Keen – Lightning Lab Team of 2014

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of introducing the Keen (www.keen.to) team to a room over around 300 investors and people in the start-up / entrepreneurial business environment.

The event was held in the auditorium at Te Papa and was a sell out event.

Here I am introducing Laxman Popli keen.

Debra Chantry - Business Coach & Mentor - introducing Keen at Lightning Lab Demo Day 2014

And this is Laxman, wowing the audience:

Laxman

 

I prepared my speech at 5.30am yesterday morning and had around 5 hours to get it right – I wanted to be sure that I did the best job ever of introducing this amazing team.

At the last minute I realised it was too long and had to dramatically cut it back. And then I spent an hour or so in the Te Papa Cafe talking out loud, practising my speech, while people looked at me as if I were a mad woman 🙂

 

Here is the final speech that I gave:

 

My name is Debra Chantry & I am passionate about growing the New Zealand economy.

 I am a Business Coach, specialising in the start-up and owner managed business space.

 I help businesses to commercialise their ideas and take them to the next level.

 It is my great pleasure to be introducing you to the Keen team, whom I have worked with over the last 13 weeks.

 Laxman will paint the picture & tell you the business story but I would like to first tell you a little about the process that they have been through to get to where they are now & why I believe that they are worth investing in.

 It started it with an idea, that came from a real life problem.

 However, we all know that good ideas don’t always make great businesses.

 What Keen did do was follow sound market validation & business planning principles to validate, test & launch this idea.

 Their pain point has proven to be Urgent, Pervasive & Compelling enough to make people open their wallets & change their behaviour….

 They clearly defined their target market, identified the low hanging fruit and established the best channels to get this to market.

 Keen then launched a Minimum Viable Product & tested it with the marketplace. Their 2nd iteration, based on customer feedback is ready to launch.

 Keen’s vision is to use the online environment to help friends connect & have better experiences in the offline & real world.

 They have the passion, the drive, the skills & the ability to work effectively as a team to make this happen.

 They have been a pleasure to work with, remaining committed to that vision whilst being open to feedback.

 Developed from New Zealand for the world, I am very proud to introduce you to the Keen team representative – Laxman Popli.

 

And here was my original speech:

 

My name is Debra Chantry & I am passionate about growing the New Zealand economy, through helping Kiwi businesses grow profitably!

 I am a Business Coach, specialising in the start-up and owner managed business space, utilising the combined knowledge that comes from years of Corporate experience along with owning a number of my own companies.

 I help businesses to commercialise their ideas and take them to the next level of profitable growth, either through my own private coaching and consulting practice, Ventell, or through the Icehouse in Auckland and the Lightning Lab in Wellington.

 It is my great pleasure to be introducing you to the Keen team, whom I have worked with over the last 13 weeks.

 Laxman will paint the picture & tell you the business story but I would like to first tell you a little about the process that they have been through to get to where they are now & why I believe that they are worth investing in.

 It started it with an idea, that came from a real life problem – to use the online social environment to connect people into offline, real world experiences.

 However, we all know that good ideas don’t always make great businesses.

 What Keen did do was follow sound market validation & business planning principles to validate, test & launch this idea.

 Their pain point has proven to be Urgent, Pervasive & Compelling enough to make people open their wallets….

 They clearly defined their target market, both on the end consumer & business side, identified the low hanging fruit and established the best channels to get this to market.

 Keen then launched a Minimum Viable Product & tested it with the marketplace. Their 2nd iteration, based on customer feedback is ready to launch.

 Keen’s vision is to use the online environment to help people connect & have better experiences in the offline & real world. help the world spontaneously connect with friends locally in the online environment to allow them to have better offline, real-world experiences.

 They have the passion, the drive, the skills & the ability to work effectively as a team to make this happen. They have been a pleasure to work with, remaining committed to that vision whilst being open to feedback, both from end customers and their coaches.

 Developed from New Zealand for the world, I am very proud to introduce you to the Keen team representative – Laxman Popli.

 

And finally, here we are celebrating afterwards:

Debra Chantry - Business Coach & Mentor with Laxman, Nelson & Peter from keen.to at Lightning Lab Demo Day 2014

Grid/AKL Opening Event

Grid AKL Opening Event - 14th May 2014 | Ventell

It was great fun to attend the GRID/AKL opening event last night… And we were in good company…. Well mostly 🙂

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce was there as well as Len Brown… and a whole bunch of influential people from the Start Up / Entrepreneur community.

Mark & I made the front page of the newsletter that came out the next day!

Debra Chantry – Business Coach | Principal

7 reasons for an advisory board

7 great reasons to have an advisory board

The following article was sourced through Google and we think it succinctly gives you the main reasons to consider an Advisory Board.

