Founders Journal, Ana & Vlad - Excio

About the founders

Ana - Ana grew up in Almaty, Kazakhstan and from a very young she showed a flair for entrepreneurship by starting her first business with classmates while still in High School. Fast forward a few years, several University Degrees and over 14,000 km, and her passion for all things digital combined with her love of visual art lead her to co-found Excio, a mobile technology company. Ana believes that the 3D’s – Drive, Determination, and Dreams – are the key influencers in determining how successful someone becomes and regardless of your background anything is possible.


Vlad - Vlad has been working in software development for almost two decades now in one capacity or another and has combined this technical knowledge with his strategic way of thinking to create some great applications over the years. When he’s not tinkering with software, he can be found discovering more about global history and politics or playing his guitar.

The project that Vlad is most excited about is Excio, which combines his passion for mobile application software with his desire to see technology used to enhance peoples’ lives. By utilising his technical know-how, plugging in his commercial mindset and building an intuitive user interface, Vladimir hopes to bring interesting, engaging and enriching content to a user’s mobile device. His attention and focus has always been – and will remain – on the end-user and he is proud that the Excio project has received such favourable feedback from all who have encountered it.


The elevator, and introduction to Excio what is it and who’s it for?

Excio – direct visual discovery channel for home screens of mobile devices connecting people with places, culture, and heritage through powerful and intriguing visuals, personalisation, geotargeting and in-depth analytics.

The startup story, how did you get started and what sparked the initial concept?

Both I and Vlad use mobile phones a lot and with the developments in technology there appear to be more and more apps, more in-app advertising and mobile device boast for having larger screens, so all promotional messages when you open an app become really annoying. We started thinking how this can be improved - there must be a direct channel between people who want to share their message or story and people who want to see it. Our ‘eureka’ moment came when we realised how underused mobile home screens are and how they could be used to enrich people’s lives.

In 2016 we were invited to take part in the Mahuki programme and it was there when we realised that actually culture and heritage sectors including everything related to it - museums, galleries, archives, individual photographers, and artists have amazing content that they simply can’t share through existing channels and so the visual storytelling which is very important - doesn’t happen. Imagine if you are a museum (and usually museums have only 5% of their collections on display), sharing all of their collections through FB or Instagram is just not viable but hugely important for engagement with their visitors and followers.

By displaying an array of images right upfront on people’s home screens around the world means no matter what people do during the day, what apps they use, install or uninstall, they still will see their home screen and with Excio it is going to be something exciting! With a double tap on the photo, people can easily see who is the content creator, story behind the photo or visit any linked website. Excio is strongly focused around interests and with embedded geolocation targeting it can easily connect people to places and stories they want to discover.

How long have you been operating and what have been the stand out learnings you’d pass on to startups in similar stages?

We started in 2015 with the initial stage being R&D - we did a good market research, validation, applied for a patent. The development actively started in 2016 and 2017 was our big year - the launch of the app, recognition in multiple competitions and attention of the media. 2018 is our growth year - we have lots of exciting things to do!

Our major learnings along the way:

  1. Never turn down good opportunities coming your way - it may be as simple as a meeting or as complex as participating in a conference overseas, try to use your chance and get involved. First - you never know what it will lead to and second - you will see a whole lot of new opportunities around you, it is just how it works!

  2. Take part in competitions and challenges - it is a great way to get credibility, recognition and gives you a really good free promotion.

  3. For other startups in similar stages - always keep in mind: we are just at the beginning of something super exciting!

What do you hope to get out of Collision Labs?

"Meet new awesome people, grow our networks and collaborate on new ideas!"

What does the future look like for Excio any exciting news to share?


Stay tuned! There will be an exciting project (or potentially even 2-3) coming in the next 1-2 months, but can’t share the details just yet.

Anything you like to add? Are there any events or meetups happening we need to know about?

We are thrilled to be invited to talk about the importance of visual storytelling in our daily lives at Techweek headline event - Creative Realities on 24th of May and we will also have our Exhibition stand there from 12.00pm - 1.30pm, so make sure you book your tickets for it and we look forward to seeing you there!

