Before the collision: #2 What does the future of Wellington’s work force look like?

Image care of Brady Dyer - click the image above to be taken to a full gallery of lovely photos

Image care of Brady Dyer - click the image above to be taken to a full gallery of lovely photos

You might know about the meetups we support, the events we host and the learning opportunities we create. But what happens behind the scenes at Collider? Our  series, "Before the Collision" is a diary from our Activation Manager Kate Macdonald where she highlights the conversations she is having, great work she is seeing in the community, events and workshops she is attending, and all the things she is learning, seeing and being surprised by in Wellington and beyond. 

30th November

The robots are coming and they’re gonna do our jobs! Uh oh. But also opportunity. What to do?... Hide under the duvet? Re-train for jobs of the future? Embrace new robot work mates? What does the future workforce look like? The Wellington Work In Progress Conference gave me loads to think about.

Earlier this month 350 Wellingtonians gathered at the St James Theatre to hear about ‘Wellington's new collar future’. The speaker line-up was awesome and covered a range of topics - skills for the machine age, digital disruption, the gig economy - to name just a few.

The standout for me was Professor Ian O Williamson - Pro Vice Chancellor & Dean of Commerce at Victoria University Business School. His topic was “Can Human be put back into Human Resources?  Managing Tomorrow’s Workforce”. I was immediately into it - at BizDojo we are all about humans. And the Collider Programme is all about creating an inclusive space for people to connect and collaborate and ultimately grow what they do.

Professor Ian spoke about a topic close to my heart - diversity.

How diversity in your team is key to innovation and execution. It’s like that old saying - two minds are better than one, but only if they think differently. If you’re growing your team, you might want to think about strategically composing a team from different backgrounds - kinda like The Avengers.

And diversity in your organisational partnerships. Think about who you’re working with and what that means for your workforce. Perhaps you could team up with a social enterprise or mental health provider - “seek out dissimilar others”.

And diversity of rewards. Once you’ve established your diverse team of ninjas, they’re not all going to want a ham for Christmas. Think about taking a flexible approach to showing your work force that you value them and think they’re doing a great job.

Thanks Ian!

The fact that we had this conference and these conversations (thanks Wellington Regional Strategy Office!) is another reason why living in Wellington is the raddest.

I always love to talk to people in the Wellington business community about what we are doing, what we could do, and what we could do TOGETHER! If you are curious about Collider, or have an idea for something great we could do together feel free to reach out via email or over on Twitter


Getting clear, getting simple: 5 tips for clear communications

From giving clear communications to your team to being able to write an email that does not leave your investor guessing. Communicating clearly and succintly is important for founders at any stage of their business. But where do you start? We have collected five tips to help you craft clear communications no matter the situation, from writing tips to first principles. Have your own tips to share? Pop them in the comments below. 

Go back to first principles

Whatever it is that you are trying to explain, from what your business does, to how you plan to take the next leap - you need to go back to first principles. 

What are the facts? Who are you talking to? Why should they listen? 

Imagine yourself in the shoes of the person you are trying to communicate with. Do they understand that jargon word? Do they need to know about your business background? Does that colourful joke, or dry witticism amuse them? 

If you are going into an interview, then the above questions are especially important, and it might be best to physically note your answers down and remind yourself of them before you go in to see that journalist. If you find it challenging to keep these bits of information front of mind when being interviewed? Ask if you can be interviewed by email, allowing you time to hone responses, and allowing yourself to keep on message and keep clear. 


This blog post by BizDojo @ GridAKL residents Directly is a how-to on making your writing, and in-fact any form of communication you have simpler, easier to engage with and more likely to convert. Essential reading for anyone that works in industries where jargon is rife, like technology, insurance or finances OR for those that like to over-explain. 

Hone those writing skills - it is easier than you think 

In this Webstock talk, Kate Kiefer Lee explains the art of conversational prose, simple communications and why everyone is a writer. A great starting point for people who want to communicate clearly, Kate asks people to consider the way they speak as a tool for to hone how they write. An excellent talk, this is a must watch for any founder. 

