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BizDojo launches support system to back startup founders

06 Jun 2017

The BizDojo community is launching a new initiative supporting entrepreneurs in Auckland’s innovation precinct GridAKL.

Founders Central will kick off with an initial series of learning-focussed experiments designed to inform programmes and activities that will be rolled out across New Zealand. 

BizDojo co-founder Jonah Merchant says there is a level of urgency and opportunity to do something right here, right now, after they received feedback from the startup community who felt support for founders on the ground was not fit for purpose. 

“But we are also not keen to shuffle deck chairs.

“We really want the impacts of Founders Central to be meaningful so we are taking a really considered approach to what we are doing.” 

The BizDojo team have gotten together and created a set of first principles to set the initiative off on the right footing. 

A commitment to sharing what we do, warts and all, a real focus on need - informed by data, on experimenting and iterating off those experiments.

Ideally, the flow is circular, and the learnings crafted through Founders Central can be used by the wider ecosystem to support founder communities far beyond the reach of the city centres, Merchant says.

“While we are committed to spinning up programmes off our own dime over time we are also acknowledging that we cannot do this in isolation.

“The only way that we can move the dial is to work as a collective.”

He says increased support and collaboration will allow them to move at speed, which means better outcomes for New Zealand founders. 

Founders Central now

There are four projects in progress - the first a founders mental wellness project co-founder Nick Shewring launched last week; another focussed around investor intelligence training being rolled out with BizDojo investors-in-residence Greg Sitters and Ken Erskine, and details on how to support ZeroPoint Ventures with their plan to help founders “build their business to the $1 million revenue mark within two years” are being worked out.

The last project is focussed on building out a community of people that will band together to make Founders Central work. 

Built for founders, by founders, informed by the ecosystem 

BizDojo is taking expressions of interest for delivery support partners, mentors and founders keen to be involved.

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