Hi Everyone! Here’s our GreenSocks recap of week 8 of 14 in our River City Labs startup accelerator program (powered by muru-D) in Brisbane. Whilst week 8 was not as high-powered as our epic week 7 trip to Sydney, we had a good mix of class time and work time, which enabled us to get some solid work done.
Welcome to Mel Radak
GreenSocks is very excited to announce that our very first employee, Mel Radak (pictured above, in the middle of Richard and I), started this week. Mel’s going to be focussed on coordinating customer lawn mowing bookings with mowing providers (plus much more). Mel comes from three years of exercising her coordination genius at Enviropest and five years of customer service genius at Save The Children. If you’re visiting River City Labs, please drop by and make her feel welcome.
Andrey Shirben visited from SYD Ventures
Andrey Shirben, serial entrepreneur and investor from SYD Ventures, flew up from Sydney to spend two days in River City Labs educating and deep-diving with our lawn mowing services startup, as well as the other four accelerator teams (ParkFit, Outbound, ProcessPA and Puntaa). We’re told he also gave a great session at the Labs’ Investor education night.
Here were some gems from Andrey (many of which came from his experience building Kenshoo – a shooting star company with Sequoia investment that has put $350B in client revenue through its digital marketing SaaS platform):
- Listen to the customers who use your product, not the ones who promise to use it if you change x, y and z
- Don’t underestimate the in-person, personal connection with early customers
- Educate with your methodology, and this can lead to sales (rather than cold-selling your platform itself)
- You still need to localise your service, even if you speak the same language as your target country
- Most startups go out of business because they can’t market their product, not because they can’t make an amazing product
- 98% of the products that Google creates go nowhere. Google’s hit rate is actually minimal!
- China is not the answer to everything. Neither is the US. Kenshoo started with a China focus then took a pivot to the UK (and beyond), and left the US until they were much further developed.
- Sometimes it’s better to go after the smaller markets that you can dominate, than the larger markets with greater competition
- Don’t spend too much time building for opportunities in 5 years time. Focus on customers/opportunities now and be open to where they might take you.
Advance Queensland’s Business Development Fund
Peter Johnson (Assistant Under Treasurer) and Jozef Latten (a Team Leader in the Economics Division), came to River City Labs, on behalf of the Queensland Treasury, to talk to our accelerator teams about the new (and generous) Business Development Fund. The Fund offers $40 million in early stage and follow-on venture capital fund investing to grow innovative Queensland businesses and strengthen the Queensland startup ecosystem. It’s an awesome initiative that every startup should check out. Full details of the fund here.
Nick Bowditch shared his story at Spark Bureau
Nick Bowditch, who claims to be the only person in Asia-Pacific to have worked at both Facebook and Twitter, and the only person in the world to have worked in marketing at both brands (and who also grew his own travel site to turn over millions in just over a year), shared his story at the new Spark Bureau on the Sunshine Coast. GreenSocks took a break from lawn mowing jobs to go along and hear what this Aussie marketing guru had to say…
Friday Open House at River City Labs
Never been? Come along any Friday 3pm-6pm if you have a strong interest in startups and/or you’d like to tour the River City Labs space. Very casual. Some weeks busier than others. Be there or be square!
Poker Night: Investors Vs Startups
Friday night saw the inaugural Investors Vs Startups Poker night in River City Labs, organised by our betting experts Puntaa. In a ‘survival of the fittest’ card showdown, Mat Myers (who was apparently brushing up on his Poker skills via YouTube videos mid-week) proved victorious. Congrats Mat! And thanks YouTube!
Behind the Scenes
While we the rest of us were doing this…
Or glamming it up for the Sunshine Coast Business Awards…
Jordan Oudejans was sprinting 100m to try to win $5 from his girlfriend on the Puntaa app…
— Jordan Oudejans (@jordoude) October 26, 2015
Our Sydney-based muru-D chief Annie Parker was in Argentina doing this…
And Mel was busy (after work, of course) starring in Amadeus – a genius Sunshine Coast theatre production about the legendary Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which has now opened to rave reviews (congrats Mel!).
And, that’s a wrap!
Thanks Everyone for your support and enjoy your week!
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