Top 10 Tips For StartUp Weekend Entrepreneurs from the judges at Tauranga StartUp Weekend 2012

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The 4 judges for Tauranga StartUp Weekend were:

  • Brett Roberts
  • Candace Kinser
  • Cheryl Reynolds
  • Lance Wiggs

At the end of the night Lance Wiggs stood up and read out a top 10 list of advice that the judges had created whilst in deliberation.

Top 10 Tips For StartUp Weekend Entrepreneurs:

1. Use the existing ecosystem rather than fight it. Don’t pick a fight with TradeMe or Google. Maybe you’ll be an attractive acquisition target, but probably they’ll squash you by copying what you do

2. Start with the export market in mind. New Zealand is small, but the world is a big place so think global

3. Apps are really really hard to sell. You’ll have to sell them yourself. Go door to door if you have to

4. There are lots of business models out there. Explore them all before choosing the most obvious

5. Selling to corporate’s is really really hard. There are multiple levels of decision makers. For example, to sell to the US Defence Force you need at least a 4 star General on your staff. Do you have someone on your team that has experience or connections to get your biggest targets to buy from you?

6. Nobody pays for apps. Make it free, and have upsells inside

7. Validate your ideas with real customers. Family members don’t count

8. Plan for zero funding in your first year. Bootstrap. Self-fund. Build it lean

9. Check for competition. Identify domestic needs/problems and copy overseas solutions. Eg GrabOne did this so well. TradeMe too.

10. Beautifully presented presentations impress (+ double sided name tag lanyards are a must)