Make sure the method of communication fits the goal

There are some simple facts to keep in mind when thinking about clear, concise communication. Detailed facts are best communicated in written form where people can digest and refer back to information. Meetings are best used to solve problems collaboratively, or to get a team across what is happening within a business - but are best held with an agenda, allowing the meeting to stay on course and full of focus. Slack is great for immediacy, whilst a phone-call can be a good way to deliver quick insights in a friendly more personal way.

Before you start drafting that email or pulling together notes for a meeting think about who is in the room, what you are communicating, and what you want the outcome to be. Then, find a channel of communication that fits that particular situation best. 

Get to your point

Summer's here, and so the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcampers!

Pohutukawa are in bloom, the aircon has been switched to “high” and the faint sound of flip-flops can be heard around the office. It must be summer. Which means BizDojo Wellington have just meet 2017/18’s summer cohort for the Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp. Yussss!

The Victoria Entrepreneur Bootcamp helps young entrepreneurs to build a business over one summer, by using skills and networks available within Victoria University and the wider Wellington business scene. For a few days each week, BizDojo acts as a base and home to connect with Wellington’s entrepreneurial scene as these teams as they create and build their businesses.

It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement. The residents at Bizdojo come from a wide pool of talents and expertise and work as great mentors for the Bootcampers who have specialised questions or concerns about their project. The Bootcampers are in turn enthusiastic and passionate about what they’re doing, bringing energy and collaborative vibes into the space.     

While it’s early days yet, we’ve grabbed a quick snapshot of this summer’s 10 (yup! 10, making it the biggest cohort yet) entrepreneurial teams.


“Mind Me - Product Mindy”
An AI based integration for accounting software.

A mobile platform that allows museum visitors to experience science using AR and 3D animation.

Study Track
A platform for Universities to offer ’Crash Courses” in Degrees so students can make more informed career decisions.

Virtual Valet
An app to eliminate the dreaded parking search.

A service that will work with local businesses to outsource work to mothers.

An online clothing company providing affordability for students.

Ratahi Brothers
A calculator app that can be used in formal high school exams.

An online platform that will help people engage with civic organisations.

ISO Platform
An online platform to help international students to smoothly transfer their lives and prepare for study in New Zealand.

Creative Subscriptions
A paid subscription service for a monthly box of children’s art activities based on a buy one, give one model, where another box is sent to children from refugee backgrounds.

Brand 101 : questions and considerations for brand building

As pretty as your logo is, your brand should be more than just great design. Building effective branding, either for your business or for you as a person, is about defining what you are, what you stand for and how you are different to those around you. 

In reality, most brands are built by attributing many of the features we associate with people to a product or service. If you think about your best friend or partner; and the things that make you like them; their aesthetics may well be a part; but you are likely to talk about their personality, their values, the things they believe in and the elements that make them truly unique. We take these same areas and highlight them to build out a compelling brand story. 

What should I be thinking about when building out a brand?

Before you start building a brand you have to get the salient facts clear; which can actually involve more toing and froing than you would think. This is a really important step in the process of brand building and acts as a foundation for future steps. Essentially you are finding out the essential truth of the day to day of what your business does, from identifying your target market (by the way, everyone is not a target market), through to getting clear on exactly what it is that you offer. Some good starting points for this are the below

Although these questions may seem simple, the deeper you go the richer the rewards. 

What is your industry?  | What is your target market? 
Who are your competitors?  | What do you actually do? 
What makes what you actually do valuable? 


Once you have the basics covered, think emotionally

Thinking again about the example of your best friend, look at the bare facts that are above and ask yourself how can I flesh out what we do and who we do it for in a rounded out way that explains how we are different from those around us. When pondering the questions below, ask yourself about how your competitors in the market express their values or beliefs. How are yours different from theirs? Or, if they are similar, how can your personality help differentiate you in a crowded market? 

