Posts made in October, 2015

Week 11

Posted by on Oct 27, 2015 in Blog Post

teampic

Team MTech

Monday

Its supposed to be a public holiday today but we’re in the office. We have appointments to get some team photos taken, and of course, there is the ongoing work on the pitch, dropsheet, brochure and our due diligence folder. These activities have taken over our lives. At least we’re not here alone. You wouldn’t know it was a holiday.

Tuesday

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The imagery on the projector is calming

Today we got the photos from Erica, the Ministry of Awesome’s photo ninja. The new headshots look much better than the ones we previously had in our documents.

We have to choose the music for our intro on pitch day. Each presentation begins with a 15 second musical intro. I guess we should have decided our song earlier, but we ended up rattling our brains on the way into work this morning. We’re trying to avoid ‘Chariots of Fire’ or ‘Eye of the Tiger’ clichés. Eventually Margaret came up with “Ordinary World” by Duran Duran, just the chorus. It seems pretty damn good considering the small amount of effort we put into the decision.

We learned that one of our mentors, Trevor will be down on Thursday. It will be handy to get some feedback on our drop sheet and pitch.

Wednesday

Again, a day busy with pitching. I have come up with an idea to record the pitch and listen to it using my iphone. Unfortunately as soon as anyone else hears the pitch it changes so I am not getting any traction on memorising it. It detracts from expression and emphasis when I read it so memorising it is all important.

Dave Moskovitz is back in the lab today. We pitched to him and he was very encouraging about how far we had come in Lightning Lab. I’m getting a little nervous as we have no commitments for investment yet. I have learned that the best groups from the Auckland Lightning Lab had at least soft commitments before demo day. Dave’s feedback was a bit of a lift. We still have time.

Thursday

As well as the pitch we have to prepare some media stuff. We need a 200 word summary and a 50 word summary of the business for various uses. By now we have enough materials that this is a quick cut-and-paste job. We picted to Trevor, and got his feedback on the deck. He suggested a few changes and we’re going to make them. He has seen many pitch decks before so it wouldn’t be wise to ignore the advice.

One of the lessons we have learned in Lightning Lab is that you can’t please everyone. While its a great idea to take advice from those more experienced, you also have to realise that its your business, and nobody knows it as well as you do. Trevor’s advice was right on the money though. It even ironed out a few things that I was already uncomfortable with.

After the work day finishes Margaret, Vinni and I have dinner with Trevor, and Charlie from Lightning Lab at Orlean’s in Strange’s Lane. After that, its off to rehearsal for Margaret’s band. Its a long day.

Friday

It’s an early morning. We’re pitching to Canterbury Angels at 7:30. We arrive at 7am and the four pitching teams, MTech, Bamtino, Debtor Daddy and Mighty Gem are shuffled into a side room until the angels all arrive. We’re called in to pitch. I still haven’t memorised the pitch so I read it. It went very well until they asked me the market size. I was trying to point out that NZ was too small as a market, but managed to give the impression that the market was only 100 people a year. God help me, I don’t want to do that at demo day!

Margaret has a hair appointment today. I already had a trim earlier in the week so we’re looking our special best for demo day 🙂

More work on the pitch, t-shirts are off being printed. We need t-shirts with logos to distinguish the teams. Vinni is writing the business plan, Dave has been giving us advice on the strategy and the time flies by until Good, Bad and Ugly time.

One of the funny issues that I have noticed. People really resent the bell that signals the start of GBYU and other group presentations. I think it’s because everyone is busy, and the bell, and whatever it is signalling, are a distraction, an unwanted intrusion on the work.

Good: We got our first investment commitment this week, hard rather than soft.

Bad: Vinni had an accident with a tree while she was bike riding.

