On Saturday morning last week, The Kiwi Landing Pad and ICEHOUSE brought together 30 Start-uppers to go head-to-head against Australia on the This Week in Startups network.
In a live video link to the US – Local judges at Fishburners in Sydney and The ICEHOUSE in Auckland selected 3 Start-ups to to pitch to Jason Calcanis and Lon Harries in the International Meet-up Cup - a “World Cup-style” tournament where two cities are pitted against each other in a live meet-up event, with companies from each city pitching to win the gold.
Watch the full show below above find out who won - and what Jason and Lon had to say about our Auckland representatives, BigLittleBang, TranscribeMe, SlideSpeech and Snackle.
Second week in, I’ve been trying to get a sense for the SF start up community at large.
Here are some links to some of the more interesting spaces I visited this week;
A) If I wrote about all of these places, this would be a very LONG post – check out the websites if you’re interested in visiting SF, they’re worth your time.
B) This is by no means an exhaustive list, far more to come.
C) ALL of them are within walking distance.
Co working space on 11th st (We’re on 5th) – Spent a day here on the ground floor, nice crowd.
2- Rocket Space
A “Tech + New-Media Only” shared space, a lot of activity going on here.
3 – NextSpace
These guys are popping up all over the country, looking forward to finding out more when I visit next week.
4 – The Hattery
These guys are a little bit different, in that they’re more product-focused. Check the (very pretty) site.
5 – The Hub
Another co-working space that seems to be sprouting up across the country, these guys tend to have a more ‘social entrepreneurship’ angle in terms of what kind of startups they house.
One thing that becomes quickly apparent is people’s general open-ness to sharing, so remember to bring your own ideas if you’re going to be attending meetings at different places, and be willing to share your thoughts and opinions on others as well.
Next week: An information diet for the busy entrepreneur.
So I hit the streets of San Francisco on the morning of Thursday the 5th of July.
It’s been a week since then, but it feels like so much has happened… rather than give you a saga, I figured I’d stick to the bullet-points of what I learned in the first week, with the hope it might be helpful to fellow startuppers on their way over here.
1: LOOK BOTH WAYS.
It sounds trivial, but it took at least a few days to turn off the “NZ-road rules” part of my brain… It’s one thing to know that cars drive on the other side of the road here, it’s another to instinctively look the right way when you’re rushing between meetings whilst talking on the phone and checking your email…so be careful! You’re going to be significantly less productive if you’re run over by a truck – or most vehicles, for that matter.
2: Get social.
Meetup.com is an AMAZING resource for getting a jump-start on your network, with over 6000 meetup groups in SF alone, you’re looking at minimum 2-5 events a day around tech and startups, not to mention groups with very specific interests, such as a particular development language, a certain kind of marketing, or a group focused exclusively on what would usually be a niche topic.
3: Traction trumps talk.
In a place where universities and existing tech companies are pumping a lot of clever, experienced people back into the local eco-system, ideas are a dime-a-dozen… this doesn’t mean your idea isn’t great – what it does mean is that people are going to value your ability to execute over how clever you might be… a thousand customers (or promises from future customers) is going to get you a lot further than a 50 page business plan… traction tells people you can DO things, not just talk about them.
4: Follow up.
With all these meetings/new faces- it’s easy to lose track of names, contact details, and things-you-were-supposed-to-follow-up-on. Make sure you have a device (Even a notepad) to record who you meet where, what the outcomes were, and then dedicate a time in the day to follow up on the connections you make – you never know when you’ll meet someone you’ll end up working with.
5: Life happens.
After all is said and done, San Francisco is a beautiful city with a very open culture, and most of the good outcomes are going to come from things you didn’t plan for – a surprise referral, an unplanned event where you meet a key customer, or the intern who loves your idea and will work for love and maybe a little equity if things go well. By all means do prepare as time flies VERY quickly – but don’t forget to take the opportunities as they come, and they’ll come quite often if you’re getting out in the community.
Next week I’ll be writing about some specific places and groups I’ve come across thus far – feel free to ask questions and I’ll reply to them on this page.
Hello KLP blog readers!
My name’s Reuben and over the coming months, I’ll be writing about my experiences at the Kiwi Landing Pad here in San Francisco, as we gear up for the Catapult program designed to help Kiwi Tech startups get into the US market.