What tangible and emotional benefits does your product bring the user? 
What does your business truly value?  | What does your business truly believe? 
How does your business express what it does?  | How does your business express
it's values? 

Using both of these sets of information you want to explain then

What is your business why?  
What is the essence of your business?
What is it's mission statement?

Together all these facts will help you decide on future business decisions, including everything from how you visually express your brand. To how you build brand language, and the people you hire to build the culture that makes your brand live in real life. 

Raising your voice: tips on public speaking and pitching for business people

Welcome to part one of our raising your profile series - keep an eye out for more articles coming up, and if there is anything you think we should cover throw it in the comments below.  

After years of working in the business community with founders and entrepreneurs, I have found a handful of core facts to be constants. Amongst them, is the fact that most people irrespective of where they are in their founder journey find public speaking and pitching uncomfortable, and challenging. When cornered, even the most outwardly confident people will admit that getting up on stage or addressing a room is something they would rather not do, instead, they make it work because they need to. 

Instead of giving you a top ten list of public speaking tips, we are going to break down the art of great public speaking into its five parts: 

The five essentials to keep in mind for public speaking success

Clarity | Preparation | What your audience wants | A speaking style that suits you | Research

Clarify what it is that you are talking about

The most natural things to explain to others are concepts or ideas that are simple, and which you fully understand. Keeping this in the back of your mind, think about how you deliver speeches to your team, your investors or your local meetup? 

Do you fully comprehend the things you are saying? 
Do you use plain English? 
Do people ask you for clarification afterward? Consistently? 

Use analogy to explain your points

Instead of asking your audience to understand complicated and foreign concepts you should liken the concept you are talking about to something simple and familiar using the power of analogy.
> Find out more about the power of analogy when delivering clear messaging here

Simplify your message down to a simple sentence

The process of taking complicated concepts and refining them down to an essential truth is not only great to clarify how you think and feel about it, BUT to also allow you to really understand and master your subject matter. 
> Find out more about the power of creating a one-sentence pitch here 

Never use a long word when a short word will do

Speaking in plain English, and removing jargon will make your public speaking compelling and enable everyone in the room to understand you. The above is actually tip care of George Orwell who outlines in an essay about politics and language, the importance of simplicity. 
> Read about the power of simple text when creating compelling messaging

Come prepared

Few "off the cuff" speeches are in-fact off the cuff, and most speakers that can navigate a presentation well have crammed the framework of what they are trying to get across into their head before meeting you. So why should it be any different for you? 

Speech outline examples

Sometimes, working out what you are going to say is more about working out the mechanics of how you are going to say it. Looking at conventional speech outlines, as in the way that people typically structure a speech can be just the thing you need to get going. 
> Read about the typical speech outlines, and how useftul they can be for you

Learn from those that do - and do well

As far as the art of public speaking goes, Toastmasters are pretty well recognised for their ability to help hone speaking skills. We actually run our own Toastmasters Club here for Collider which you can read about here. But, if you aren't able to attend one of our meetups it can be a good idea to find a local chapter or at least peruse their websites for handy tips and tricks. We found the amazing "14 steps for great speech preparation" linked below on a Toastmasters website from abroad. 
> Read the 14 Steps for great Speech Preparation here  

Think about what people want to hear from you

Your job as a speaker is to engage with the audience, to get them to listen to you. So try turning your presentation plan on it's head - don't think about what you want from them. Think about why they want from you. 

Show up to give

Audiences don't listen, they experience

Everyone has memories of being talked at by a teacher or a lecturer. The pure delivery of information will only get you so far, and great public speaking will touch on peoples empathy, desire and intrigue. 
> Read more about the need to build experience into your next speaking engagement

Ensure you and your audience care about the same thing

About to present your keynote to a crowd of 500? Why should they care about what you are speaking about? Delve into who your audience is - young professionals may want to know something different than the general public, and CEO's of established businesses will want something different again. Knowing what your audience cares about will help you pitch your story perfectly to their needs. 
>  What do the people you are talking to care about? 

