If you pitched the analogy of Johnny Appleseed vs Gordon Gecko to a roomful of Kiwi investors, you’d get a split vote and more probably a rabid aversion to being likened to either of them.
The sowing of seeds is the right analogy to put next to seed funding, the first tranche of investment early stage companies get. Often it’s their savings, or a roundup of family, friendly neighbours and assorted associates who pitch in a few thousand each. It’s hard to get professional investors to open their hearts and minds to the mere prospect of investing in a team with a smart idea, a ready market in mind and a vision to drive something innovative into a gap in that market.
Typically, it’s a conversation about how they’d like to see a bit more rubber on the road, some customers on board and some early revenue. There’s a multitude of variations on that dialogue but the cut and thrust is, show us you’ve got something before we put our time on the line, let alone our money.
Which makes the response to Lightning Lab a fabulous story.
The accelerator model has been around globally for a few years since, and Lightning Lab takes the best of these models and applies it locally for New Zealand digital startups. Pushing the best digital startup teams through a full-time three month pressure cooker, surrounded by 100 of the best Kiwi entrepreneurs, innovators, motivators and done-it-before types, it promises to fire some stellar companies out of the barrel at Demo Day in May 2013.
Limited spaces are available – book your place on the Guru Program now to attend in London or remotely from anywhere in the world.