Week Two at the R9 Accelerator included some great speakers such as Yoseph Ayele from KiwiConnect and Dustin Haisler and Paul Taylor from e.Republic… #AcceleratorLife

Lab Tech Life

My week seemed to be quite busy in some parts, with me looking at branding for a couple of teams, along with the web content they were generating.

Then, any “down-time” was spent working on an illustration for the Accelerator… or sitting in on the speakers’ sessions…

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Constructables draft rebrand concepts (1–4)
CoHelix, first draft business card
2shakes draft branding
R9 illustration research on Pinterest
Prep for the first Mentor Meet night
Packed house for the first Mentor Meet night

Yoseph Ayele – Kiwi Connect

KiwiConnect are making steps to connect world-class talent to workplaces, to drive innovation and increase capital for businesses in New Zealand.

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Yoseph Ayele speaking to the R9 cohort
Co-founder Yoseph was a really good speaker for the teams to hear from, as he has been through and knows the difficulty of dealing with multiple stakeholders, as well as trying to incite policy changes within government agencies.

One of the key takeaways he had for the teams was:

“Make sure to dig deep to define the problem…
Then articulate it so that anybody can understand what you’re trying to achieve.”

– Yoseph Ayele

I thought it was really insightful too when Yoseph pointed out:

That this is an opportunity for the teams to build trust with government agencies…
So even if they don’t have initial success with their opportunities, they will have (hopefully) broken down barriers for future change and suggestions.


Dustin Haisler & Paul Taylor – e.Republic

We were really lucky to hear from Dustin and Paul, who Skyped in from Texas and Washington respectively.

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Dustin Haisler (left) and Paul Taylor (right) speaking to the R9 cohort
Again, there was a lot of good advice given – as well as some great reference points, including examples of private sector groups bringing about change in government…

From my perspective, one of the most resounding points was:

“Don’t just focus on the tech.”

– Dustin Haisler

Dustin explained by saying that it’s not always a technology problem, but it could be that there’s an underlying process problem.

Both also talked about the amount of time the teams have within the accelerator, 12 weeks. Dustin tried to give the teams an idea of, realistically, the impact they could make – referring to the below ‘goggle boxes’…

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Goggle boxes comparing the time frames of:
(Left) Man hours (18+ years old) spent watching TV in the USA in comparison to (right) man hours spent for initial Wikipedia creation.
*My visual is not accurate to data, but a representation for the contrast*