On March 8 a new round of CO.STARTERS begins, with a whole new batch of locals ready to pick the brains of our entrepreneurial experts, who will mentor them along the way. One of the CO.STARTERS facilitators is the lovely Maria King, who we had a chat with about her journey and why she got involved.
What is your background?
I’m a problem solver who is always looking for ways to leverage disruptive technologies which will enhance people’s lives. Recently this has led me to create D-TX Group LP, which holds a patent to a hyperspectral x-ray system that will transform the border security industry. I’ve also formed Hyperspectral Agency Ltd. which uses imaging and AI/ML technologies to solve complex measurement problems, predominantly in Primary Industries. In addition, I have held numerous governance positions and worked with founders in various industries to help them achieve desired business outcomes.
If you had done CO.STARTERS when you were starting out, what difference would it have made to your business?
I wouldn't have made some of the mistakes I've made along the way. CO.STARTERS would have highlighted inefficiencies within product development and business models earlier – for some things I probably took the long route. I probably wouldn’t have had to hack certain systems for as long as I did and I know I would have had a more diverse network to call on for help.
What made you want to be a part of CO.STARTERS?
I'm a huge proponent of lifelong learning and believe that true success in business is not only about the idea, it’s mostly about the individual. You’ve got to keep pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and keep developing your own capability and entrepreneurial skillset. The CO.STARTERS Framework provides a simple way to gain a deeper level of understanding of key aspects that are often overlooked before starting a business. It makes sense to ensure that your business idea will be worth your time and your money. I see CO.STARTERS as a way to minimize your risk and improve your chances at business success.
What is the biggest strength you bring to CO.STARTERS as a facilitator?
I'm passionate about helping others achieve their goals and recognise their full potential. I enjoy listening to and challenging others in a constructive way that helps push them beyond their comfort zone to uncover what they’re truly capable of. I believe that we're all better together and I really enjoy connecting people to leverage collaborative opportunities.
What do you think the best thing is about CO.STARTERS?
The best thing about CO.STARTERS is the community it creates. It’s about building a community of entrepreneurs who have a desire to learn and connect with others who are on the same journey. It takes courage to show up and work through the process with a business idea you’re passionate about, but don’t be surprised if you quickly uncover flaws that lead you to alternative viable business models.
What would you say to anyone thinking about doing the course?
Don't hesitate - if you've come across it or heard about it from someone and it has intrigued you at some level - just do it! You’ll walk away inspired, armed with a full kete, and a community ready and willing to support you.
Click here to read more about CO.STARTERS and to sign up.
Venture Centre works to connect people on enterprising journeys - with each other and the mindset, skillset, toolsets, networks and resources they need - to build an ecosystem that delivers real-world, learn-by-doing events, activities, projects and experiences, and more... This would not be possible without the support of Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District councils.