Excio has its own magazine for photographers - NZPhotographer. It is a free online magazine and the only NZ magazine for amateur photographers, so if you are interested in photography you are most welcome to read it online:

We also run three Meetup groups in partnership with New Zealand Photography Workshops - you are welcome to join any or all three of them:








Collider behind the scenes #6: The Collider Tech for Noobs Series.

Earlier this year when we started thinking about our TechWeek ‘18 plans, our mates at WREDA shared some feedback on last years events (the first year for Welly events)... They said that while people loved having access to so much tech and innovation content, some events required a deeper understanding of tech. So a sort of ‘1-0-1’ series was suggested. We both thought we were the right people to help with this.


We talked to our BizDojo community and Collider friends about what they would love to know more about. We made the decision to avoid all the buzzwords. And to focus on subjects that will be relevant and useful to your day job.

Here’s what we came up with…


An intro to Agile - Nick White, Agile and Product management coach at Nomad8, will give us the low down on agile - an overview of the values and principles of agile, the benefit of using agile, and how you can incorporate agile practices into your team or business.


Understanding Open Source Software - Nate McCall, founder, and CTO at The Last Pickle, will school us on the open source way, open source software, and the benefits of adopting open source methodologies in your business.


SEO - what even is it? - Isaac Bullen, Asia Pacific Director at 3WhiteHats, will share his search engine optimization ninja skills! He’ll cover what it is, how it works, and how you can make it work for your website and business.

We hope the series will de-mystify agile, OS and SEO for you… you’ll be jargon-ing it up with the best of them.

See all you noobs in four-and-a-bit week at Market Lane!  

Founders Journal, Michael & Jarrod — StudySpy.

About the Founders.


Michael: An expert in customer acquisition and all things digital, Michael is passionate about startups, and founded the team that won the 2013 Innes48 Startup Competition — the largest of its kind in New Zealand. Michael is a keen linguist and has studied German, Spanish, and Te Reo Māori.


Jarrod: A full-stack developer, Jarrod is passionate about applying his technical skills to problems that affect societies around the globe. Jarrod is also a tech linguist and has studied C#, JavaScript, and SQL.

Let’s start with the pitch — give us a quick rundown on what StudySpy is? 

StudySpy is a course comparison site that helps prospective students make one of the biggest decisions of their life. StudySpy aggregates tertiary study information from across Ministry of Education, NZQA, Careers NZ, Tertiary Education Commission and Universities NZ. We display key information on tertiary study like price, duration, level and employment outcomes like how many grads get a job and how much they earn. Before StudySpy, not only was this information fragmented, it was also very inaccurate and out of date, that’s why we enable education providers to edit their information and ensure that information on StudySpy is the most up-to-date, accurate and relevant source of information on tertiary programmes in Aotearoa.

How did you get started with StudySpy? Why did you decide to launch this business?


StudySpy came out of the 2015/2016 Victoria Entrepreneurship Bootcamp. The original concept was an online education agency for international students but upon testing assumptions and user feedback, we realised that the problem that we were aiming to solve — a lack of transparent information on study options — could be better solved by an online tool rather than a team of agents. Upon testing the tool for students, we were surprised to realise that domestic students were also getting huge value out of the site and this is where StudySpy was born.

How long has StudySpy been operating?

StudySpy was in development for 2 years, launching on 23rd February 2018 at the BizDojo. In just the first month, StudySpy received a huge response and on-boarded education providers across every type of provider in New Zealand: Universities, Polytechnics, Private Training Establishments, Industry Training Organisations and Wānanga. StudySpy is now even recommended by Careers NZ — The NZ Government career platform.

It’s common knowledge startups go through their ups and downs! To date what’s been the biggest learning curve?

“Never stop validating, never stop testing and allow your business development the freedom and flexibility to be user lead.” 

Always test your assumptions and be persistent in your validation. Don’t rush the business model. Although it took us 2 years of pre-launch work while we bootstrapped, if we had taken early investment and chased the original business, the online education agency, we would have failed. Never stop validating, never stop testing and allow your business development the freedom and flexibility to be user lead. If you build something truly useful and unique to your users, the rest will sort itself out.

