We Sat Down With Ankit, Founder of NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem Facebook Group

We Sat Down With Ankit, Founder of NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem Facebook Group

It's no secret that the NZ Tech Startup Ecosystem Facebook Group is the go-to place for Kiwi startups. With 8000 members and counting, it's a great place to ask for help or tool recommendations, or hear the views of others in our ecosystem.

Recently, and controversially, the founder Ankit Sehgal posted the group for sale on TradeMe. Many conversations followed, so we decided to sit down with Ankit and find out the pages history, what he's up to now, and what he's going to do with the page.

Have a watch:

 
 

Our Digital Marketing Deep Dive Workshop Is Back!

Our Digital Marketing Deep Dive Workshop Is Back!

Momentum Marketing and Mum's Garage have partnered again to bring you our very popular Digital Marketing Deep Dive Workshop.

 
 

This weekend event brings together experts and startup founders to teach entrepreneurs and marketers how to build, then execute on, a solid digital marketing strategy. Learn about all major digital marketing techniques, then put your new skills into practice over a weekend.

Check out this recap of our last workshop from participant Sophia Fairbairn.
 

Details:

Date: Friday 16th to Sunday 18th June, 2017
Location: GridAKL, 101 Pakenham Street, Auckland
Price - Early Bird: $499
Price - General Admittance: $599

You can qualify for a 50% subsidy from NZTE under their Regional Business Partner Network, if you meet the eligibility criteria. Apply for the Capability Voucher Scheme here. Please get in touch with Natalie (hello@mumsgarage.com) if you have any questions or need help working this out.

 

Who's It For:

1. Startups and young companies with a scaleable product, looking for fast growth

2. Marketers working inside companies

3. People working on an idea who are pre-execution (the principles learned will fast-track your idea)

4. Owners of small and medium-sized businesses

5. Anyone wanting to apply the latest growth hacking techniques to their day jobs

 
My experience of the Digital Marketing Weekend was amazing! From each speaker, I learnt many valuable strategies I can apply to my business. As well as ways to boost my business’s brand awareness and create value adding content.

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the people I met were great. I would definitely recommend this weekend event to others wanting to learn more about digital marketing and growth hacking.
— Jennifer Buckler - Cofounder of The Misprint Co.

What It Covers:

The Deep Dive Digital Marketing Workshop teaches the core principles and techniques for building and executing a well thought-out digital marketing strategy. This includes:

  • Brand DNA
  • Growth Hacking
  • Content Marketing
  • Agile Marketing
  • Data & Analytics
  • Social Strategies

 

Why It's Important:

A good digital marketing strategy enables founders to collect data to drive decision making, build a strong brand, acquire users fast, and generate momentum.

This workshop gives participants the understanding and tools to be able to build the foundations for a marketing strategy, and a compelling proposition that will get the attention of their target customers.

Without this critical understanding, you'll likely waste a significant amount of time and money going around in circles without a lot of momentum.

Founder Chats: Zanda & Kyle From TinySkinScribbles

Founder Chats: Zanda & Kyle From TinySkinScribbles

We recently chatted with the founders of TinySkinScribbles, Zanda & Kyle, who have just gone through our latest CO.STARTERS cohort.


Q. Tell us about TinySkinScribbles?

TinySkinScribbles creates temporary tattoos from original hand-drawn designs that are unique and fun.

Our mission is to provide people with a way to express themselves to the world or privately without permanently marking their bodies. We also wish to give everyone the chance to be inspired or inspire others in an artistic and powerful manner.

 
 

We see people being able to change their tattoo whenever they please to match their mood, state of mind, or even their outfit! We want to help them be whoever they want to be and enhance their way of being.
 

Q. What has your journey been so far?

The idea was conceived when researching fashion trends in Europe and America. People in these areas of the world see temporary tattoos as trendy and fashionable and are often made by artists, designers and fashion houses.

 
 

We wanted to bring these ideas and values to New Zealand but with a distinct Kiwi angle. They would be designed in NZ for a NZ market and celebrate our national values of nature, adventure and creativity. We started sketching and painting designs in 2016 and began selling to friends and family and were soon at creative markets selling our wares.