We do however believe that Advisory Board Members should be paid a small fee to attend meetings, if they are more regular than twice per year. This forms a commitment to attend, and also to do the required research and reading before attending the meeting.

And although you should think of your Advisory Board Members as Mentors, if you want more regular mentoring sessions, you should take on a dedicated Business Mentor.

Advisory Boards: Seven Great Reasons to Have One

by Anita Campbell

Have you ever thought about setting up an Advisory Board?

It can be one of the best moves you make for your business. And it is easier than you think — costing little or nothing.

Here are seven great reasons to set one up today.

1. Expertise you can’t buy

Advisory Board members can bring skill sets that are totally out of reach for many small businesses.

Take the example of an Advisory Board for a small technology company. The Advisors are:

  • A finance manager with Fortune 500 experience
  • A retired CEO
  • The CTO of a midsized technology company
  • A university professor

Imagine what it would cost to hire this level of skill, experience, and knowledge. A carefully chosen Advisory Board can give you access to such people for a tiny fraction of that cost — or no cost. Most of the time, the only expense comes from convening meetings.

However, you don’t have to wait for a meeting. When you have an Advisory Board, good advice is just a phone call or email away.

2. Business contacts when you need them

Choose Advisory Board members with diverse backgrounds, and their Rolodexes will become one of your most valuable assets.

Looking for potential customers, sympathetic bankers, well-heeled investors, or even talented new employees? Sometimes a brief introduction by an Advisor is all it takes to open doors that you thought were closed — or that you never knew existed.

Advisory Board members are sincerely interested in your success. They want to introduce you to anyone they feel might help grow your business.

3. The benefits of a Board of Directors without the hassles

Some business owners think an Advisory Board is the same as a Board of Directors. Yet, the two are very different.

An Advisory Board is exactly what the name suggests: it is there simply to advise. This means you reap the benefits of your advisors, without all the formalities, intrusiveness and expense of a Board of Directors.

  • Advisory Board members have no formal authority or power within your company, unlike Directors.
  • An Advisory Board does not have the same legal responsibilities (fiduciary duties) as a Board of Directors. That means you won’t need to pay the high fees and provide Directors Insurance coverage to protect them from liability exposure.
  • You need not reveal your business’s most intimate financial details to Advisory Board members. Unlike with Directors, it’s your choice how much information to share with Advisors.
  • You need not observe legal formalities for meetings, such as voting, quorums, etc. With a Board of Directors, such legalities are mandatory.

4. Simple and inexpensive to set up and operate

Advisory Boards are relatively simple and inexpensive to set up.

They can be as informal as a breakfast meeting twice a year. Or they can be slightly more structured, with regular working meetings once a quarter complete with agendas. The level of formality and structure is up to you.

What are the costs? Most Advisory Boards serve for free. Business owners typically call upon friends and colleagues who are willing to help out — and flattered to be asked.

However, it is customary to reimburse Advisors for long distance travel or out-of-pocket expenses. At the very least, expect to foot the bill for complimentary breakfasts and lunches.

5. Grow your business faster

An Advisory Board is a great way to signal to the world your intent to grow your business. Few actions say as much about your commitment. Only companies that are serious about growth take the time and effort to organize an Advisory Board.

When assembling your Board, pick Advisors who can help you develop growth strategies. Individuals whose judgment you respect and who have strategic thinking ability are what you need on an Advisory Board.

6. A personal sounding board

Advisory Boards can serve as a sounding board for new ideas — or for solving weighty problems.

One of the best things about Advisory Board members is that they are willing, informed listeners. Sometimes, simply being able to talk to someone you trust is all it takes.

Your Advisors may well have dealt with the same issues in the past. They may be able to lead you to creative solutions so simple that you’ve overlooked them. They have probably “been there, done that.” You gain the benefit of their hard learned lessons without having to go through the same pain yourself.

7. Mentoring

Let’s face it: The top is a lonely place. Business owners often have few ways to get support and guidance.

Your employees expect you to have all the answers. But to whom do you turn when you need help with those answers?

That’s where an Advisory Board can make all the difference.

Think of your Advisors as mentors. Mentors help coach you to become a more effective leader. They inspire you to greater leadership heights through their own positive examples. They help you get through the tough times. They support and encourage.

Advisors can bring out the best in you.

So what are you waiting for? Get started on that Advisory Board!

About the Author:

Anita Campbell is a former senior Corporate executive and serial entrepreneur who has launched several small businesses. Want to get your business to the next level? Check out Anita’s Small Business Trends weblog.

Copyright © 2004, Anita Campbell All rights reserved.