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

Colliders Toastmasters Club is just a wee bit different

We were keen to include Toastmasters into what we are doing with Collider after plenty of feedback from the local business community that talking in public was not one of their strong points. But what is Toastmasters? And What makes Collider Toastmasters different? We cornered Peter Kerr and posed these questions, so if your pitch is a little bit rusty, you are after some public speaking tips or simply curious about Collider Toastmasters curious read on.... 

While there are many Toastmasters Clubs in New Zealand, the Collider Toastmasters club is not quite the same as other clubs.

Toastmasters in general is an open membership organisation dedicated to helping people speak better and more confidently in public.

However Collider Toastmasters is the first and only entrepreneurial Toastmasters in the world, and is mostly attended by those taking a bet on their own skills or products.

This makes for, according to members who have attended other clubs around the place, for a quite extraordinary level of buzz, of derring-do, of energy.

That’s because any one of us realise that at any time during our business or social lives, we may be called on to pitch whatever it is that we’re selling. For that reason alone there’s a great willingness to step forward and take part - whether it be an impromptu talk for up to two minutes or a prepared speech from six to eight minutes.

This extends through to the Toastmaster evaluation process - part of the hour-long event’s secret sauce.

Because entrepreneurs live with, and often ‘fail’ (as in not necessarily succeed there and then), the Commend, Recommend, Commend (CRC) evaluation process is considered a fantastic part of the exercise.

The ‘recommend’ component in particular (‘this is what you could do better’) is seen by all as being extremely useful...because it is a shortcut to improving your public speaking skills, rapidly. Rather than being considered a telling off, it is an opportunity to mentally go ‘ah, right, be mindful of that and do it better’.

Personally, the five months I’ve been part of Collider Toastmasters has made me much more confident speaking in public. I can control my nervousness, and even enjoy it. It has enabled me to focus on being clear, focused and entertaining. Toastmasters is the best value for money training I’ve ever had.

The Collider Toastmasters is a fusion of fun and feedback while practising talking in front of an audience.

It is open to all, so get along at 7.15am on a Wednesday morning in the Biz Dojo Events Space.

But be warned.  You’ll probably enjoy it and want to do more. If you think that’s a bad thing though, you’re probably in the wrong mental space.

This blog is by Peter Kerr of Punchline - one of the awesome humans working from the BizDojo Wellington Tech Hub. If you'd like your own thoughts turned into a Million Dollar Message blog, give him a yell -

Influencing with Integrity : Rebecca Reed and Lucy Revill workshop slide decks

While the team works quickly behind the scenes to gather notes, collate learnings and make sure our Collider community can learn a thing or two from our recent Influencing with integrity workshop, we have uploaded the slide-decks of speakers Lucy Revill with an influencer marketing overview, and Rebecca Reed on navigating relationships.

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 Influencing with Integrity - Lucy Revill - The Residents 

An overview of navigating relationships between influencers and brands - Rebecca Reed - Arriba PR

Collider 101: What is Startup Grind, what happens? And why should i head along?

Welcome to Collider 101, your place to get to know the nitty gritty about the events, learning opportunities, meetups and people that make up Collider. This week we are delving into Startup Grind, what it is, who it is for and why you should be heading along to Startup Grind Wellington. Have something you want to know about? Throw it in the comment section. 

So what is Startup Grind Welington?
Startup Grind Welly’s is your local chapter of Startup Grind, which is a global community for entrepreneurs. The organisation has 250 chapters in 115 cities worldwide, reaching around 1000000 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.

So… like, what actually happens at a 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. Even better yet, you get to ask questions of the person in the hot-seat too, so bring your ‘reckons’.

Who should be heading along?
Startup Grind really does target those in the startup world, perfect for founders, entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurially curious to share stories, insights and tips. For more established founders who are helming growth or scaling businesses, it is also a good event to check in on, keeping your finger on the pulse of your local startup community.

Why should you head along?
We thought this one was best answered by 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 meetups. And 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.”

5 things scaling businesses should learn from Justin Dry - Vinomofo

What would you ask if you were in the room with a growth business founder? Someone that is honest, a little crazy and who readily admits that he has gotten things wrong before? We had this in mind when we had the chance to hear from Justin Dry, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Australian startup Vinomofo. The gregarious, wine-loving co-founder headed up our inaugural Founders Central event; Founder Night. The event brought together the Wellington founder community to catch-up, connect and learn from both Justin, and the documentary he was part of - The New Hustle.

