Auckland was focused on the intersection of Software Engineering, Knowledge Management, and Visualization Tools – and we could see commercial applications from early on. Since completing my PhD last year, I have been working on bringing the technology to the market with the help of UniServices. Mohio, still in its pre-launch stage, will be positioned in the “Social Business Intelligence” domain.
During my time at the University, I was also involved with the Spark entrepreneurship challenge – a great platform for students to turn ideas into startups. Prior to my stay at Kiwi Landing Pad I had also spent some time at Stanford University, attending the Stanford Ignite programme, where I gained insights into the entrepreneurial environment of Silicon Valley.
The Kiwi Landing Pad was the ideal next step to learn more about opportunities in the US market and refine our business model and product. It was a great base to connect with people, conduct market validation for our technology, and attend industry conferences in the area. Catherine at Kiwi Landing Pad has been very helpful for getting us in touch with the right people and for further developing our strategy. My visit to San Francisco was a great opportunity to evaluate the market and establish important contacts. It has added invaluable input to our startup from a global perspective.
Once ready for launch, more information about Mohio will be available at: www.moh.io
Lightning Lab is a new accelerator that blends seed investment with an intensive startup accelerator programme. It’s an in-residence program based in Wellington that is open to any team of startup founders across New Zealand and internationally. A member of the Global Accelerator Network, Lightning Lab puts startups in front of a world of knowledge, talent and connections to turn a 12-week sprint into a high-growth digital business with momentum and follow-on investment.
New Programme Director Dan Khan popped into the KLP during a quick stop over in San Francisco and in the following video, Dan gives a quick and insightful overview about Lightning Lab.
Applications for the first intake close on 5 December 2012. If you think you have what it takes, then check out the Lightning Lab website and apply!!
Kiwi Landing Pad
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