This year we’ve taken many strides to boost our activity, events, and integration in New Zealand, San Francisco and also around the globe. We are actively making connections every day. We are a team player and have enjoyed working to support the New Zealand startup and technology ecosystem, help shape it for growth and also increase linkages with Silicon Valley, San Francisco and around the world.
We continue to be community first, catering to the needs of the people doing the hard yards, enabling the community to do it’s thing and provide support where it’s needed (and when it’s asked for).
We’re enjoying the journey and being part of this great ecosystem. It’s bubbling with activity that is humbling and exciting.
Here is a recap of some of our highlights from 2015, there were many but these are standout performers:
Flat White Meetup
We successfully launched the Flat White meetup in San Francisco thanks to Guy Horrocks (Carnival Mobile) who lets us bring his baby to the West Coast. Flat White is a coffee meetup for Kiwi CEO’s, founders, brand execs and creatives to gather, connect and learn once a month.
Mid-year we launched our first monthly update recording who’s in, what’s happening and cool startups we’ve met with recently. This has had a great response and will continue into 2016; we currently have over 200+ key stakeholders who receive this update. We’d encourage you to let us know when you are SF bound so that we can add you. Many people have forged their connections based on knowing who is in town. The activity this year has been huge, often we’ve met with 60+ people a month, 10+ startups a month. (If you would like to receive it please send us a note).
Pilot Sales and Marketing Jam #NZSMJ
In October, we piloted our first Sales and Marketing Jam in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch to an audience of 250+ people across the country. Bringing 4 US experts to New Zealand to talk on the topics of sales, marketing, and product management. The event was successful, and we’ll be back in April 2016 with a new and improved version ready to do it all again.
New Advisory Board
This year we launched our new advisory board. The idea is to have a more active US presence of people involved in the Kiwi Landing Pad who have their finger on the pulse which are mainly based in the US Market. We want to be able to provide our residents, alumni, and community as much support as possible with advice and connections from credible people. Our advisory board comprised of – Scott Nolan (Founders Fund), Gower Smith (Swyft), Craig Elliott (Pertino Networks), Claudia Batten (NZTE), Mark Vivian (Movac) – meets once a quarter. So far we’ve only had one meeting but have been able to provide more structure for the Landing Pad, as well as some relevant connections and helps to some of our residents.
First year tracking our metrics
This year we have grown our community by over 1,000 people, thrown 40+ events, had 150+ businesses visit us and developed some new and exciting programs. So far in our journey, we’ve had over 35+ business reside in the Landing Pad and met with 1000’s of entrepreneurs.
Taking a look to 2016
Next year is an exciting year for us, 2015 has very much been about experimenting, seeing what worked, and what didn’t. 2016 will see us focusing on Accelerating success and growth of New Zealand technology companies.
Under this umbrella, we have three main objectives:
- Grow the community (Locally, Nationally & Globally).
- Sharing knowledge & knowledge capital
- Provide a Hub/Home in Market
We’ll be continuing our successful events program, aiming to release our event calendar for the year enabling Kiwi’s and people in our community to plan better their trips abroad as well as identifying conferences and tradeshows that we think are worth attending starting with Startup Grind and SaaStr Annual in February 2016.
We’re excited to continue working with our sponsors and partners into 2016, developing programs and continuing the mission of taking New Zealand technology to the world. We started to see a trend of New Zealand corporates sending delegations to spend time in the market, learn from digital innovation trends and many other things. Having the opportunity for these corporates and our startup founders to meet in the middle and discuss their learnings has been invaluable for both parties, we look forward to this continuing and even encourage it as a growing exercise.
Amongst a lot of other things, hearing back from our community that they have been invested in, have new customers, friends or that some of the people they have met through the Kiwi Landing Pad has turned into fruitful connections allows us to continue doing what we do, knowing that we are enabling Kiwi’s and making valuable connections. Often this is not visible, sure makes us smile when we know we’ve helped people be on their way.
Next year we are launching some more new exciting programs with some of our partners new and old. While we are waiting to release the details of these, we recognize the need to continue to plug gaps in the ecosystem. We believe it invaluable that companies and people spend time in the market, and more than a week or two to get the authentic experience and to have all the time to do everything that you need to do – test product market fit, digest information, network, attend events – the list goes on. We also see a need to do more work in New Zealand to help companies prepare for the land in the US. This comes in the form of access to knowledge, information, and many other things.
Things you should look at:
- Our recent Kiwi Landing Pad Community update (Companies + 2015 Milestones)
- 90 Seconds ride the wave series - the journey of a startup growing to $100mil +
- BNZ Startup Alley Webstock 2016 applications are open
- Join the Kiwi Landing Pad community on Facebook
- Check out conferences Startup Grind, SaaStr Annual & SXSW Interactive Feb/March 2016.
Have a great Christmas and New Year and we’ll see you in 2016
Post written by Kiwi Landing Pad Community Manager – Sian Simpson
Kiwi Landing Pad is a soft landing for New Zealand technology companies coming to land and expand into the US market. We offer space in San Francisco so that businesses can hit the ground running and also plug you into our global community from day one.