Troy Henikoff, US-based serial entrepreneur, and one of the world’s foremost experts on start-ups, recently hosted a number of events for Wellington’s innovation community – including a ‘pitching’ workshop tailored specifically for students attending the Viclink Futures bootcamps.
“The timing was perfect,” explains Abby Buchanan, Viclink’s Student Entrepreneurship Manager. “The teams were in the final stages of developing their digital and physical tech ideas into prototypes, and were working on how to pitch them as marketable products to potential investors. Troy got them to practice their pitches in front of him, and gave them some incredibly valuable feedback.” Abby says that Troy not only helped the students to refine and polish their pitches, he also challenged them to think creatively about the overall viability of their businesses.
Viclink was able to secure Troy’s workshop for the students thanks to the company’s close connections with Creative HQ (Wellington’s business incubator) – the organisation that sponsored the entrepreneurial businessman’s trip to New Zealand.
“Troy is the co-founder and CEO of TechStars Chicago (formerly known as Excelerator), a business accelerator programme that’s raised over USD$410m worth of investment for their graduating businesses over the last six years,” Abby explains. “Creative HQ has based its own accelerator programme for digital technology start-ups on the TechStars model, so it made sense to get Troy over here to share his extensive knowledge and experience with both Creative HQ and the wider Wellington community.”
“The great thing about having partners like Creative HQ is that we get to leverage each other’s contacts, knowledge and resources in ways that have benefits for both of us!” Abby concludes.