We’re stoked to have you part of Collison Labs, what do you hope to get out of the programme?

I think one of the most exciting things about Collision Labs is being in the space around businesses on the same journey and sharing learnings and leaning on each other. The journey is really a roller coaster ride, it’s mentally and physically exhausting and it’s hard for non-startup folk to get that. Sharing the journey and supporting each other is massively beneficial, especially in the stage that the Collision Labs businesses are in.

Anything you’d like to add?

I think StudySpy is really a testament to the bootstrapping model. I was so against bootstrapping and was eager to bring on investment after validation and accelerate the business. Had we done that, we would not be where we are today, the money would have burned out because we had the wrong solution to the problem. Bootstrapping (sometimes frustratingly) forces you to slow down, validate, test and truly understand your core value proposition. With such limited resources, you have no choice but to understand what a raw MVP looks like and drive towards it. 

Bootstrapping offers your team the ability to be sustainable and the rest is about perseverance.





Founders Journal, Katy — Town Square.

We caught up with Katy earlier this year to talk about all things Town Square, her founders' path, and what exactly a founder does on their ‘downtime. ’

A day in the life of Town Square co-founder Katy Wilson could involve everything from sales meetings or writing a blog post, through to all things contract and tax related.

“I guess there isn’t really an average day — a lot of the time I’m on my computer but sometimes I’ll go out and meet with venue owners and event organisers, and I try to go to startup events around town to stay in touch with what’s happening. Some conversations I’ve had at those events have triggered lightbulb moments!”.

The Elevator Pitch, a quick overview of Town Square.

Katy describes Town Square as “an innovative events discovery platform, which makes it easy for anyone to find great events happening near them.” Katy and her co-founder kicked off the business in January 2017, with a launch of their first version in April. Before long Town Square had expanded into both Auckland and Christchurch, with Hamilton and Tauranga added in April 2018. “We’re also developing the event organiser side of the business, so that people can easily see which events an organiser is hosting in the future, get reviews, and follow organisers they really like to hear about new events coming up”.


How did you get started with Town Square? Why did you decide to launch this business?

Mohit (my co-founder) and I met while studying in a programme that took us to 3 different countries. Because we didn’t have time to get to know a place well, we wanted an easy way to find out what was going on, but couldn’t find anything to suit our needs. We initially started to provide an easy way to find out what’s happening in a city and to showcase the great events that many people do not hear about. After moving back to Wellington, I also wanted to go out to new places but struggled to find one platform with a good mix of fun events. Often I would only hear about a great event after it had already happened. Talking to smaller organisations we also realised that a lot of them don’t have a way to get their event out to the public, as they often have little or no marketing budget.

We’re stoked to have you as part of the Collider Collision Labs cohort, what are you hoping to get out of the programme?

“I’m really enjoying working out of BizDojo, the people are very friendly and I’ve already had some really helpful conversations. I’m looking forward to getting to know the other startup teams in Collision Labs better as well. I enjoy spending time with other founders and helping each other out, often startups face similar challenges so it’s nice to just be able to chat to people who are in a similar situation.”
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To date what has been your biggest learning curve, and what would your advice be to other founders based off this?

During the first few months after launch it was important to realise that building up a user base takes time, and that you need to be very consistent to be able to grow a user base while maintaining engagement levels. We had to accept that at the start testing the product and making it good is more important than trying to get the maximum numbers of users right away. Now we’re in more of a scale-up phase, so it’s more about getting our product out there and growing it, which is a bit of a mindset change. Founders need to be aware of what stage they’re in — you can always spend more time trying to improve the product, but consistently testing to see if it’s good enough will let you know when it’s time to switch your focus to growth.

I have seen TOWN Square is not your first experience launching a business as a founder, can you tell me a little about your other venture Iruya? Why you started it, what have you learnt from it that you are pulling across into Town Square?

