Earlier this year we did our South Island roadtrip. It was a cold 10 days, but a heart warming experience of supportive crowds, beds offered (despite our rocking Jucy caravan), stories shared, and relationships formed/deepened.
And, our second road trip around the North Island was no different, except for maybe the overall temperature – spring was definitely a warmer time to travel! We stopped in 8 towns (well, 9 if you count the fact we were in Wellington twice) over 9 days and presented to over 250 people.
In our first three days we met with over 100 people in Palmerston North and Whanganui (with a small pre-event in Wellington).
The team at BCC really pulled out all the stops. If you are ever in Palmerston North, and want to be connected into the entrepreneurial crowd, this has to be your first stop. Not only did they organise pretty much everything (including spring rolls for the road), they kept us caffeinated and Dave lent us his parents’ house for the night. I think it may have been partially a ploy to get me offline, as they were out of reception range, but it was beautiful waking up on a lifestyle block in the middle of the North Island.
In Whanganui the local chamber sponsored our event, and we got some good media coverage. The folk at Double Farley let us use their beautiful space, and then the locals took us out for some tacos (we love tacos if the current La Boca Loca campaign is anything to go by…).
From there we went on to New Plymouth, where we spent the weekend with an old friend of mine. Barry surfed, and I tried the local cafe and macaroon scene.
Our Monday morning session in New Plymouth was packed out, with the BDO crew sponsoring and the beautiful Manifold space hosting. We had quite a few potential campaigners pitch their ideas to the crowd that attended, and a breadth of ideas and range of companies.
From there we drove back to Wellington for the launch of the Kiwibank Fintech Accelerator, and then flew on to Tauranga.
There we had a local journalist from the NZ Herald through, creating this short video on our event at Basestation. It was great to see so many people turn up on Melbourne Cup night, and we even had one current campaigner show up in roller-skates to talk about her project.
Onward and northward we went, with three more fantastic crowds in Hamilton, Auckland, and Whangarei.
We met with company founders, not-for-profit champions, social enterpreneurs, artists, writers, musicians, you name it.
One of the coolest things for us was to meet some of our alumni along the way, including Ash from ONESIXSIX in Whāngārei where they crowdfunded the rates on their community space, and Adam in Auckland who crowdfunded his children’s book. It’s always so much more powerful to have people in the room that can share their personal learnings.
While we were on the road three of our South Island Roadie alumni were running their campaigns, and TWO hit their goals: Urbn Vino and Em’s Power Cookies. Both of them are food and beverage products from the regions, doing things a bit different. Here’s what Em said about our visit in July:
“As you might be aware we did it!! Big thanks for helping me. This whole process has actually impacted more than I ever expected. A few months ago I was feeling disillusioned and burned out. This project has forced me out of my comfort zone and helped to give me a direction and general motivation with my business. As you know there is a lot of background work that goes with this, despite “just” doing a project vs. equity funding. Getting my business plan polished has helped with attracting a couple inner circle investors. And I probably wouldn’t have gotten there in this time frame had you not visited Westport.”
We hope more campaigns come out of our visit both to the South Island earlier this year, and the North Island last week.
We want founders and doers to realise that the money they need might be a lot closer to them than they thought, and that the process of crowdfunding might bring so much more than the funding. It can activate their existing crowd, strengthen relationships they already have as well as going wider.
Big thanks to everyone who helped make our latest North Island roadie a success, including:
- Our sponsors: Whanganui Chamber of Commerce, BDO Taranaki, TUANZ and Hive.
- The people that let us stay in their wonderful homes to stay (including, Nicola, who had only moved in at 8am the morning that she invited us to stay! We tried to help her unpack the next morning, we hope you can find all your utensils….)
- The co-working spaces and venues that let us use their spaces, including: The Biz Dojo Wellington, BCC Palmerston North, Double Farley Whanganui, Manifold New Plymouth, Basestation Tauranga, Wintec, Enspiral Dev Academy Auckland and the Orchard Whāngārei.
- Everyone who shared the event, or co-hosted it for us.
- Barry, for putting up with a whole week of me (and doing the lion share of driving so I could try and keep on top of my inbox… Try being the imperative word).
- And, most importantly, everyone who pledged to come along.