There is more than one kind of speech...  so find a style that suits you

My husband and I often listen to radio and podcasts and laugh as people mimic Serial or Ira Glass. And I'm definitely the kind to sit in events thinking to myself "this person has watched a lot of TED talks". What I mean to say, is that in a world where speech is presented to us on the daily; people are looking not to hear the same old all the time. If you are nervous in front of big crowds, a natural introvert, or speak with a slight lisp then embrace that. Your speeches will shine for their uniqueness and hold in peoples minds. I have collected a group of keynotes and talks that do not confine to the usual style - good reminders to be oneself. 

Nat Cheshire speaking at Webstock

Tea Uglow speaking at Design Indaba

One of my favourite speakers, Tea has a disarming and excited quality to public speaking that is enthralling to watch. 
> Watch Tea in action at design Indaba here

Valentin Ozich at Semi Permanent

Do your research

Pitching for a particular investor? Thank you to the littany of startup and business events globally, there is likely a keynote with that investor hiding somewhere - where they outline what they do and don't like in pitches. Or in the case of this video from YC, a handy how-to from none other than Sam Altman. 

Penned by marketer, writer and content producer Anya - find more of her reckons here

This summer Collider is supporting the Tech Talks series!

At Collider we’re all about developing, upskilling and connecting future tech and digital talent in Wellington. One of the ways we’re doing this is by partnering with Summer of Tech to boost the “Summer Tech Talks” event series.

What’s Summer of Tech?
Hopefully, you all know what Summer of Tech is, but incase you don’t - it’s a non-profit programme that matches IT businesses with the best students for summer internships.

The programme gives students an opportunity to see what the options are for life after study, get some work experience and connect with some cool companies and humans.

Ruth and the team are based in the Welly BizDojo and we think they’re pretty cool!

Summer Tech Talks
This summer Collider is supporting the Tech Talks series!
Tech Talks are weekly lunchtime chats with Wellington IT professionals hosted at BizDojo Wellington. Chats will cover a range of topics including machine learning, coding and VR with experts and local legends like Tim Rastall from NEC.

Tech Talks kick off on Wednesday 22 Nov and run weekly through to 7 February 2018. You can check out the programme and register here.

Who should come?
You, your best friend, your granny, your neighbour, even your dog (we love dogs at BizDojo!)... if they’re interested in tech!

If you’re new to tech or want to learn more about cool tech stuff, this is an excellent opportunity to hear from Welly’s finest and meet fellow learners / peers.

See you there tech lovers!

Before the collision: #1 Another reason why living in Wellington is the raddest

Photo care of Wellington Low Carbon Challenge Facebook Page - click image to be taken there

Photo care of Wellington Low Carbon Challenge Facebook Page - click image to be taken there

You might know about the meetups we support, the events we host and the learning opportunities we create. But what happens behind the scenes at Collider? Our new series, "Before the Collision" is a diary from our Activation Manager Kate Macdonald where she highlights the conversations she is having, great work she is seeing in the community, events and workshops she is attending, and all the things she is learning, seeing and being surprised by in Wellington and beyond. 

10th of November 2017

Hey Collider Community!

I spent Halloween at the Low Carbon Challenge 2017 Finale Event hearing solutions to the tricky problem of reducing carbon emissions in Wellington. What a treat. It reminded me how rad Wellington and Wellingtonians are.

The Low Carbon Challenge, led by our friends at Enspiral, Wellington City Council and PledgeMe, supports six teams of humans with early stage ideas or businesses that will help to lower carbon emissions in Wellington. Over eight weeks the teams are connected with advice, support and connections to help grow their concept into a tangible business.

Alumni from previous intakes include electric car share service (and Welly BizDojo residents!) MEVO and repurpose extraordinaires Misprint Co, so you know this is a high calibre initiative.