In 2017 our online store went live as we doubled down on our brand and building a community with our target audience.
 

Q. Who are your target customers?

People looking for a unique way to express themselves. Also people looking to inspire themselves or others.

These will predominantly be young people between the ages 18-30 who like music, festivals, fashion, travel and adventure. We see these people as confident, artistic, free-spirited trend setters and fashion leaders.

We are also targeting those people who like the idea of real tattoos but are turned off by the permanence or just want to see how it looks and feels before committing to the real thing.

 
 

Children are also a conscious target market or more particularly - their parents. Recently we have found interest with companies and promoters wishing to reach a wider audience.
 

Q. What are your next steps, and goals for the future?

Besides the goal to inspire more and more people, our plan is to add more equipment to our studio which will allow us to create custom tattoos. It means people who have their own idea or artwork that they would like to wear could come to us and print it as a tattoo. This would open up the market of creating personalised tattoos or even the idea of giving a unique and personal gift to friends, colleagues or loved-ones.

 
 

We are also thinking about creating a subscription model where people would receive a monthly delivery of our latest designs and others of their choice. We are always working on new ideas and are open to feedback and collaboration with our community.


Buy TinySkinScribbles here.

And check out more on social media:

Facebook

Instagram

Website

Our Recommended Techweek Events For Startups

Our Recommended Techweek Events For Startups

With Techweek'17 fast approaching (6-14 May), we've pulled out our top picks for startups.

You can check out the entire Techweek programme here:


RAISING MONEY:

  • Amplify and Collision, Investors & Entrepreneurs (Free) - Auckland
  • Demystifying the Series A & B Investment Decision ($50) - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch
  • Dojo Dragons (Free) - Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch (info coming soon)
  • Zino Ventures Startup Challenge (Free) - Auckland
     

GOING GLOBAL:

MARKETING & SALES SPECIFIC:

KNOWLEDGE, CONNECTIONS AND INSPIRATION:

  • EPIC True Stories | From Idea To Global Innovation (Free) - Christchurch
  • From Idea To Market | Maximising Value From Innovation (IP) (Free) - Auckland, Wellington
  • Hardware Meetup AKL | Aerospace ($10) - Auckland
  • Know The SaaS In Your Backyard (Free) - Wellington
  • Level Two, Deep Tech After Hours ($10) - Auckland
  • Startup Grind Auckland ($10) - Auckland
  • Write Your Own App (Free) - Auckland


CONVERSATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES TO SHAPE THE FUTURE:

Check out the full Techweek programme here.
 

I WANT GROWTH - Our Techweek Event

I WANT GROWTH - Our Techweek Event

We've teamed up with Momentum Marketing to kick off 'I WANT GROWTH'  during Techweek'17.

This is an event designed to help founders learn strategies and tools to acquire customers fast.

The fast past, execution focused session will run as 4 x 10min talks + 5mins Q&A, delivered by some of the best hacker and hustlers we know. 

Held at GridAKL cafe space, Monday 8 May, 5:30-8pm.

Tickets cost $10 covering food and drink. 

 

Founder Chats: Cameron Stewart From Parametric Furniture

Founder Chats: Cameron Stewart From Parametric Furniture

We recently chatted with founder Cameron Stewart, who has just gone through our latest CO.STARTERS cohort with his early-stage company Parametric Furniture.


Q. Cameron, what does your company do?

Parametric Furniture scours the internet for the best and most innovative parametric furniture designs, then makes them in partnership with the designer using highly automated manufacturing techniques. We then send the product to the customer flat-packed, so they get to put together their new furniture themselves. We offer high-quality products for renters and home-owners at very competitive rates.
 

Q. What can we currently purchase?

We have three products live on the site, which we can manufacture right now (chairs, a small folding table, and a desk), and a fourth which will be up soon (the below bed). I've got some great designs in the 'to-do' list. Follow us on Facebook to be updated!

 
The Trestle Nomadic Bed Frame designed by Craig Stover - coming soon!

The Trestle Nomadic Bed Frame designed by Craig Stover - coming soon!

