Week 12


Here it is, the final week of Lightning Lab. It has arrived too quickly and we are just not ready.

We were here yesterday, getting pitch feedback and changing our opening slides. Geoff and Charlie were concerned that we weren’t making enough of the fact that our opportunity has social impact. Others were concerned we weren’t clear enough about the business opportunity.  We found that it is really difficult to find good stock photos that exactly meet you needs. In future I will source photos early, taking our own if necessary. We spent the best part of 3 hours trying to find what we wanted.

Today we practiced, pitched and modified the deck two more times. We then submitted it, finally. Now, since it won’t change again I can start memorising it for real. The brochure is underway but not quite ready for printing.


side 1 mtech_drop_sheet_final

David, one of the lab techs, has finished the brochure. It looks great. I’ve read it through a couple of times and it seems error free. It’s on it’s way to the printers.

We have two pitch practices today. I’m still trying to memorise it. The deck is finalised now but the wording seems lumpy. I’ll refine it before we take it on the road.

Pitch one went well. Geoff and Charlie are reasonably happy. It was on time and pretty clear. I’ve found a balance between commercial and social impact. I read it. I am still trying to memorise.

Pacing backward and forward, talking to myself like a mad man has paid off. I did the second pitch practice from memory. It ran over by a minute but I remembered it.

Tomorrow is dress rehearsal. Time is running out. Margaret and Vinni have compiled a Question and Answer list so we all know how to answer the critical questions when we’re on the stands on Demo Day. Margaret has designed and printed sign up sheets.

The tshirts have arrived. I’m actually not sure about mine. The design is good but I should have hit the gym in preparation.

It’s starting to come together.

Wednesday D Day-1


Its dress rehearsal day. We’re heading over to the Jack Man Auditorium at UC Dovedale campus. We’re not taking banners or machines today. We’ll set those up tomorrow morning. We do stop off to grab our brochures/drop sheets. I hadn’t really appreciated that they were done on card, so they’re not for folding up and putting in your pocket.

We did a decent dress rehearsal. Charlie has the technicals working backstage. The screen is huge, so I see why you can’t really interact with the presentation.

Getting mic’ed up was straightforward and we seem to be pretty confident. It seems one of the teams has withdrawn from presenting.

Thursday D Day

D Day is here. We start at the local supermarket, grabbing clipboards, pens, chocolates and bowls for our table. We then head to the lab to pack up the computer and oculus rift. We also print out some sign up sheets for anyone interested in our product.

Setting up went smoothly and a quick test of the product shows that everything is plugged in and functioning correctly.

Ready or not, we’re here, we’re as prepared as we can be and even so, I grab the stage for a few minutes to do one more run through of my slides. The strange thing about this event is that everyone presenting is going to miss it. We’ll spend most of our time in the green room.

We had subway for lunch. Everyone seems pretty relaxed. I have a chat with Dave Moskovitz about other opportunities to present our start-ups. New Zealand is developing an active angel investment scene. Canterbury now has its own group of angels, hopefully many of them will be here today.

In the green room we’re all starting to show nerves. The first 5 of us have been mic’ed up. There is a live stream happening but I don’t want to watch it until I have done my presentation.

me presenting

Me presenting. Photo courtesy of Erica Austin from Ministry of Awesome.

I waited backstage as Alex from Pocket Physio presented. Jo Nunnerley introduced me. She sounded as nervous as I was, I learned later she had been in a car accident on the way to the venue. The time on stage seemed to be over quickly. I stumbled a couple of times but overall I think I pulled it off.

As the last two talks were completing we were allowed into the investor room to start manning our tables. We had a great deal of interest and we did quite a few demos.

Its all over. If you want to know how it went I can’t tell you. I hardly saw any of it, like most participants. I will watch the saved livestream later.

We’ll be back in the lab tomorrow, following up with investors and working out what to do next. Tonight though, we’re off to Bentley’s.


Well, my feet are sore from pacing yesterday but we’re back at work. We’ve been calling interested investors and getting our investor deck ready to send them. Its hard to believe that Lightning Lab itself is all over. Its been 12 weeks of high intensity business modelling and development. There wont be a Good Bad and Ugly session today. Some of the lab techs are saying their goodbyes: Kate Blincoe, who did so much research for us; and Regina Speers who helped design our logo.

We would like to thank all of them, and the Lightning Lab executive team: Geoff Brash, Charlie Thomlinson and Michelle Panzer and the mentors. Thanks also to the other teams.

We’ll keep on here, at least till the end of November. I will still blog, more sporadically perhaps. I would like to finish this blog with the story of us being fully funded and operating and, although we have a lot of interest, we’re not quite there yet. The really interesting part of this story will be what we do next.

The full ll  team

The Lightning Lab Team, Christchurch 2015


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