Posted by kari.petroschmidt
So we had our kick-off on Tuesday night! Here’s some commentary…
Initially I was unsure of Professor Michael Bowers, ‘The Entrepreneurial Professor’ (I think we’re always a bit wary of ‘the academic perspective’ when it comes to such practical matters as starting-up). But the Professor raised some interesting points. I particularly liked his emphasis on defining your own success and this speaks to the inherent failing of viewing Audacious as a competition. Starting-up shouldn’t be about beating other people’s ideas. It’s about validating your own idea. What matters ultimately is not some judge’s opinion on your start-up, but rather whether or not you actually start up. The only measure of success for Audacious should be whether it actually manages to help students do this.
Scott Cardwell of Language Perfect talked about the multiple stadiums worth of people who will soon be partaking in the Language Perfect Online Languages Competition, while Julien Van Mellearts of Namida Wasabi Vodka discussed the awards accorded his spirit and the fact of its now international distribution. Both emphasized the role of Audacious and of talking to everyone available in achieving their goals. Yet I’m not sure if the contrast between where they are now and where they once were was quite clear enough. At one stage or another these ideas were literally nothing, they didn’t exist. They came into fruition as a result of a lot of hard work and struggle and in a sense this is the psychological difficulty with all start-ups; it can often seem impossible to get there, until you actually get there. As both Scott and Julien emphasized, they were you in your exact position too once, with nothing but an idea.
“…this is the psychological difficulty with all start-ups; it can often seem impossible to get there, until you actually get there. “
Julien started his speech singing some Opera, BEAUTIFUL and a nice bit of variation on top of the speeches. In this vein he could have discussed how his singing relates to Namida and the way we can merge our passions with business. Alcohol and music are both social fare and Julien has performed at functions alongside Namida. He also speaks French which, as he indicated to me prior to the event, will make selling Namida in France a lot easier. Besides which, a lot of bar staff are French, and it always helps to be able to speak someone else’s language.
Sheryl McPhearson, who runs her own Archaeological Consultancy practice, as well as Salisbury Boutique, talked about Dunedin being one of the best places to start a business. We have this complex about not staying in this city, probably one of the draw-backs of living in a University town. People leave, so we feel we should also leave. But Sheryl and her partner are staying, along with a community of people they are attempting to foster at their 104 Bond St space, south of Queens Garden. They aren’t students, nor are they middle-aged and, like the guys at Language Perfect, they’re basing themselves here.
The overwhelming message of the evening was that starting up is difficult. You have to work hard and as such you have to love what you do. But so too, it’s one of the most thrilling ventures you can undertake, as you forge ahead doing what you love and taking complete responsibility for your own life.
So what’s the next step in Audacious? We’ll be Getting Creative with Andrew Wallace at The Church next Wednesday (2nd of May), to discuss lateral thinking and creativity. See you there!!