Looking through the eyes of a scale-up business we have pulled together 5 things founders of scaling businesses can learn from Justin Dry and the Vinomofo story.

1 : You can admit that it isn’t working
Not every choice that Justin and his Co-founder have made along the Vinomofo journey has been the right one. Not every day has been bright, and the money was definitely not flowing from day dot. Through all of this, Justin and Andre were able to continue in part because of the support they had around them - even then Justin said if he were to do it again he would be more open about the challenges they faced early on. In conversation with BizDojo Co-founder Nick Shewring, the duo talked extensively about how openness and honesty will help build a stronger startup ecosystem for everyone.

This feeds into a bigger thing that Justin spoke about - getting honest, speaking at length about the power of ‘cutting the bullsh*t’ - to enable free and frank conversations in your business to move things forward.

2: People matter
When asked about the one piece of advice that they wished they had received early on, Justin talked extensively about the power of hiring the right people for your team. Rattling through options that other companies tend to use, Justin said that when it comes to him making a decision it often comes down to gut. “Do i get the right feeling from you?”.

This could just have been a conversation simply about hiring, but it touched on a larger theme that Justin touched on in a blog post about his visit to New Zealand. Justin, and Vinomofo are passionate about wine and their product yes. But they also care deeply about the users of that product, their teams, the folks in their startup ecosystem because, they see people as core to what they do. Creating avenues to form authentic, meaningful relationships with those people. No users. Not clients - people. A good reminder to anyone helming a business to not simply get lost in the numbers of it all.

3: As your business changes, your team needs to as well

Those people who muck in and help you grow your business when it is in startup mode might not be the ones to carry through to the scale-up phase or beyond. It is the kind of statement that seems simple on paper, but Justin talked openly about the tension that this creates between doing the right thing for the next stage of your business, while having to say goodbye to the tight-knit group of people that often feel more like family than employees.

Justin, however, was quick to remind people that it is hard, but this is a business and to get to the next stage you might have to have those hard conversations. He was also quick to remind people that it isn't about casting former employees aside, “many of those people that were with us in the early days have invested in what we do”.

4: The right team thing also applies to your board too
When one of the audience members quizzed Justin about putting together a board, Justin was quick to respond “you have to think strategically”. Echoing things that other Collider speakers have mentioned in the past, Justin spoke about the opportunity that putting together a board can bring to your business. Those board appointments need to add to what is happening in the business right now, or allow you to take that next step. Are you looking to expand into new markets? Look for a board member who has experience in the same category as you do, thus, allowing them to use networks, share knowledge and really help drive that next step.

5: When stuff goes wrong, do not let it swallow you up
As Rick Baker says in The New Hustle, “When you start a business, the highest probability is that you will fail. Most people fail”.  He goes on to say that it really is the learning opportunities that come with trying things that do not succeed, that leads them on to that next success. The reality of that can be brutal, however, and it can be hard to keep your head above water to keep swimming. So, we asked Justin how he does it? Justin told the room to remember that their business is a business. It is not you - try and keep perspective to allow you to move through dark times in your business whilst minimising as much as you can the impact this has on your core beliefs of who you are as a person.

The Collider Founders Central cohort will provide support, community and connection to Wellington’s founders of growth and scale-up businesses. Sound like you? Hit the button below to find out more.

Why your scaling business should be considering influencer marketing

For all it’s benefits, traditional above the line advertising can sometimes feel like shouting into a crowd in the hopes that someone will shout back. And when someone does there is the question of how you make the most of that.

For scaling businesses like yours with tight budgets, small teams and hard deadlines, booking your radio spots, finalising art for your digital display campaign or sending your artwork off to the magazine for your quarter page placements can bring fear and the prayer to the marketing gods; please, please, please - let this land. And that is of course before the 20th of the month, when the invoices roll in.

Meanwhile while you are obsessively checking your Facebook ad conversion, and watching your funnel on Google Analytics, as much as 85% of small business owners are still targeting the somewhat more time consuming, but albeit delightful world of word of mouth. Your billboard screams your tagline to whoever comes across it,  while word of mouth wraps your offer in a testimonial given by a trusted source, who likely shares interests or needs with their friend - your potential customer. As a business owner or marketer it's a dream situation, with 77% of consumers “more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family” so it's not surprising WOM is 10 times more effective than traditional advertising. It’s a total no brainer, apart from the fact that driving word of mouth is often a long-game and there is no clear cut formula to make it work.

