Week 5

Fire Engine

One of three fire engines at the DUX fire

Monday

This week we started with a meeting with mentor Dan Wallace. Dan helped us to bring some clarity to our planning. By now we have spoken to so many mentors, public servants, people with tetraplegia, and industry leaders that its easy to get swamped by detail. Dan Wallace and Alex Lam are two mentors whose external view helps to keep us strategically focused.

To keep everything exciting there was a small fire during the preparations for the opening of the Dux behind us in Greenhouse.  Three trucks came, but apparently it was more smoke than flame, from a pizza oven.  The Press story is here – http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/72026732/fire-in-dux-central-oven

We finished the afternoon with Pitch Kitchen, where we did our 60 second pitch and got some feedback from Geoff, Charlie and Michelle. After taking out some of the stuff that was difficult to understand our 60 second pitch could be done in 30 seconds, so we had some rebuilding to do before our pitches were to be recorded on Wednesday.

Tuesday

We spent Tuesday in the yellow room. I had sinus problems exacerbated by the smell of paint from the ongoing Dux renovations so some time in the yellow room with the windows open was welcome. We met with Peter John, who is the Director of Research and Commercialisation from Lincoln University. His knowledge of the health sector was very useful in identifying people that we need to meet in the next few weeks.

We spent most of the day working on our presentations, term sheet and collecting research to replace numbers in our spreadsheets with sourced facts.

The day finished with takeaway food provided by Lightning Lab while we all chatted and talked about each other’s week and challenges.

godfather

Dave Moskovitz, the godfather of startups

Wednesday

This was a big day. I spent an anxious early hour trying to rehearse our new 60 second pitch before filming. The filming was moved from 12pm to 10am and the new words just would not stick. In the end we put large print prompts onto our whiteboard and took that in when we went to filming. Using this  Brandoesque technique I managed to get through the pitch on my second attempt.

In the afternoon we had a talk on metrics from Dave Moskovitz, the godfather of startups. He reinforced the need for metrics to be actionable, accessible and audit-able and to avoid vanity (confirmatory) metrics. Matt McFedries from Debtor Daddy shared some of his excellent metrics in this session.

spiffy

Looking spiffy before the Champion Canterbury Awards

After Dave’s talk Margaret and I had to get dressed up to attend the Champion Canterbury Awards dinner. Our other company Stickmen Media was a finalist in the professional services section.

Awards Screens

Our finalist video onscreen

We didn’t win but it was a great night with over 1300 guests.

champ-cant-photographer

Margaret and I being photographed for official photos

Thursday

Thursday was a full day and a chance for me to catch up with what our CFO had been doing. Vinni Pietras-Jensen has been working on the revenue model for the company. Apart from her accounting skills Vinni has a background in non-financial accounting and has been working on a triple bottom line calculation to show the social, emotional and financial benefits of our VR Wheelchair simulator.  She has also been working on a presentation that we can use to show investors.

We also had another meeting mentor Sam Ragnarsson from Effectus. Sam has been finding opportunities for us. He is arranging a meeting for us with a potential partner next week.

Friday

Today was our first meeting with out advisory board. It was a successful meeting with few technical challenges even though two of the board attended via skype. If you want to know more about the advisory board we have them here – http://mtechgames.com/mtech-advisory-board/

The day finished with our Good, Bad and Ugly session. Here are ours for the week.

Good:

  • A great first meeting with our advisory board;
  • A great night at the Champion Canterbury awards, and very warm support from Lightning lab;
  • Lucy from the Lab Techs managed to make a great Frames Per Second meter inside the VR Wheelchair Simulator; and
  • Kate from the Lab Techs did some great competitor research for us.

Bad:

  • The Dux Fire,annoying more than anything as we waited outside while lunch was inside;
  • Swollen sinus on Monday; and
  • Still no penetration of ACC heirarchy.

Ugly:

  • Vinni managed to carbonize a pork roast by falling asleep while it was cooking.
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