Student experience platform Niesh – which was incubated at ecentre and has grown rapidly – has partnered with ecentre for ON: Futures In Tech, a full-day conference on May 20 involving entrepreneurs, panels and a chance to pitch tech innovations in a Dragon’s Den-style competition.
ON takes place at Auckland’s Victory Convention Centre on the first day of Techweek19.
Bringing together seasoned experts and upcoming innovators, ON showcases the abundance of opportunities in tech and shows how simple it can be to dive in.
Throughout the day attendees can expect teachings from business people who’ve learned from mistakes, real talks from entrepreneurs currently living the hustle and have a say on what business ideas people would like to see come to life.
The event highlight is ON: Pitch. Three teams will present to the audience plus tech entrepreneur judges and it will be the attendees who vote on which team will walk away with a startup package worth $50-$80,000 to turn the pitch into reality.
ecentre will be involved in the pitch competition, offering a prize to join one of ecentre’s programmes (up to $15,000 value), and providing pitching workshops for the finalists, as well as access to ecentre’s network of resources.
Niesh is a graduate of ecentre’s Sprint programme. Founded in 2015 by Jae Yoo as FRINT, which was a business to get advertisers to subsidise printing for students, Niesh launched its student discount app in 2017 then joined Sprint Launch in June 2018. Soon it had a customer base of over 50,000 students, has to date saved nearly $9m for students, and this year launched regular Work Skills events to connect industry professionals with students and improve graduate employment.
CEO James Koo recalls joining Sprint Launch because Niesh was growing but missing some critical processes and systems – including elements of finance and human resources – to support growth. “Spending more hours in the business to help the company scale didn’t get the results in the best way, so we worked with ecentre to focus on growth through customer acquisition.”
The programme culminated in a collaboration that brought together 15 entrepreneurs, investors, academics and government representatives to suggest where to grow next. The panel helped Koo and team to identify when to grow as well.
“We learned how to replicate our model in overseas markets, how to have appropriate growth strategies, sustain revenue and cashflow, automation, capital plan and a product road map,” Koo said.
ecentre CEO Jackie Young said Niesh has been able to use its experience in the New Zealand market to learn which issues are universal.
That success became a case study in innovation and can be read online at NZEntrepreneur.
The applications for ON: Pitch are open until 9am 29th April 2019, so if you want to get involved, the time is now.
Brought to you by Niesh and ecentre, ATEED and The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.
May 20, 9am-5pm, Victory Convention Centre, 98 Beaumont St, Freemans Bay, Auckland
ON Pitch Facebook Link - https://www.facebook.com/events/325200071681287/
ON Pitch Video Link - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zedeydTI16KKhI_0C1CFj2N2V0h1JPK1/view