The runway is Angel Association NZ Create a calendar and give founders the chance to network and meet other investors and founders across the country.
BNZ Founders Scholarship recipient Elise Hilliam attended the AANZ runway event in Auckland in May.
Elise is co-founder menu aida seamless menu planning platform that makes mealtime easier with weekly recipes, editable shopping lists, and flexible shopping options.
Here, Elise shares the key things she’s learned for other founders from the runway event.
Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to receive a BNZ scholarship for an AANZ runway event. The event, held in the Simpson Grierson office, was a little overwhelming at the capabilities of the people in the room, but I couldn’t help but be inspired! Thanks to BNZ for supporting and helping me get there.
Throughout the day, the panel discussions stuck with me and shared insights and advice that will continue. Mohan Nair talked about the US market and how to navigate complexity, and Rod Snodgrass talked about being “a little weird” (very approachable) and being endorsed as a founder.
All of the speakers provided invaluable discussions, but here are the key takeaways I would like to convey to founders.
- take care of yourselfAs a founder, it’s your energy, enthusiasm and passion that drives your ideas forward. I also learned about the Abroad Founder Wellbeing Program they sponsored and are currently participating in.
- not a walk in the parkA panel of investors and founders stood up to share war stories from which we all learned a lot. I feel relieved when I hear that they did.
- Make your company “multitaskable” before Series AWhen you’re promoted to Series A, you’ll have very little time at the company, so make sure your team is set for success while you’re away.
- It’s never too early to plan for future roundsTalk to investors, talk to NZTE, get advice and plan future rounds.They are all happy to help, so just ask.
- ESOP (Employee Share Ownership Plans) – Don’t undernourish your teamThe ESOP is a powerful tool for incentivizing your team and attracting top talent. When setting up an ESOP, don’t feed your team and leave no piece of the pie.
- ESOP can be performance-basedThere was also a great deal of discussion about how to make ESOPs performance-based rather than purely time-based like other bonus structures. Some people do well at certain stages and it’s good to have the ability to buy them out when the company overtakes them.
- Do not pay directors/advisors for the first few yearsI was told this was a big “no no no” and I was happy to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Again, great emphasis was placed on everyone actively participating and helping.
Above all, what I really appreciate is the openness and transparency, knowledge sharing and relationship building between investors and founders. I really felt the changes happening in our ecosystem. It’s not about investors and founders sitting on opposite sides of the table, it’s about working together to get what’s best for not just the founders and investors, but their companies and their ideas. and their entire startup ecosystem.
We strongly believe that we need to work together to build the way New Zealand becomes world-famous for startups and innovation, and this event is definitely a step in the right direction.
https://nzentrepreneur.co.nz/aanz-runway-event-review-by-elise-hilliam-menuaid/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=aanz-runway-event-review-by-elise-hilliam-menuaid MenuAid’s Elise Hilliam Review of AANZ Runway Events – NZ Entrepreneur Magazine