 

Q. Wait, what's parametric furniture exactly?

Well, according to Wikipedia it's this: "Parametric design is a paradigm in design where the relationship between elements is used to manipulate and inform the design of complex geometries and structures. It's a process based on algorithmic thinking that enables the expression of parameters and rules that, together, define, encode and clarify the relationship between design intent and design response."
 

Q. How does your company work for furniture designers?

People can design a piece of parametric furniture, and list it on our site. They then get a cut of every item sold. If you aren't a designer but have a great idea, no worries. We can design this with your help and start manufacturing it.
 

Q. Who are your target customers?

I am targeting a segment of the market that is somewhere between DIY and IKEA.

The products are low cost because they are flat-packed and customer assembled. The product is also not sanded or finished to a fine level, but the quality of the materials is very high.

Unlike DIY, the manufacturing technique used means that most of the hard work that requires powertools and a large working space is done. It is also done far more accurately and faster than any craftsman could produce which gives a very high-value low-cost product.

The P9 Chair designed by Alejandro Palandjoglou

The P9 Chair designed by Alejandro Palandjoglou

It's important to make this distinction of where the product sits amongst alternatives because it helps to define the intended target market. They are most likely to be young professionals with some manual capabilities that value unique products and derive pleasure from building/constructing things.
 

Q. What has your journey been so far?

My entrepreneurial journey started seriously when I moved to Auckland from Australia and was looking to furnish my rental. I was really surprised by the lack of an active second-hand furniture market (there is quite a healthy one in Melbourne).

It was really going to cost a lot of money to buy something that was both portable and good-looking. I felt that I could do better and build something of quality and worth lugging around.

I have been exposed to advanced manufacturing techniques at a commercial level professionally through my work as a civil engineer, and I have been a member of many hacker/maker spaces around the place - HSBNE in Brisbane and most importantly in the Santiago Makerspace in Chile.

I was in Chile for a sabbatical year and had the opportunity to join the Santiago Makerspace and do some exploratory learning. I did some courses in Parametric Design with a Mexican architecture collective called Chido Studio. They use parametric design processes with software like Rhino and Grasshopper to produce incredibly striking and complex forms.

I also gained some exposure to 3D printing and laser cutting which were important tools in the makerspace. This opened up the world of digital manufacturing to which I am still very much a beginner.

More recently I have been inspired by my sister who is a more serious furniture designer currently working for Freedom furniture. We have had some discussions about projects she was working on and it got me thinking about furniture and the interior environment as an interesting place to try and problem-solve.
 

Q. What made you start the CO.STARTERS programme for your idea?

In Auckland I had been going to the odd Android conference at GridAKL. I mucked up the date one day and accidentally gate-crashed an event from Mum's Garage. Natalie trapped me in her pipeline tractor beam and I was signed up for a course she was running at the time by the end of it.

At this particular course I had to define and communicate my business idea, which helped consolidate some of my thoughts and made me really claim the idea as my own. This helped it to become a reality in my head.

6 months or so went by where I was really busy at work but hadn't developed the idea at all. I got an email out of the blue from Natalie (I must have fallen into another list) and she told me about the  program. I signed up straight away. CO.STARTERS has really helped me because it has helped me maintain focus and keep working towards the goal even though the time and energy I have for my business idea is scarce.
 

Q. What are your next steps, and goals for the future?

I want to make some serious sales to really start to refine the product and test the market robustly. The next operational stage is to get a CNC machine. I am flying to Brisbane in late April to inspect a machine to import to New Zealand. This will allow me to drop my unit cost and do more experimentation. I want to setup a proper working space and start to do some events at markets to speak to more customers and make some sales. I am hoping to add more items in the $50-$100 dollar space that people will buy on impulse. Future goals would be to set up workshops in other cities, i.e Wellington and East Coast Australia. I'd also like to make the products customisable from your browser.
 

Q. How can we help you?

If someone wants something in particular, please hit me up. Also, i'll be looking for more designers to partner with, and i'll need to find a developer in the future to help me set up true customisable options for the customer.


You can check out Cameron's business below, and follow them on Facebook here:

Our Comprehensive Guide To Market Validation

Our Comprehensive Guide To Market Validation

Market validation is one of the most important steps when trying to build a business, but it's something that most people don't do well, or don't do at all. We're created a comprehensive guide for aspiring entrepreneurs and startups.