Events // Digital Garage - Start up series 22

Digital Garage - Start up series 22

Digital Garage - Networking event - Startup series

Thanks to everyone who attended our second event in the "Digital Garage Start-Up Series" where we discussed "Support, Services and Funding" for Start-ups.


The feedback has been fantastic. We love hearing that you made a new connection in the start-up world, solved a problem or shared ideas. We already know that the NZ tech community is one of the most supportive groups around.


Special thanks to our panel members, Amy Kingston-Turner (, Alex Bunce (, Lance Wiggs ( and

 and Will Barker ( and MC Jamie Blackwell (Digital Garage) for their insights.


Our discussion on the night was so good, we wanted to reiterate the key advice from our panel members and attendees: 


  • Funding is key. Both Will and Lance stressed to self-fund for as long as possible, this will help you retain control of your company and the direction of the product.


  • Once you have passed the point of being able to self-fund, you will want to seek external investment. But first, you need to understand WHY you are raising capital. What is driving it - are you looking at substantial growth or a pivot in company/product direction? Investors will need to understand what you are trying to achieve before they can help. Only YOU, the founder, knows what the reason is for seeking external funding/capital. 


  • Target the right investor for YOU. Does their motivation, values and ideas align with yours? Are they interested in investing in your success? A valuable relationship will require the investor to be on the journey WITH you – not block you. Lance raised a good point on this. Good investors will also introduce you to further investment opportunities.


  • Amy Kingston-Turner advises that IP should be on your mind from day one. An IP strategy is a crucial part of how you will - make your mark. It is a mistake to think that you must wait until you have investors and funding to think about how you will protect your IP.


  • Read the contract. Simple, yes? Easily done? No. Knowing what the contract says will avoid unexpected surprises. Take the time to review it and try your best to understand it. If understanding a contract proves difficult, take the time to seek expert legal advice.


  • Risk exists in any new venture, but risk should not prevent you from moving forward on your journey, if you manage it correctly. Will shared many examples as he is naturally adverse to risk. You need to take it all in your stride and be cognizant of it.


  • If you are stuck and can’t move forward, there are some external services that can help. Alex spoke about the NZTE regional business partner network ( which offers expert advice on all things business so you, the founder, can concentrate on the product.


  • An EVP (Employee Value Proposition) is key. This is what will bring your people on the journey with you. You can not do all the heavy lifting yourself, so make sure your people are in it with you.


New Zealand is already well placed to assist companies in growth mode and facilitate camaraderie and shared ideas between founders. Within the FinTech space, there is now a collective of founders who have got together to start their own knowledge sharing platform to help them on the global growth. You can also look at companies like Callaghan Innovation who are highly rated by some of our attendees.


Nothing epitomises NZ business culture more than founders of competing businesses getting together to help each other succeed. Well done NZ!.


Digital Garage is always keen to assist NZ businesses in reaching their goals, to find out more about us please review - OR call Mike or Jamie regarding how we can help you with your business strategy and growth plans. 


So go out there and get it! Take your ideas to the world. Someone will be there to listen, someone will be there to help, all you need to do is ask.