I started the social enterprise Iruya while studying. I am very interested in social enterprise, and wanted to create a way for people to shop sustainably. I started off by working with producers in hard-to-access places in South America as I’d previously lived in Peru and knew about the beautiful products that are made there. For Iruya, my connections to Peruvians were very important, as they helped me build relationships with the suppliers there and continue those relationships while I was back in NZ. The same has been very important for Town Square, building and maintaining relationships with event organisers has helped me to understand their perspective and really build something that works for them. The feedback and buy-in we’ve gotten from early adopters has been invaluable, and maintaining those relationships has become a key part of what I do.

There is a lot happening in the small business and startup scene in New Zealand at the moment; what trends or other businesses are intriguing you and why?


I’m particularly interested in the social enterprise trend. I was lucky enough to go to the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch in September last year, and hear from many different companies in NZ doing great things.

“On the world scale social enterprise seems to be more advanced, and many social enterprises are very successful multi-million dollar companies. I’m excited to see that trend continue in NZ, to see what social and environmental impact the startups coming up now can create.”

One example is Conscious Consumers, a social enterprise combining technology and data with a social purpose, which I think is a really innovative way to scale business and purpose.

What do you think the business community and those that support them could do better to help founders like you thrive?

feel like I’ve gotten huge amounts of support since moving back to Wellington a year ago, which is also one of the reasons that I wanted to start a company in NZ. People have been very happy to take time out of their day for a coffee chat, to share some advice or to put me in touch with someone who could help.

One thing that really helps support startups is when people in established companies are willing to give them a go. When companies are open to working with startups and trying something new it enables startups to get a foot up and really build something valuable. The company will get the benefit of an innovative new product, as well as contributing to the wider ecosystem.

For people who might not be in a position to make those decisions, making time to meet founders and help them out a bit can have a big impact. Acting as a mentor or giving someone an introduction to a potential customer could be the lucky break the founder needs to grow their company.



Meet Mark Antony, Collider Creative series sponsored artist in residence.

We are so stoked to introduce you to Mark Antony — our very first sponsored artist in residence. We are always looking for ways to support creative endeavours so when we were connected with Mark by the Urban Dream Brokerage saying yes for us was a no-brainer. When we found out he would be unearthing the history of the iconic Market Lane building (a.k.a BizDojo’s newest site) we couldn’t wait to get the ball rolling. We will watch eagerly throughout Mark’s residency to see what evolves and look forward to sharing his work with you throughout the journey.


About Mark Antony

Mark specializes in digital animation and model building. He has lived in Wellington for the last 17 years and recently completed his MFA at Massey University! His work centers around the ‘personal’ in public spaces and social realms. Mark will be using Market Lane as a site to develop a project he’s calling ‘The Lost Futures Exchange’, this is an evolution of an idea he explored in his masters’ study at Massey University. 

‘The Lost Futures Exchange’ project. 

“The Lost Futures Exchange is a project I am starting in 2018 to gather stories, dreams and remembrances of place in the central area of Wellington. This is an evolution of the Ghosting About project I did for my masters study. I will collect and interpret and possibly interrupt the memories of the public who are engaging with my project set in an old shop space somewhere around the Cuba/Te Aro quarter in Wellington. Some ideas of what I can make from the stories are featured below.”

Over the course of nine weeks Mark aims to collect and interpret and possibly interrupt the memories of people who have or had a connection with the Market Lane site now and in the past and would like to collect these stories in written, drawn and audio/video recorded forms. These records will culminate in a multi-media model of stories, dreams, and animation. The final piece will be presented onsite at BizDojo Market Lane and online.

Mark will be onsite every Thursday afternoon from 1:00 pm — 5:00 pm working on the piece. He encourages the wider community to get involved with this exciting project, so if you have any information or memories about the Market Lane building please get in touch with Dan ( and he’ll put you in touch with Mark. 

Collider behind the scenes #5: Collision Labs

4 April 2018

Life at BizDojo Welly has been all sorts of busy lately! As you probably know, our new Market Lane site opened on Monday 26 March. It’s pretty exciting to think that we now occupy the building where Xero grew up, and have a presence in what is becoming a tech and innovation precinct.

The Bull Nose - BizDojo Market Lane.

