In March 2017, Wellington ICT Graduate School launched its Entrepreneurial Program to help students learn practical skills when it comes to starting and building a startup.
Eight Software Development and two Professional Business Analysis Masters students took part in the 12 week program, as their final Masters project. The students developed and validated ideas, built a minimal viable product and worked through the process of developing their idea into a viable business.
The program was delivered by Mum’s Garage, along with support from specialist guest speakers.
The students worked hard to develop their idea through to pre-launch. The program concluded with a pitch event giving the students an opportunity to showcase their work to friends, family and members of the startup and ICT community.
“I’m excited by the development of the students and what they’re working on. They should all be very proud of what they have accomplished in a short period of time. I can’t wait to see what some of the projects develop into. Watch this space!”
— Natalie Robinson
About the projects:
Founded by Michael Ball
StudyLocus is a platform for teachers to create digital step-by-step alternatives to instruction sheets, allowing students to get one instruction at a time. This helps to prevent information overload and lets students work at their own pace without interrupting the class.
The programme really reinforced a few core concepts, as well as being generally useful for information around starting a business and getting an idea off the ground. Some of those core lessons were that you need to validate what you’re doing constantly in order to make sure it’s successful, but also that while you’ll be building to your clients, you’ll also need to do some work to convince them to contact you. I’ve still got a lot of both ahead of me as I keep working on StudyLocus and try to get it running as the basis of a successful business, as well as looking for work as a software developer to enable me to keep working on it.
— Michael Ball
Co- founded by Lauren van Bart and Sam Magrath
Pets often go missing, traditional methods of finding them are unreliable and existing solutions are expensive along with other significant drawbacks. So Lauren and Sam developed Proximate, a pet tracking solution that is reliable and affordable enough to be widely accessible.
Proximate uses a small lightweight Bluetooth LE device, that’s integrated with an iOS and Android app, making keeping tabs on your pet significantly easier.
Founded by Natasha Dissanayake
Natasha drew on her background in nutrition and passion for healthy eating to found Buddha Bowls NZ, a food home delivery service designed for busy people with specific eating requirements (e.g. allergies, paleo or plant based diets). Buddha bowls are the new big thing in the healthy eating space, and the ease of preparation makes customisation more viable from a business model perspective.
“I have really enjoyed taking part in the entrepreneurial course, this has provided me with invaluable guidance and practical experience. Learning about the key processes in a start-up lifecycle has been incredibly useful to really guide my ideas into action. After being introduced to new way of thinking, I hope to continue to put the skills learnt from the program into practice. I am currently working on product development and validation for my company, Buddha Bowls NZ.”
— Natasha Dissanayake
Founded by John Gelbolingo
DiscovAR provides augmented reality solutions for the GLAM industry, enabling galleries, libraries, archives and museums to showcase collections and engage their audiences in a more modern way. John is already in conversations with some of New Zealand’s prominent organisations in this space.
Founded by Mengxuan He
To solve her own problem of constantly having to bring back bottles of wine from NZ to China for friends, Mengxuan developed Kiwiney, an e-commerce site making it easy for Chinese consumers to buy New Zealand wine.
The site is driven by high value content to educate Chinese customers on NZ wine and a healthier wine drinking culture, and make their purchasing decision easier.
Founded by Kahu Cracknell
Kahu developed a crypto token designed to reward the saving (holding) of cryptocurrency by offering a token that prevents over valuation and stops loss according to a market determined value. Kahu is currently working through auditing the code with his sights set on an ICO later in the year.
“I have a technical background and one mistake that many people like myself make is that we want to build our product before we’ve determined if people actually need it. Often, emotions cloud our judgement when we have an idea that we think is going to work. To combat this, we need is a systemic way of assessing how valuable our ideas are and what the best application for our ideas might be. Having to tell yourself that this idea is either infeasible, impractical or not of significant value is an import part of business development. This is what I’ve learnt while trying to develop a business.
At the moment I’m thinking about how blockchain technology can provide better opportunities for investors than what is currently offered both in the digital and real world.”
— Kahu Cracknell
Founded by James Voong
ClearIT is mobile app solution for finding cleaners, initially targeting students and matching those wanting to have their flats cleaned after parties, with other students looking for flexible work that pays well.
Steel Plate Games
Founded by Ollie Wilson
Bringing back 90’s style game style sophistication, Steel Plate Games provides a new challenging role-playing game that provides users with challenging combat, freedom to explore an open world, gritty storytelling and player agency to empower the player to make a difference in the story. This is the game the indie gaming community has been crying out for.
Founded by Josh Jin
PrecisionFX Trader Provides algorithm-based, automated FX trading strategies, mitigating human error and making traders lives a whole easier. No more staring at a monitor all day or worrying about trade orders, this product makes a passive income stream much more obtainable.
If you can support the students and their ventures in any way, we encourage you to reach out. You can do so by contacting the Wellington ICT Graduate School:
email@example.com | 0800 935 542 (0800 WELLICT).
About Mum’s Garage
Mum’s Garage is an Auckland based company that runs programs and workshops to teach the mindset and skill set behind starting a business. For more details please visit their website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.