Another rad thing about the Low Carbon Challenge is the Low Carbon Partnership Fund - the good sorts at Wellington City Council, BNZ, Powershop and Greater Wellington Regional Council will match dollar for dollar whatever the teams raise from their PledgeMe crowdfunding campaigns.

The teams are now one week into their month long crowdfunding campaigns (links below). Check them out and maybe make a pledge? I’ve pledged to Wa Collective - I share their passion for double denim and puns, and share the view that period poverty shouldn't even be thing.

  • Wā Collective are championing a revolution for the menstruation cycle. They provide innovative solutions to period waste, period poverty and the period taboo. Period.

  • Poly Palace, the regions polystyrene recyclers expanding to combine new and recycled products to create ‘Earth Dingy’ -  a tiny house x earthship.

  • Gurgl are diverting waste, building community and creating income with a clothing library subscription service for baby clothing.

  • Organic Dynamic are expanding their successful business to progress their mission to offer ocean lovers environmentally friendly surfboard options made from recycled polystyrene and NZ timber (did you see Jack at TedX Welly?!, if you didn’t you should totally watch this)

  • Kapiti Biodiesel are building a locally owned, cooperative biodiesel lab, housed in a shipping container that converts waste cooking oils and fats into biodiesel.

  • The Wast-ed crew are bringing together the different initiatives across Wellington's waste reduction community to connect, collaborate and create a city-wide movement towards a waste free Wellington.

I always love to talk to people in the Wellington business community about what we are doing, what we could do, and what we could do TOGETHER! If you are curious about Collider, or have an idea for something great we could do together feel free to reach out via email or over on Twitter

Welcome to a month of raising your profile

From brand to storytelling, public speaking and pitching, Raising your Profile is not just about creating the voice that founders need, but helping them navigate ways to share that voice far and wide.

For November, Founders Central and the Collider programme will drill down into these elements; through interviews, information, events and handy guides we will help you clarify your message and the channels you need to get it out there.

Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.51.07 AM_preview.png
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 11.50.51 AM_preview.png

Some of the topics we will delve into for Raising Your Proflile Month

Getting clear, getting simple:
Info on making your messaging clear, simple and easy to digest to make sure you are getting the right thing across at all times.

Raise your voice:
Tips, techniques and events to help you wrangle public speaking and pitching like a pro.

Brand 101:
Delving into business and personal brand, with tools and tips to make sure you get it right.

Have an amazing insight, tip or favourite article/video/speaker you use to inspire your messaging, pitching or how you have designed and managed your brand? Hit the button below and tell us - it may make it into our round-up of tips and tricks at the end of the month along with a link to you or your businesses website.  

Top tips for Social influencer marketing from the Influencing with integrity workshop

How do you portray your brand authentically over Instagram? What is P.R and how does that work with influencer marketing? And what are the tips you should be taking away to make your social media shine? 

Our one day workshop Influencing with Integrity guided attendees through the inns and outs of influencer marketing, from both the businesses and the influencers point of view. By co-designing the workshop with the amazing Lucy from The Residents - the workshop was kept highly relevant, with a tonne of expert speakers on hand to share their tips and secrets. 

If you were unable to attend, never fear you can peruse the slides from the event here, and here or get a feel for the event with the video below, featuring tips from Danijela UnkovichRebecca Reed and more. 

Influencing With Integrity: Ben Woodward and Danijela Unkovich

Missed out on the Influencing with integrity event, and loved perusing the slides from Lucy Revill and Rebecca Reed? We have uploaded the last sets of slides from the event, featuring Ben Woodward on Maximising content, and Danijela Unkovich on creating compelling content. 

Spot something intriguing in the slides you would like us to delve into more deeply? Simply throw your question into the comment section below and we will include your questions in our workshop overage. 

An overview of maximising content with Ben Woodward

Creating compelling content overview with Danijela Unkovich