Ugly: Giving the impression to the local angels that the market size for MTech was 100 🙁

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Week 10

Posted by on Oct 23, 2015 in Blog Post

Monday

Its been a tense day. We’ve had some arguments and feelings are running high. Our Trello board is crammed with tasks and there is a feeling of being swamped. I think we may have to create a deferred list and move most of the least urgent tasks there. Trello is great, but the sheer number of tasks is overwhelming.

The pitch has been worked on by Margaret and Vinni all day but it is still incomplete. It rolls off my tongue like a brick, and I stumble through it still using my prompt notes.

We were meant to do a demo today, but somehow the visitor has gotten side tracked.

I booked tickets to go up to Auckland on Wednesday. The wheelchair trainer is a finalist in the NZ Innovators awards. Its not great timing as I will be missing half a day here.

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Week 9

Posted by on Oct 22, 2015 in Blog Post

Weekend

There isn’t much to report until we get back to Christchurch. Here are some photos as we had a couple of days of down time. Below that you’ll find the rest of our week in Christchurch.

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Selfie Time in King’s Park

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Margaret with Perth city behind

Monday

It was good to see my family, but a shame we didn’t get an appointment to see anyone at the spinal unit here.

Argh, misread our itinerary and missed our flight out of Perth. We’re now catching a new flight at 4 in the morning.

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Week 8

Posted by on Oct 20, 2015 in Blog Post

Week 8 was a week involving travel to Australia. It ended with a fantastic meeting in Melbourne

Monday

Monday started with our usual group meeting and planning session. It was then all hands to the phones, practising our pitches and doing some work on our software. If I don’t try to memorise the pitch, if I just speak to the slides I notice I can give a more relaxed and earnest presentation. I will speak to Geoff and Charlie about that.

We met with our NZTE representative in the late morning and discussed our plans for US sales.  Pal is very helpful but unfortunately leaving his current role. He has agreed to intrduce us to his replacement. We havent formally enrolled with NZTE yet but its a task that needs to be done.

We had our weekly catchup with Geoff and Charlie. They are pushing for me to memorise the pitch. Damn, tasks involving memory are my kryptonite.

One of the important tasks was following up to try to get our appointment with neuroscientist  Prof Mary Galea at Royal Melbourne hospital. This is a key meeting to begin our research led marketing in Australia and so far we don’t have an appointment with the very busy professor.

We had a meeting with a potential Chinese partner. That went well, although much of the meeting was in Chinese and the translation seemed like a summary of the actual conversation.

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Week 7

Posted by on Oct 2, 2015 in Blog Post

Monday

This morning began with our usual meeting where it was impressed on us how horrifyingly close D-Day (Demo Day) is. We gave our 60 second pitches, and I stumbled through ours without prompts this week. I think I am more of a shoot-from-the-hip sort of orator. Learning pitches hasn’t been my forté.

After that, Vinni, Margaret and I had our weekly planning meeting. This week we asked Charlie Tomlinson to join us. We have had difficulty lately in determining our priorities, and as the pressure increases we have had difficulty even communicating about them. Charlie was there to provide some feedback on our communications.

Monday

Everybody out

I spent a bit of time programming, trying out new acceleration and momentum characteristics of our chair to reduce motion sickness. We’ve had some success in keeping the frame rate high, and removing any jitter in the display. Its a much more comfortable experience for most people now.

Monday 2

Another false alarm in the Dux

Just to keep us on our toes there was a fire alarm and evacuation. Christchurch fire service was on the scene shortly thereafter, and after some time we were allowed back in. I don’t know what happened but it was something at the Dux Central in the rear of our building.

The official part of the day finished with a talk by Charlie Tomlinson called “Investment 101”.  It was a talk to help us get investment-ready.

Monday evening Margaret and I spent a couple of extra hours in the lab, me working on motion sickness fixes, and her working on presentations. We’re off to Melbourne and Perth next week (7th) to present to researchers in Royal Melbourne Hospital, and Royal Perth.

We left around 7:30 to get to Margaret’s band rehearsal. Mondays are exhausting.

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