Woohoo! We’ve reached the half-way point. 7 weeks down, 7 weeks to go, for our River City Labs (muru-D) startup accelerator program in Brisbane …although most of our week 7 news is from Sydney, because GreenSocks was in Sydney for the week. Here’s our recap:
Telstra Digital Summit
Monday: Alongside ChattyKidz (muru-D Sydney class 1) and Disrupt (muru-D Sydney class 2), GreenSocks was fortunate to have the opportunity to pitch our lawn mowing startup (to an audience of 1000+) for a chance at Telstra’s Digital Scholarship. We didn’t win, but it was awesome pitch practice and the whole event was a lot of fun. Thanks Telstra!
Here are some other snaps from the value-packed Summit…
Meanwhile, Startup Queen Peta Ellis left River City Labs…
A sad day for everyone at RCL, but Peta has earned time away to have baby number three, and RCL is in capable hands with the always-humble, ever-present, awesome Josh Anthony (as well as his equally awesome colleagues Angela Castles and Emily Gilhome). Peta, if you get bored, you can always mow some lawns…?
Visit to Sydney muru-D
Tuesday and Wednesday: To keep up with the work of coordinating our lawn mowing jobs, we worked from Sydney’s muru-D office. Given that the next muru-D cohort doesn’t start until February 2016, and the muru-D team (Annie, James, Audrey, Rachel, Ben and Mick) were in and out for other commitments, it was a bit like a ghost town at times…
@PricingBen dug up his River City Labs accelerator shirt and proudly wore it to welcome us!
Guest Speaker at RCL – Cameron Blackwood
Wednesday: Thanks to help from Matt Rowan from ProcessPA, we Skyped in to Week 7’s masterclass by Cameron Blackwood from Greenwoods, talking about the ESS (Employee Share Scheme) and employee agreements.
Thursday: SydStart brought together a variety of impressive Australian and international speakers, including: Mark Bouris (Yellow Brick Road); Matt Barrie (Freelancer); Jane Lu (ShowPo); Cyan Ta’eed (Envato); Andrew Hyde (Startup Weekend founder); Kim Dotcom (via screen hookup); and muru-D’s Mick Liubinskas
preaching (oops!) teaching “focus on a very specific niche” and “go global from day one”.
Pitching on the SydStart main stage
Thursday: Throughout the day, nearly 100 startups (or wannabe startups) pitched their idea in a side room (in rounds of 15-20 startups at a time) to guest judges. The winning startup from each round progressed to the main stage. Our lawn mowing services concept tied first in round one with ShipIt (the eventual event winner), so we got the chance to pitch in front of 1000+ attendees. Other finalists included: BankVault; Polish2Publish; GiveGarden; Biora; and recent Brisbane RiverPitch finalist Fewzion.
Was it worth the effort? 100% yes. We didn’t win (again), but the whole process (eg. articulating our message, practising over and over, waiting backstage for hours, and then pitching to a large audience alongside big name speakers) was a fantastic experience (…so yes, Richard and Ryan, you were right about nominating, even when I thought GreenSocks had no chance). The short-lived notoriety didn’t lead to any immediate spike in lawn mowing bookings, but it certainly sparked lots of conversations for the rest of the conference (from people who heard us pitch and wanted to come up and say hi). So in that regard, it was a great door-opener for networking. Plus, Jesus even started following us on Twitter!
Warrior Forum Highlights
Friday: I loved the speakers at the follow-on Warrior Forum (in the same Town Hall venue) on Friday. Why? Because they used real (and crazy awesome) data to back up their stories and anecdotes. It never ceases to amaze me how some brands skyrocket, while others fall by the wayside. Favourites included: Nick Robinson (Quest Nutrition) ; Sean Ellis (GrowthHackers); and Ray Chan (9GAG).
Nick Robinson – The Power of Content: Nick talked about how Quest Nutrition has used content (and even set up their own in-house film studio) to build their brand and
compete against become one of the big guys.
Sean Ellis – The Power of Experiments: Sean Ellis. Using real-life data from GrowthHackers and Twitter, Sean talked about the positive effect of running company experiments on a daily/weekly basis, as well as how to manage all of the internal ideas about what experiments to run. His slides tell the story:
Ray Chan: The Power of Audience Connection: So how did a “side project” by a Hong Kong student, during a time period when Facebook wasn’t available in Hong Kong, earn 26 million Facebook “likes”, 5 million Twitter followers, a place in Y-Combinator and millions in funding? They focussed on building a powerful connection with (and delighting) their users.
Ray Chan from 9GAG at Warrior Forum Sydney 2015 © GreenSocks
Friday night: The eve before Halloween, the SydStart crew threw a TechWreck costume party to celebrate. Some muru-D stragglers joined the fun…
…and got some startup tattoos to prove it!
And, that’s a wrap!
Thanks Everyone for your support and enjoy your weekend!
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