Business Is Boring

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The angel investor breakdown: do you really need millions of dollars?

One of the big ingredients for business success is other people’s money. Who are these other people and what motivates them? There are stereotypes in pop culture -from Silicon Valley style VCs that unseat founders and are machiavellian - through to the Dragon’s Den approach of omnipotent geniuses bidding to lend their capital and reputations for a big slice of the future pie.

Somewhere in the middle is the angel investor -a bit of a smaller scale, earlier stage kind of thing… and to find out what that actually looks like in NZ, Suse Reynolds, Executive Director of the Angel Association joins us.


Business is Boring replay: Karen Walker

Alas, Simon is away this week so we've decided to republish one of our favourite episodes from 2016: fashion Svengali Karen Walker. Their discussion is worth a listen because Karen lays our her philosophy of no compromise and how that's helped build her business into a kind of super brand.

As Simon wrote at the time "Karen Walker is not just a significant figure in New Zealand, she is a fixture on the Business of Fashion’s list of the 500 most influential figures in fashion worldwide, the brand’s sunglasses are worn by the world’s most famous stars".

To learn what it takes to create a leviathan of a business and brand, listen on.


Jamie Ford of Foresight Learning on what New Zealanders need to learn from the Australians

If you like to read and follow the stories of successful people some common themes emerge - never giving up, always persevering, get knocked down and get back up, never take no, feel the fear and do it anyway, fail until you succeed.

It sounds ghastly doesn’t it? And it can be; it is hard, emotionally and physically. What does it take to do this - to get the resilience to keep going, to make it. Simon's guest for this episode is Jamie Ford of Foresight Learning. He's an expert in this field, a coach and mentoring resilience to businesses, leaders and sports teams like the Crusaders and the Wallabies. He talked Simon through how resilience is learnt, trained and practiced and not innate, and how you can build your own.


Could New Zealand’s future lie with luxury goods?

If you’ve enjoyed a scented candle in glass, perhaps one with a lovely gold foil on the front or with letters artfully arranged you may have been enjoying the fruits of the work of today’s guest, a kiwi that has had great success in international fragrance, an entrepreneur now based in London who has also been a champion for the new wave of kiwi companies.

Christopher Yu is the MD of United Perfumes. He went to the UK as a lawyer, fell in love with the luxury world, helped reinvent the world of the scented candle by growing Diptyque and then launching the Cire Trudon and Fornessetti candles. His company works with the world’s biggest brands, and he has also long worked to try to help make NZ a place that an international success could come from, to talk perfume, the UK, and brand New Zealand, Christopher joins us today.


Bill Reichert of Garage Ventures calls for the scrappy standout in the entrepreneur crowd

Much of what we talk about in entrepreneurship in NZ comes to us from Silicon Valley. Whether its the lean, agile, the series A, the seed round - the terms and actions come out of this place. So it makes a lot of sense that AUT, for their inaugural entrepreneur in residence, have brought to NZ a 30 year veteran and key figure in the valley. You might have heard of some of the firms he has founded, been on the board for, or invested in - Pandora internet radio is one of the better known consumer brands - but there were a raft of companies that pushed forward technology. He also set up Garage Ventures with Guy Kawasaki, the best selling author of Apple Macintosh fame, who popularised their work together. Bill Reichert is in town for a series of events with AUT and we’ve been lucky enough to grab him today to talk about the Valley, VC and entrepreneurship.


Sue De Bievre of Beany on the cloud creating flexibility for working mothers

Many small business people get into business to pursue their passion, yet end up spending a lot of time on the admin and accounts, and the salt in the wound is that this can also be wildly expensive black hole to throw hours, dollars and tears down. It’s a pain-point alright. And where there's pain there’s profit to be had.

Enter Beany, a company that has come in to ride the wave of disruption currently hitting accounting services. They are adding their own push by offering a service that, for a low fixed fee, connects small businesses with their accountants and to work in the cloud. They're providing great professional services efficiently and cheaply, and allowing new ways of working both for the accountants and the businesspeople. The CEO Sue De Bievre braved the Spinoff stairs to talk Simon.


Holly Cardew of Pixc on what’s to be gained from working within Silicon Valley

One day when working on an online marketplace entrepreneur Holly Cardew was trying to get some imagery clear-cut onto a white background. Unless you’re a bit of a photoshop whizz, that is a real mission. Holly thought that if this was a problem for her it probably was for others looking to make a professional site, and that insight has led to her successful online enterprise pixc. The demand was out there, and the business has led Holly to startup incubators, being named on the Forbes 30 under 30, and to New Zealand, where she is part of techweek and the sales and marketing jams that the Kiwi Landing Pad makes happen.


The AirBnB of parks: Parkable and Campable are turning your empty spaces into a business

In a few years' time, once enough cars are autonomous and car ownership has collapsed and we’re turning roadside car parks into bike lanes and garages into four storey apartments, we will look back and wonder at how much space was left vacant just waiting for these cars that only ever got driven five percent of the time.

It’s bananas.

Some people didn’t have to wait until the future to see this. They looked at all that time, space and capital sitting inefficiently a bit earlier. The big names you know. Uber and Airbnb are two standard bearers for the sharing economy, taking what’s underused and sharing the usage. And locally, in the car park space, we have a very cool company called parkable.

They take your empty car parks and match them with parkers who pay a fee. They market and provide the tech, clip the ticket, and help the world squeeze some more efficiency out of the model.

Parkable is run by Brody Nelson on the technical side and Toby Littin on the commercial side. They're here today to chat through the idea, about seizing the moment, and their new app, Campable. Campable is opening up spots all over the country to mobile home and vans of travelers, providing vineyards, marae and paddocks a new income stream, and hopefully putting an end to pooping in public car parks.


Techweek Special: Patrick McVeigh delivers all your Techweek’17 essentials

One week ago, on the second week of this podcast, we had a lovely chap in to talk about the Techweek that was going on. A week to bring in local and international experts to talk about how tech can solve today's problems and advance tomorrow's industry. It was a great success and it's now back for its second outing.

To discuss what the week has in store, we are again joined by Patrick McVeigh, general manager - business, innovation and skills at ATEED.

Not sure which events to catch? Read The Spinoff's Techweek'17 recommendations here.


Christina Bellis and Lani Evans are turning an IRD subsidy into a force for good

Here’s a cool idea. How about taking a service every company needs, then doing it for free for them while also managing, as part of the deal, to get funds to charity. It sounds like you’ve just managed to clock life. Well, today’s company has done just this with Thank You Payroll.

It's a clever service, where they’ve turned an IRD subsidy into a force for good. Christina Bellis and Lani Evans of Thank You payroll Simon to discuss the business, a crowdfunding venture they have on, and how they make it happen.

Note: Apologies for the sound quality. This episode was conducted over the phone.