The Bull Nose - BizDojo Market Lane.

A few of our Tory Street community have made the move down to Market Lane and it got me thinking about the opportunity we now have at Tory Street. We have spare desks and the Collider mission is to foster a connective space that supports people doing business in the tech, innovation and creative sectors Wellington…

Why not bring in some startups who have established a viable business (but aren’t currently in the position to pay for a coworking membership) and have committed to making a go of it, surely they would benefit from being part of the BizDojo community and having the inside word on and easy access to our Collider events!

We reached out to our friends at the Victoria University VicLink Bootcamp, Mahuki (Te Papa’s innovation accelerator) and regular Collider event attendees and assembled an awesome group of people and startups!

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Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be doing deep-dive interviews with the founders that we’ll share with you. Until then — here is an overview of the 12 rad humans and 5 awesome startups that will be working from the ‘Collision Labs’ pod at BizDojo Tory St:

Jacinta & Miranda from Dignity 


Dignity started at the beginning of 2017, through the VicLink Entrepreneurial Bootcamp, in order to help females in New Zealand have access to sanitary items in work and at school. Dignity uses a ‘buy one, give one’ approach so that companies can provide sanitary items not only to their staff but also to local students who are lacking access to pads and tampons, causing them to miss out on education. 

Ana, Vlad & Dan from Excio

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Excio is the first-ever platform for displaying interactive visual content straight on the home screens of mobile devices around the world. Excio allows for a seamless one-touch interaction with the meaningful content where people can learn more about the image, its author, the story behind it, visit web page or take a call to action. The platform works as a visual discovery channel targeting content creators — photographers, artists, cultural institutions, tourism initiatives, communities and their appreciators. Launched last year, Excio already has big players like Wellington City Council, Wellington City Libraries, Archives, Te Papa Museum and others on board.

Jaemen, Cazna & Richard from SimplyFi


SimplyFi are looking to streamline the sharing of artwork and private collection items. They are building a tool that will allow private collectors to simply catalogue their private collections and securely allow transactional exchanges to cultural institutions that would like to showcase their artwork or collection items.

Michael from StudySpy


StudySpy is an NZ’s most comprehensive tertiary course comparison site displaying 8,977 courses and apprenticeships from 373 NZQA-approved education providers. StudySpy makes information on study transparent and accessible to prospective students helping them make one of the biggest decisions in their life. The free web app shows students the domestic and international tuition fees, course duration, level, course videos and graduate employment outcomes like percentage of students that get a job after study and their average earnings. The data on the site is powered by Ministry of Education, NZQA, Tertiary Education Commission, Careers NZ and Universities NZ. StudySpy offers education providers a free provider profile to edit and maintain their information with an easy-to-use dashboard.

Katy & Lexie from Town Square

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Town Square is an event discovery platform that makes it easy for people to find things they enjoy doing in a place near them. It combines both big and small events to enable people to find local events based on their interests. Anyone can submit an event for free.


We are so pumped that we can support them while they grow their businesses and connect them with our BizDojo community. We can’t wait to see what they achieve! And we’ll make sure to keep you posted along the way too.

Startup Grind 101, a recap.

Startup Grind is back for 2018 so here is a little piece to bring you back up to speed with these awesome community-driven events.


Refresh my memory again, what is Startup Grind?

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. It is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. They host monthly events in 250 cities and 100 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators, and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

You guessed it Wellington is one of those lucky cities!

So what is Startup Grind Wellington?

Startup Grind Welly’s is your local chapter of Startup Grind, which is a global community for entrepreneurs. In New Zealand, along with Wellington, we have Startup Grind Auckland and both follow the global Startup Grind vision of educating, inspiring, and connecting entrepreneurs.

Startup Grind works in a couple of ways, you have local events like Startup Grind Wellington featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. Then you also have a big global event that brings the global community together with great speakers, and on top of this, you have the digital networking and learning that happens online.

What goes down at Startup Grind event?

