Posts made in August, 2015

Friday, Week 2

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Blog Post

Sponsors

The sponsors

The end of another week, and its flown by. I am beginning to appreciate how short 12 weeks will be.

Today we met up with Nicolás Erdödy, Ben Kepes, Brett Holland and Anake Goodall. In all cases it was a challenge, since we have had to change our pitch based on the elimination of some assumptions that we had last week.

Ben was very helpful, suggesting a M&A person for our advisory board. Nicolás tore my pitch apart, but helped to rebuild it shorter and sharper. Brett Holland had some great insight into JVs with wheelchair manufactures. He focused us on seeing that the value proposition for the company, even if it was a qualitative proposition, was the key to adoption, and therefore the key to scale.  Anake had some knowledge about 8i, a group we have been interested in finding out about. He asked some tricky questions.

Overall this week some of our assumptions were blasted, forcing a change in our pitch and strategy, but we have also had some great meetings with external advisers. We have picked the first member of our advisory board and had a stellar meeting finding out details about the market we are in.

We’re dropping in to the CBD bar and then off home for bed.

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Thursday, Week 2

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Blog Post

Our first product is a virtual reality wheelchair simulation that can help tetraplegics transition from patient, to the reality of their new lives. Its a worthy project, and everyone wants it to succeed but it isn’t quite so easy to see the ‘business’ in the project.  Teasing out the business is a matter of finding out the pain points for everyone involved in patients journey and seeing how , or if,  our product solves their problem.

Our first meeting was with Dave Moskovitz. I like getting the investor mentors’ points of view on the business. They’re pretty quick to get to the nub of the potential and the problems. Dave was keen for us to look at licencing rather than straight sales for our product. Its not the first time we’ve heard that advice so we’re definitely thinking about it. Dave also suggested that it might be good to get on a plane and go and see the sales cycle in the UK.

Richard Adams and Janienne Bayliss were enthusiastic about the product. We talked to Janienne online since since she is in the UK and was up at 1am . Again we were urged not to refine too much before we hit the market. She even offered help on the ground in the UK. Richard validated our approach of using clinical trials.

George Gong gave is some great advice on simplifying the solution so that we can have a product for the consumer market. For the current product he suggested partnering with a large supplier in some manner.

I’m not sure what I expected of Julian Carver but he gave some really sound advice on forming a testable business hypothesis. I am getting a real appreciation for this ‘science of business’ approach that he and Dave Moskovitz have highlighted.

I’m writing this on Friday morning as I have gotten a little behind. I will endeavour to have my Friday update done this evening.

Oh, and we finally have business cards.

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The business card, with social media items

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Wednesday, Week 2

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Blog Post

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Clothing twins today

Today has been fascinating. Our first meeting was with Karl Varley. He knew a lot about us and seemed very interested in seeing us pursue a top down approach to getting to our market, reaching out to ministers first. One of the most interesting things about the mentoring program is the diversity of opinion and advice. Each mentor seems to have thought about the marketing in a different way.

Our second meeting with Grant Welles started us thinking about diversifying our product offering around our core product, and identifying opportunities for recurrent revenue. Its an easy trap for us to think about our product and ‘hit and run’ market it. Grant has helped us to start the discussion about how we stay engaged with our customers so that we can solve their future problems.

The last meeting before lunch was with David Boyd. He is in the medical technology/rehab area so it was interesting to pitch to him. His views were positive but felt that we should spend some time thinking about developing the company as well as the product. We got some great advice on governance.

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Tuesday, Week 2 of Lightning Lab

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Blog Post

MTech Games Logo

Developed by Design Lab Techs

It was another roller coaster of a day on Tuesday. We met with 4 mentors as we continued product validation journey for the Virtual Reality Wheelchair Trainer.

Michelle Sharp CEO of Kilmarnock Enterprises was our first mentor of the day. We had met her before, at the Champion Canterbury Finalists evening. They have previously won two successive ACC Workplace Safety Awards and are finalists again this year. She turned out to be incredibly helpful, having a very good relationship with ACC.

Greg Williamson gave us the best piece of marketing advice so far, which was simply to “do a good job”. He thought the story of the project was very good so quality execution will be the best advertisement.

After lunch we met Andy Blackburn, who it seems had heard of us before. He is on the NZ Innovation Council, and we have been nominated for a New Zealand Innovation Award. He was very enthusiastic about the solution we have for the problem we are trying to solve. He agreed that we should be trying to meet and talk to some medical VCs to find out what a good investment looks like in our sector.

Finally we caught up with Alex Lam who suggested this blog. He introduced us to Josh from Zencastr,  and later returned to talk to us more about our social strategies. His advice is always hands on, and immediate. We tend to implement his suggestions straight away. One of them was to include the story of the VR Wheelchair Trainer on this blog, which I intend to do when there is a gap in the day.

We finally have a logo, designed by the design lab techs here. We will finally have business cards to hand out.

Ok, thats it for now. I will try to post Wednesday’s update tonight.

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Standard Logo, designed at Lightning Lab.

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Monday, Week Two in Lightning Lab

Posted by on Aug 24, 2015 in Blog Post

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Lightning Lab

The start of the second week of lightning lab and it seems that we need to speed up our validation processes. Most groups here will be speaking to 10 potential customers a week to validate their products (or prototypes). We will have to think a little differently since our prototype will be validated in clinical trials over a longer period than lightning lab. Dan Khan gave us a good perspective on how to make the best use of our time here so we will focus more on the business case.

The mentors are a feature of month one, and we spend a lot of time in mentor meetings. We have had a lot of useful feedback, suggestions and critique in these meetings. In particular Paul Davis helped us to see where investment was likely to come from. Ian Town helped validate what we are trying to do and Andre Link was interesting from having sold medical devices.

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Cake after a chat with PWC

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At the end of the day

 

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