Wellington, New Zealand’s Startup Capital

8 05 2014

I was invited to Auckland last week to The Project: Digital Disruption to discuss what’s happening in the Wellington startup scene.

Here are my slides:

Key points:

  • Wellington’s key advantage is its scale.  Everything is accessible within a 20 minute walk – but you need to plan for 30 minutes because you will bump into so many people on your way that are doing cool stuff.
  • We have a high density of tech startups, and a great culture to back it up
  • The weather is conducive to getting sh!t done
  • We have a rich startup ecosystem, which is becoming increasingly antifragile
  • Accelerators, incubators, investors, tertiary education providers, “big” tech, events, and support organisations all play their part
  • Promising trends:
    • Government “gets” it
    • Talent, capital, ideas and expertise are being continually recycled and refined to help us level-up
    • We’re attracting amazing people, and achieving critical mass
    • Things just keep getting better in a cambrian explosion of startups
  • The future is awesome, thanks to the hard work put in by many over a long time – we’re really starting to reap the rewards, and this seems certain to continue.
  • It’s all about the people



Parenthood, business, and investment

10 11 2013

I was recently interviewed by Sarah Spear at The Parentalist, a new blog featuring parents who are “making an impact on the world, in business and in their local communities”.

You listen to (or download) the audio:

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Or watch the video:

On a related note, today I added the job “Parent at My Family” to my LinkedIn profile.  Why is that?  Parenthood teaches you:

  • Putting the needs of others ahead of your own
  • Functioning with next to no sleep
  • Dealing with life-and-death unexpected emergencies
  • Motivating others
  • Communicating with people with a wide range of skills
  • Managing conflicting priorities
  • Building community
  • Financial management in uncertain conditions
  • … and the list goes on …

All of these are critical skills for business success in general, and startup success in particular.

Enjoy.




The Big Idea: New Zealand’s real opportunity and challenge

15 01 2013

A decade is a very long time in the startup universe.

For New Zealand, the real opportunity and challenge is going to be to capitalise on the weightless economy, moving from more traditional physical commodities to producing valuable software, content, games, and other digital products.

That involves getting more closely connected on a person-to-person and business-to-business to the rest of the world. We need to find a balance between enjoying our isolation and participating and integrating with the rest of the world, whilst retaining our local integrity and character.

It won’t be easy, but it’s our collective job to make it happen.

See the full interview in The Big Idea




Summer of Tech: Building great businesses from Wellington, New Zealand

16 03 2011

In January 2011, I spoke to a Summer of Tech event about why Wellington and New Zealand are great places to start an online venture, and the importance of keeping your exit in mind.

Tech Entrepreneurship with Dave Moskovitz from SummerOfTech on Vimeo.




My advice to budding entrepreneurs

24 10 2010

A couple of months ago, the great people from MyFirstCompany.co.nz interviewed me to collect my sage advice for budding entrepreneurs.

Here is what I told them:

What is WebFund all about?


What’s the difference between a good idea and a good business idea?


What should I think about before approaching an investor?


How important is scalability for a business idea?


Are investors looking for individuals or teams?


You really need a team around you, and there’s no shame in sales!


How do I find the right business partners?


Start small, and talk to potential investors as early as possible.


What are investors looking for?


How do I test out my business idea? What if I fail?







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