Startup Grind is great because it combines something you know and love, networking with a deep dive interview with someone in the startup realm doing interesting stuff. With a focus on the person as well as the business they are building, Startup Grind interviews tend to dig deep, sidestepping the usual questions to instead unearth the story not yet heard.

Who should be attending?

Startup Grind really does target those in the startup world, perfect for founders, entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurially curious to share stories, insights, and tips. It is also a great event to check in on, keeping your finger on the pulse of your local startup community.

Why should you head along?

We’ll leave this one to Startup Grind Wellington organiser Adela May!

“I signed up to host Startup Grind in Wellington as I believe we have such a unique and buoyant tech ecosystem and Wellington, and within that industry, there is such a thirst to collaborate and learn from each other, and I wanted to give people a platform to do just that. It’s one of the most rewarding and interesting things I have done in my career, I love seeing the community get value from Startup Grind and I am consistently amazed at some of the connections and conversations that spring up at the meet-ups. I would encourage people to attend for that very reason — if you’re looking for somewhere to speak to like-minded people, create and foster relationships, open yourself up to opportunities or just get inspired, this is the perfect place for that.”

I’m in, when’s the next event?!

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Wednesday 4th, April.

Startup Grind hosts entrepreneur, early-stage investor, & COO of WhosOnLocation Victoria Armstrong.

"Startup Grind will be chatting to Victoria Armstrong about her entrepreneurial journey and lessons she’s learned along the way. We will quiz her on founding and growing companies, including growth pain points, funding rounds, international product expansion, and more. We will also get her advice on what investors look for in startup investment opportunities."

Find out more about the event here.

BeWeDō®, not your usual whiteboard session.

BeWeDō® founder Mark Bradford.

BeWeDō® founder Mark Bradford.

BeWeDō®, what’s it all about?

No egos, no Post-its, no bystanders… BeWeDō® is a unique motion-led experience for developing creative leadership skills in co-creation. It is about ‘thinking while moving’ — people moving, collaborating, co-creating — inspired by the Japanese martial art of Aikidō.

What kind of audience does it attract?

It’s for anyone and everyone, from students to corporates, from start-ups through to established businesses. BeWeDō generates creative leadership and encourages collaborative experimentation.

“I really enjoyed the experience of moving while discussing, and the
change in mindset this created for us. It made questions feel more
collaborative than confrontational.” (Adithi Pandit, Deloitte New
“BeWeDō added a level of respect that I haven’t seen in brainstorming
sessions.” (Sarah Hughes, Massey University)

Where did the concept originate?

Founder of BeWeDō® Mark Bradford made the move to Wellington from Melbourne to further his studies, on the plane ride across the ditch Mark joked to his partner “maybe I could do a PhD in Aikidō?”. 

“I laughed it off because I didn’t think there would be a chance of doing that!”

During the process of researching the topic for his PhD Mark took up Aikidō and visited multiple Dōjō’s in the Wellington region, resulting in an epiphany. Whilst observing a class he witnessed an instructor handle a multiple attack scenario. The movements and actions reminded Mark of brainstorming in a creative process. 

How does it help the creative process?

  • It eliminates ego. Nobody is in charge and all participants share equal leadership authority. 
  • BeWeDō doesn’t rely on any physical resources, instead, it promotes collaboration and trust through a physical connection. So wheel out those whiteboards and leave the Post-its at the desk.
  • There are no bystanders as all participants are expected to contribute equally. The inclusion of movement enriches conversations and gives everyone a creative voice. 
“It’s a safe place to be creative… it’s a safe place to have a conversation and share your ideas” Mark

A quick glimpse of stage 1 (of 2 stages) from the Massey University COCA BeWeDō® Kenkyukai (research seminar 1) held in Wellington in 2017.

Marks top three advantages of BeWeDō® over traditional planning sessions.

  1. It offers a unique experience engagement where all participants have a voice and means of sharing their opinions. 
  2. Traditional meeting or planning sessions tend to have a leadership hierarchy, often referred to heroic leadership. In contrast, during BeWeDō, leadership is developed within social interactions which put all participants on an equal levelling field. 
  3. BeWeDō extends traditional design thinking by using the mind, body and the physical space. It’s an entirely active experience which promotes collaboration with everyone included not just the individuals you only usually interact with. 

