“Startup weekend is like a roller-coaster of awesomeness” – Clare Swallow, TgaSW mentor

by

Clare Swallow

GM of Digital at Cucumber

Her experience in the entrepreneurial world has been mainly vicarious through helping others. In her day job she often works with Start-up’s (generally technology based start-up’s) helping them define how to use digital channels to validate and attract customers. Clare is a past winner of the Tauranga Startup Weekend as well as a mentor for the Young Enterprise Scheme for high school students who develop a business over the course of the school year.

What are the elements of starting up a business that get you most excited?

A: Really understanding who the customer is and what the real problem is we are trying to solve. Both are often very different than what we first think which means if you don’t do work upfront to validate this – your solution will never hit the mark.

What is the most important thing that you think entrepreneurs should know?

A: You have to believe 100% in what you are doing. It is a hard slog with at times very little financial reward so if you don’t believe you won’t see it through. Sounds simple but I think people underestimate the unglamorous side to running a startup. Angry Birds was the ‘overnight success’ that took 51 unsuccessful games to produce

How can you help Tauranga’s Startup Weekend participants?

A: I am a past winner of the Tauranga Startup Weekend as well as a mentor for the Young Enterprise Scheme for high school students. I have been in the participants’ shoes so know when you want support from mentors and when you would rather they disappear. I also love to help define who the target customer is and what channels will have most impact in converting these targets into customers.

Why should someone who has been thinking about a business idea go to Tauranga Startup Weekend?

A: Startup weekend is like a roller-coaster of awesomeness that you won’t want to get off once it’s over. You get the chance to explore your idea with some amazing people that you will have as part of your network long after start-up weekend is over. Why wouldn’t you want to go?