Beppie returned to Tauranga after 25 years in the corporate world both here in New Zealand and overseas.
Since then she has immersed herself in the delights of start-ups and has had the pleasure of meeting and working with an amazing range of entrepreneurs here in the Bay.
Tell us a bit about your adventures in the entrepreneurial world so far
My involvement has primarily been as a shareholder and director, drawing on my business experience in a corporate environment and learning about the special challenges that start-ups face. I am a founding shareholder and chair of an innovative manufacturing start-up, RAM 3D, a B2B company that 3D prints products using powdered metals. I am also an active angel investor and member of the Enterprise Angels board, and a founding partner and board member of WNT Ventures, the technology focused incubator based in Tauranga. Through WNT Ventures, I also have the privilege of chairing the initial board of one of the first investee companies, Onesixone, a highly motivated team of young entrepreneurs who have developed an innovative product for the global DJ market.
What are the elements of starting up a business that get you most excited?
Being part of a team of people from different backgrounds working to build a business at the forefront of new technology. The challenges of pulling together ideas into plans that can deliver the results we are aiming for. Building an engaged and happy team. Getting great customer feedback.
What is the most important thing that you think entrepreneurs should know?
Plan realistically and conservatively. Don’t under estimate what it takes to reach break-even, let alone become profitable. Be prepared for it to take much longer and require far more money than you initially think it will.
What ideas would you like to see from Tauranga's Startup Weekend participants?
Distinctive products or services that address a real need or fill a gap in the market you are targeting. Ideas that can be scaled up into a profitable business. Ideas that show you understand your customers and what they are willing to pay as well as the costs involved in taking your product or service to market
What is the critical piece of the start-up pitch that participants need to nail to capture your interest?
Show me you have that magic blend of passion, commitment and energy to work hard to make your idea a success, plus a realistic understanding of what it will take and the challenges you will encounter along the way!
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