Week Eleven at the R9 Accelerator… Anna Guenther from PledgeMe, Immunity to Change, more Ministers visit and Demo Day prep… #AcceleratorLife

Lab Tech Life

As per the previous week or so, I have been working on the print collateral for Demo Day…

I’ve been collating all of the information for our Demo Day booklet.
This is the programme guide for the audience, with the order of pitches and information about the teams and their proposals. Thankfully, I’m not in this alone, and the HitSquad has been on the case. Together, we’ve been writing, or suggesting starting points for the R9 team tag lines, blurbs, collecting their logos and company contact information…
As you saw the other week, we also enlisted the help of awesome resident-photographer Ashley, from Creative HQ, to take updated team photos… Once we have all of these elements, the actual design of the booklet is headed over to local design agency Strategy.
I have been putting together some of the designs for on-the-day items, so the templates for digital elements – as well as the plan of print collateral at the venue.

For all of us, the past week(s) and the upcoming ones are all about pitching…
Listening to the teams pitch, suggesting edits, cuts etc to get their presentations down to 5 minutes… suggestions on what elements should be shown on their slides.
For me, I’ve been setting up ‘one-on-one’ pitch sessions with all of the pitching teams. By one-on-one, I really mean HitSquad and team sessions… In these, we’ve been running through the pitches with a timer. My aim is to provide suggestions and feedback for the visual aspects and how they relate to what is being said.

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Full R9 cohort photo, thanks and full credit to Ashley Church at Creative HQ (and see more of her work here)
Demo Day prep… lots of notes, lots of sketches!

Crowd-funding – with Anna Guenther, from PledgeMe

Between all of these meetings, more with early adopters and stakeholders, the teams are pretty busy…

Thanks to our cohort-wide trip at Chapman Tripp a few weeks ago, some of the teams will be weighing up what type of business they think will best suit their products; whether their solutions would suit being government-owned, a private company or a public-private partnership. While most of the teams are getting their business proposals written up, they’re looking at what sales models would work best…

And they were given another option to consider, in a session from Anna Guenther, CEO/Chief Bubble Blower at PledgeMe.


Just in case you’ve not come across crowdfunding before, here’s a quick run-down of it. As the name suggests, crowdfunding is a way for lots of people to fund a project. The aim is to meet the target amount with lots of smaller investments.

PledgeMe is New Zealand’s top crowdfunding platform, and has so far helped raise funds for over 1,000 Kiwi-based projects.

Sorry, no pictures – I was paying full attention to what was being said!

Ministers’ Visit

It was déjà-vu, as we were again visited by Ministers…
This time Minister English and Minister Joyce came in to hear teams pitch, find out more about their opportunities and solutions – and about the programme as a general.
The pitching teams did great, and all the teams had a chance to talk with the Ministers, who seemed interested in the programme.
I think some of the government employees suffered minor heart-attacks, as both Ministers decided to step onto the office hover boards!

Pictures: All images from Twitter (source: @stevenljoyce)

Immunity to Change – with Geoff Harrison and Michael Berger

Later in the week there was also a really interesting session called ‘Immunity to Change’.

Run by Geoff Harrison and Michael Berger from Cultivating Leadership, the workshop is based on the book of the same name by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey. The Immunity to Change workshops were developed to help participants identify the reasons why they may find change and coping with change difficult.
This is obviously not something that start-ups or large organisations – whether founder, director or employee – want to struggle with so really interesting to learn more.

The aim is to confront the personal fears, or beliefs, developed consciously or subconsciously over our lives. The theory is that these fears are what cause the ‘immunity to change’ and hinder individuals in achieving their goals. The workshop was good and run with a small group. As it’s such a personal journey, it was definitely a ‘safe-space’ workshop requiring openness and honesty.
By confronting these beliefs, and digging to the root of where, when and why we started to believe them, we can overcome our thought patterns and fears.

For me, it was really interesting, especially to be able to think and process why I’ve approached certain things and made decisions the way I have.

I would definitely recommend reading a little more into the theories, and if you’re looking at developing a more leadership-based role, it might also be useful!