The Distiller Resident Showcase: Thomas Weidling

Thomas Weidling - Audacious

Thomas Weidling - Audacious

ANgus Pauley INTERVIEWs AUDACIOUS MANAGER, THOMAS WEIDLING, ABOUT EVERYTHING FROM BOB SLEIGHS TO ELON MUSK.

Thomas studied at the International School of Geneva and has enjoyed a recent career change from banking to managing Audacious, the Otago programme for student startups.

 


Audacious is a two round business programme run for Otago Polytechnic and University of Otago students. 

Round One is about exploring business problems and solutions. It involves putting together a team, analysing ideas and beginning to communicate your story. 

Round Two has workshops covering topics including business plans, finding finance, and legal issues. Challengers submit a detailed business plan and pitch their idea to the judges in the Dragon's Den.

"Audacious is about being brave enough to take the path less travelled. It is about starting a business, being your own boss, taking a risk, doing what you love and just maybe leaving your mark on the world." - Audacious Website

How did you come across The Distiller and how long have you been a part of the space?

My first visit was to join Varsha and Stephanie, my wife, in the second floor meeting room. It was a good place to meet and discuss business in a discrete place.

How do you start your day when you arrive at The Distiller?

I say Hello to everyone first of all. I start rather late every morning so there are always people there ahead of me. After that I'll unlock my office and get onto work. 

What 3 Audacious businesses have you talked to others about the most? 

PocketSmith, Jason Leong (2008); Education Perfect, Craig Smith (2007) and  Gobelet, Ryan Everton (2012). 

The first two show how far you can go on an idea started in Audacious, and Ryan to prove you can win with an idea many would naively consider “basic”.

What is the weirdest/most absurd idea to come through Audacious?

I don’t know about all ideas ever presented to Audacious but the weirdest winner was Louise Corcoran who in 2010 won Audacious with the idea of constructing the first Southern Hemisphere bob sleigh track! Unfortunately, it was never realised.

Whos is your ideal guest speaker for Audacious? You get to have them over for dinner after.

Elon Musk, the remarkable inventor and creator of Tesla, SpaceX and numerous other StartUps.

What makes you feel most relieved after a day's work?

It depends on the season! Now it’s such a pleasure to get outside and enjoy the good weather. In winter getting home to my dogs relieves the daily pressure.

What is something you consider absurd that you love to do?

I touch rocks at the end of the St Clair/St Kilda beach when I go for walks and I touch the enormous Macrocarpa tree at the top of Ross Creek.

Finally, If you could put anything on a billboard that could be seen by thousands of people, what would you choose?

Live and Let live.


Author: Angus Pauley

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