Want to find out more? Come to our Collider workshop on 4 April and keep up to date with BeWeDō on Twitter


Bye and Hi from the Comms Cats at Collider

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 Hello! Caitlin here. We’ve met right? - I’m sure we have.

For the past two and a bit years I’ve worn the hat of Marketing and Communications Coordinator for BizDojo and Collider and during this time I’ve had the absolute pleasure of getting to know so many of Wellington’s bright, driven and so damned passionate creatives, entrepreneurs, start-ups and innovators.

Next week I will be hanging up my comms hat to join Fire and Emergency NZ as their Innovation Advisor. I’m beyond excited about what this organisation is doing for New Zealand’s Volunteer Fire Service, but I can’t deny that leaving the sometimes hectic but always colourful world of BizDojo and Collider will be hard.

I could also never leave without knowing that the Collider programme is in exceptional hands, and I’m thrilled to introduce you all to Dan Campbell-Robinson, who will be taking the reins from the 26th of March.

 Hello! Dan here. We haven’t met, but I’m sure we will.


If we have met, it will be from my previous job as Head of Content and Online Community Manager at a start-up called CoLo where my passion was getting to know businesses, understanding their brand and then helping them tell their story.

My background is in Design Innovation, which is a hybrid between design and marketing and I’m eternally curious about new technology and keeping on top of innovative marketing and social media trends.

I believe Wellington has some of New Zealand’s most innovative companies, who really do well with their branding and story-telling. I particularly like the work of Fox & Co, Garage Project and Fix & Fogg.

When I’m not in the BizDojo, I’m out photographing the wild and hidden corners of this amazing region. I like to tell stories with my photos and then inspire other people to explore the same areas. Growing up in Nelson I was lucky to have both hills, beaches and ski slopes on my door-step, so I’ve always loved getting outside.

The thing I’m most looking forward to about this role is getting to know, you. I want to hear your story and find out what motivates you to build and create. I will have a particular interest in your brand, and how you use it to make people feel something about what you do.

If you’re keen to get in touch, please drop me a line at or look out for me at your next Collider event.

Making a million bucks out of your message.

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We’re delighted to announce that Peter Kerr, AKA Chief Simplification Officer at will be joining our InformMe crew, to help you get your message straight.

Peter specialises in unearthing your “Million Dollar Message” or MDM** for short.

Write **Message not guaranteed to make you a million…

Why do you need a MDM?

Peter explains that when you’re asked the common question of “So, what do you do?” - what you say next can make or break your business. You need to be able to simply and concisely tell the story of what your business does ideally using just 2 – 10 words.

What exactly is a MDM?

Your Million Dollar Message is your company’s first ‘announcement’. It explains your value proposition in the form of a website tagline, a slogan, a marketing campaign, a proposal or presentation title. Your MDM can also be an elevator pitch or business card statement.

A Million Dollar Message is:

  • Able to shoulder all the heavy lifting within an organisation
  • An instant identifier – a heart and soul value proposition
  • A touchstone or ‘North Star’ for communications across all channels and a crystal-clear, succinct statement to inform your visual design
  • A rallying call of company intention, direction and action

A Million Dollar Message is not:

  • Your brand values put into a sentence
  • A meaningless generic assemblage of words (think, “solution”, “innovative”, “leading”, “partner”…)
  • A pun
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How can I unearth my MDM?

As Peter says, it all starts with a conversation.

While you might think discovering your company’s one central truth is something you should be able to do yourself (after-all it is your business) it is almost impossible to detach yourself from being ‘in’ the business, and then objectively portray your ‘what and why’.

Peter can get you on the path to unearthing the essence of your company with a 30-minute conversation about your business. In this time Peter will help you reveal:

  • How well the business understands what it ‘does’ for its clients and what problem does it solve?
  • How close the business is (in Peter’s opinion) to nailing its first 2-10 words.
  • A greater clarity around issues the business will have to focus on to revealing its Million Dollar Message.

Peter has four book-able InformMe spots available monthly