It was suggested – this being the first post – that I give the readers a bit of a background on where I came from and how I got to be here…
Truth be told, one could find out most of the relevant stuff by taking a look at my LinkedIn profile or doing a quick Google search. (Hint for Googlers: I’m not the Reuben Metcalfe who was born in the 1800′s)
For those that don’t have the time/inclination, the short version is that I’m a serial startupper, having worked in and around a variety of startups over the last few years (Mostly in wellington.)
More recently, I’ve found myself running a (small) company called I Dream of Space - which, as a direct result of being here at the Kiwi Landing Pad, has been getting a bit of attention…
It’s a story that’s still unfolding as the business scales, but hopefully one worth telling. Meanwhile – I’ll be detailing my experience on this blog and hopefully provide some inside to fellow kiwis as to what life is like on the ground, here in the Home of the Tech Startups.
Founder at I Dream of Space, (And Guinea-pig for Catapult program at the Kiwi Landing Pad.)
Sam began his career as an IT consultant for Deloitte before leaving in 1999 to start Trade Me. When Trade Me sold in 2006 to Fairfax for $750 million, the site was the second most visited after Google. Sam is on the board of Fairfax Media in Sydney and is now back on the board at Trade Me after a successful IPO in early 2012. Trade Me now has a market cap of over $1.4bn.
Since the end of his “earn-out” in 2008, Sam has been experimenting with being a tech investor and philanthropist. Sam is an investor in three Kiwi Landing Pad companies: Xero, Vend, and vWorkApp. Sam is also a founder of Pacific Fibre, a project to string a fibre optic cable between Australia and New Zealand and California.
Sam lives in Nelson with his wife and two kids and claims to still be unsure as to what he will do when he grows up.
NZTE (New Zealand Trade and Enterprise) run a program called Beachheads which is basically a team of industry experts in a variety of markets that form the Beachheads advisory board. Companies that participate in the Beachheads have access to this fantastic resource.
This week in San Francisco, NZTE is hosting a Beachheads forum, with a series of amazing speakers including Meg Whitman – CEO of HP and former CEO of Ebay.
It should be a great week, John Holt and myself are looking forward to representing Kiwi Landing Pad at the forum.
When we launched Kiwi Landing Pad two months ago we had two beautifully furnished office suites, spotty internet, and Aish Fenton (vWorkApp CTO), his wife Anna Jobsis and me sitting at our laptops.
Since then Aish has hired three new staff members, Michelle, Dan and Christian; Vend has moved in with Kara Haas taking on the role of US sales manager; Xero is poised to take over the US online accounting space; John Trail getting it done for Magritek; and Clark making guest appearances for Datacom.
We have also been lucky enough to have a tremendous number of supporters come through including Mike Moore – Ambassador, Pooj Preena – 1st US Skype employee, Ian Sobieski – Managing Director of Band of Angels, Linda Jenkinson – Les Concierge founder and EY Master entrepreneur of the year, Gower Smith – founder of Zoomsystems, Steve Outtrim – founder of Sausage Software, Dan Knox – Y-combinator graduate and founder of Science Exchange, Priv Bradoo – founder of Biomine and Jeff Tannenbaum of Blue Run Ventures.
Over the next few weeks we have some great events planned, which are designed to further connect our member companies to the amazing talent pool in the Bay Area. Construction on our building is also beginning which will transform 880 Harrison into the largest tech hub in San Francisco… lots of exciting stuff!! I will keep you posted.
Vend, the Point-of-sale for clever stores, is headed up by CEO, Vaughan Rowsell. Vend is a point-of-sale and inventory management software that is completely web based.
Catch a great interview of Vaughan by Robert Scoble. On a daily basis, American, Kara Haas, looks after US Sales and growing the market. She joins the Kiwi Landing Pad with a passion and working knowledge of many of our other New Zealand software, such as Xero.
The first event will be on September 16th and will be an introduction of the innovative companies we have at KLP to the valuable KEA network. KEA (Kiwi Expat Association) is a great group to get involved with – it is filled with some amazing expat kiwis who have great networks. Each company will have an opportunity to give a quick pitch explaining who they are, what they do, and what help they are looking for (intros etc…) Also in attendance will be representatives from NZTE, VCs and the Right Honourable Mike Moore.
Kiwi Landing Pad
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