Which is why, dear friend lean in and listen to me: In many ways influencer marketing takes the stuff you like from word of mouth and amplifies it.

Nordstrom get it, which is why this August 4 out of 5 of their mobile visits came from an influencer referral network - mobile that month making up 24% of their total traffic. Closer to home brands like Berocca and Kiwibank get it too - working with influencers like How To Dad and Jamie Curry. So why aren’t you - the startup owner or scaling business marketer doing this too?

Ignore 90% of the 24,800,000 jargon-laden, weirdly complex results/guides/blogs that come back when you Google “influencer marketing” - the basics are this:

“We all know how powerful a recommendation is a from someone we know. So how would you feel about someone who 'knows' thousands or even millions of people being able to share your story, product or idea with an audience that trusts their opinion and is interested in your category?

As social media grows, social influencers have become powerful marketing players, with the ability to connect brands in with engaged, and connected audiences.” - Influencing with Integrity

Along with the obvious, reaching people thing. Like tends to attract like online, and because of this - influencers tend to have an audience of like-minded, demographically similar people. This is of course great for not only great for targeting consumers and converting BUT also can mean creating relevant, high quality content driving back to your website.

Sound good? Need to know more? Well here are 5 Influencer marketing basics

1: Who is an influencer?
In short, an influencer is someone with a social audience.They might be an instagrammer with a penchant for sneakers and restaurant hopping, a Youtuber who teaches people how to dad, a twitter user who is owned by cats, a Facebook user with an odd sense of humour, a gamer who is killing it on twitch, a blogger profiling Wellington, or a beauty addict on snapchat. Whatever the platform, from Tumblr to Pinterest - there are people creating great content and engaged communities that get what they are doing.

They may have a smaller tailored audience (micro-influencer), or a bigger group of people following their adventures, listening to their advice and chiming in on their life. They may be topic specific, or simply a great match for your brand's demographic.

2: An influencers social audience is engaged
Social media is a mode of communication, so most influencers are not just building audiences they are building highly engaged audiences. They talk to their followers, let them into their lives and generally walk a line between entertainment and friendship.

The more engaged the audience, the more likely your campaign will fly. Using engagement as a metric for disseminating if an influencer is right for you also helps side-step any social media users who are buying likes to make themselves look more popular.  

3: Influencer marketing = paying for (via money or gifting) for messaging about your offer
Marketing activity could include everything from a mention on Twitter or in a Youtube video, through to a placement in an Instagram post, to a sponsored banner on a blogpost. Some brands have also co-produced products with influencers to appeal to their audience; a practice pretty common in the beauty industry.

Like any other channel, there are a number of ways you can work with an influencer to get the result you are after that can work in with your demographic and budget. Influencers each handle the way they work with brands in different ways, so if you are thinking that blogger is going to write a love letter for your product no questions asked think again. 

4: There are grey areas from a legal perspective
Influencers have to walk a fine-line; is this personal referral like word of mouth? Is this advertising, and therefore should probably be disclosed? Some social platforms require people who have been paid to endorse a product or service to indicate this, while some countries have established legal parameters for influencers.

At the same time, if you are an influencer you have to work with brands in a way that does not damage your own brand. Authenticity and integrity are important, especially if your fans and followers see themselves as your friends.

5: Things ch-ch-ch change sometimes
While influencer marketing may seem like a simple chain of events: marketer engages influencer - influencer creates content that drives back to marketers website - audience goes to marketers website and buys all the things - everyone wins, sort of arrangement. There is actually a third layer involved here - the platforms influencers are using.

It has to be said that social media platforms are pretty famous for rolling out changes with far reaching effects. Just in the last couple of weeks Youtube has rolled out a machine learning backed algorithm change that has changed the frequency at which some videos are being served, and stopped some users videos from having adverts placed on them; which has made some Youtube creators slow down on the release of videos. So if you are interested in influencer marketing it is a good idea to keep an eye on the latest Social Media platform news, and remember - what worked last time might not work again.

Think influencer marketing is something you want to embrace? Working with Lucy Revil from The Residents, we have co-designed a one-day workshop covering the ins and outs of Influencer marketing; perfect for brands looking to engage an influencer; and for influencers looking to work with businesses. This expert lead workshop will cover everything from creating concepts for your campaigns, engaging and managing relationships, distributing and maximising content, trends and measuring success. Hit the button below to get your ticket.

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