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If you don't love your idea, don't do it.

As well as this point, Nick Gerritsen, speaking at Supercharge, a recent startup event that attracted 150+ in Wellington, said that it is possible to smash it big from Aotearoa.

Not that it is easy to do it from here, or from anywhere – given that well over 90% of startups don't manage to carry on as operating companies (though that's not failure).

Gerritsen, who has founded and grown a number of ventures such as Carbonscape (charcoal and very valuable components through microwaving) and Nxtfuels (algae-derived renewable hydrocarbons).


[caption id="attachment_2732" align="aligncenter" width="270"]Nick Gerritsen Nick Gerritsen, Crisp Start[/caption]

Here's 10 key points he made, along with celebrating the fact of being a Kiwi.

1. Quality

  • Quality of your proposal

    • How does it stand out?

    • Why is it unique?

    • Massive impact?

    • What's it going to take?

2. Disruption

  • How disruptive can you be?

    • What stage are you at and does it matter?

    • Low hanging fruit?

    • How fast can you move?

    • Global?

3. Defence

  • What is your defensible position?

    • What is the IP?

    • Any big gorillas on your side?

    • Scale to market?

    • What is there to invest in?

4. The Plan

  • Compelling plan

    • How much and for what?

    • Own the use of fund?

    • Does the 'ask' match the 'potential'?

    • Capitalisation trajectory

    • Build the capability picture

    • (The way to build credibility is by having capable people in your team)

5. Capital

  • The right flavour of capital?

    • Venture (vulture)?

    • Strategic

    • Can you get there with partnerships?

    • Sample the mix

    • (There is an opportunity for NZ at the moment; multinationals are under pressure. They know they have to change...and are talking to cool early stage companies, even if they are from NZ)

6. You

  • How authentic are you?

    • Is it about the $ or real change

    • Use the Kiwi humility card

    • Earn respect

    • Under promise and over deliver

7. Pitch

  • Remember that most over-sell

    • Understand the culture

    • Target your pitch

    • Research the portfolios (of people pitching to)

    • Ensure it makes sense

    • Be nice

8. Follow up

  • Commit to following up

    • Be part of the team

    • Reach out

    • Admit to problems and ask for help

    • Be there

9. Think smart

  • Continually look for tipping points

    • Don't get too complacent/comfortable

    • Drive results

    • Remain open to opportunities (not locked into your plan)

    • Trash the founder syndrome (to be successful, you'll have to build a team)

    • Deliver, deliver, deliver

10. Share

  • Always leave something on the table

    • Everyone has to win

    • Bad energy will always limit progress

    • Generosity pays

    • Achieve liquidity for ALL

    • Get ready for the next one/build a following


"If you don't love your idea, don't do it"

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