Kaffelogic spreads the joy of roasting your own coffee beans. They combine sophisticated software with elegant design to make the best 100g-batch coffee roasters in the world. This week we sit down with Kaffelogic founder, Chris Hilder.
Serial entrepreneurs, early stage startup consultants and most recently, founders of Winely, Abbe Hyde and Jake Manning join us for this week’s interview!
Post written by Tim Oliver, CEO - InvestaMatch
We were lucky enough to be invited by Startup Dunedin to join a delegation from Dunedin to attend the Tech in Asia Conference in Singapore.
The conference was a collection of up and coming tech startups in the Singaporean region, venture capital groups, existing businesses in the tech space and speakers from global tech giants.
It wasn't only about showcasing the startup businesses looking for investors, there were investor speed dating sessions, networking sessions, specialised business round-tables and three stages of back-to-back seminars covering everything from Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Influencer Marketing, Sales Cycles, Recruitment, B2B, B2C, Legislation, Machine Learning, Hyper-Liquidity, Intelligent Transportation, Bootstrapping and Growth Stage Funding
If we didn’t know what any of the above meant before the trip… we sure do now!
What an experience! I honestly believe that from the conversations, learning and connections I made in the two days attending the conference, I’ve gained a 15% increase in intelligence… at least! (…not that the baseline was all that high to start with…).
We were also given a tour of the spaces (an entire city block!) that the Singaporean government have designated to the support and encouragement of startup businesses. This was literally a city block of buildings 4-5 stories high, full of startup businesses and the supporting services that they all need to get off the ground and succeed… all paid for by the government.
What did I learn…? Obviously, the Singaporeans see the value of tech startups and their potential to contribute to the economy in a big way. In a world where manufacturing, labour intensive and ‘middle man’ jobs are increasingly being lost to advances in technology, the Singaporean government are investing in the businesses that are creating jobs in the technology sector.
New Zealand needs to learn from Singapore – not only about the technology sector, but in the outright recognition and acceptance that things are changing. We need to make sure that NZ businesses and workers are prepared for what’s around the corner. I encourage everyone to learn about the technology that surrounds them and how technology is going to affect businesses, jobs and lives.
Recognition and massive thanks to Startup Dunedin, especially Casey Davies-Bell, Scott Mason and Sarah Ramsay, along with Aleks Dahlberg from Kitt – all fantastic travel companions and champions of the City of Dunedin NZ.
Angus Pauley interviews co-founder of Price Insight, Anton Hughes.
Price Insight is a pioneer in Explainable Artificial Intelligence in finance. For many traders and investors several hours research is required before making each trade. Price Insight saves traders time by finding and delivering trading opportunities in real time via our mobile app.
Are there any thought leaders in AI you would recommend people read/listen up on?
There is so much happening in the AI field. Its hard to suggest a single thought leader.
What is a common misconception or something which people often get wrong about AI? Is there a piece of bad advice you hear often?
The main misconception is in thinking that AI is close to human level intelligence. While AI research and development is rapidly progressing we are still a long way from this level of intelligence.
How do you feel about the doomsday prophecies of AI (a la Skynet)?
That is a very interesting question. For people who are not working with AI they often think of Terminator like scenarios. Or perhaps worry about losing their job to AI. These concerns are real and are being discussed. AI is still very early in its development. However - even at this early stage there are risks. Samsung, for example, famous as a mobile phone manufacturer, also manufactures an autonomously fired gun - it can detect and decide to shoot people.
The risks of AI are real. Fortunately there are organizations working to contain these risks. The UN has opened a center specifically around monitoring the risks of AI from rogue states and organized crime. Also Elon Musk has founded the OpenAI project in an effort to bring about safe AI.
Is there a particular application of AI outside of financial investment that you are particularly excited about? Or a particular application of AI you seem to talk to others more than any other?
One of the biggest developments in biotech is CRISPR/Cas9 which makes gene editing much easier and cheaper than previous approaches. Machine Learning and Artifical Intelligence is being applied to CRISPR/Cas9 with the aim of significantly advancing the area of gene editing. This could potentially bring about some really mind boggling developments.
What were you doing before Price Insight?
Prior to Price Insight I co-founded another fintech startup. And before that I was working in for a bank in Scandinavia, in both the business and technology related areas of the bank.
Was there a particular moment of frustration or an a-ha moment in which you came up with the idea for Price Insight? What was that moment like?
There was not one - but many - moments of both frustration and eureka. Founding a startup is an rollercoaster ride made up of 100s of these moments.
How large is the Price Insight team? How did you meet your team?
Besides myself there are 6 others including AI experts, data scientists, researchers and software engineers.
If you could recruit one famous person to Price Insight right now, who would you recruit? Why?
That's an interesting question. There are plenty of smart minds that have helped develop AI. But I dont know how these people are to work with. I dont know how they would fit in with the team. Also, typically software, and AI developers are a team effort. So if I could recruit a team it would be Deepmind guys. This is the group who developed AlphaGo, the AI that beat the world Go champion.
Did you have a particular moment or group of moments at FoundX that you tend to remember when you look back on the night?
No one single moment. I would say most memorable aspect of the evening was the strong community spirit of the night. It was great to sense, and be part of, the growing Dunedin startup community.
How do people currently solve the problem, Price Insight solves?
Typically active traders and investors will spend several hours analysing market data looking for trading opportunities. Price Insight finds trading opportunities using various AI methods, such as Reinforcement Learning. We also provide an explanation for the opportunities that we discover. Simply put, we save investors a of time.
What is the most frustrating part of building a digital product?
Marketing. Its incredibly hard to get awareness.
If you could time-travel – what advice would you give yourself about starting Price insight?
Do you have a strange habit or something you do which you consider absurd/odd? For example I always touch the outside of a plane for good luck before flying.
I also do that!
Finally, If you could put anything on a billboard that would be seen by millions of people, what would you choose?
INTERVIEW BY ANGUS PAULEY
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEATURE ON THE STARTUP DUNEDIN BLOG CONTACT US AT HELLO@STARTUPDUNEDIN.NZ
Angus Pauley Interviews Tim Oliver from Investamatch on his mission of connecting investors and entrepreneurs at scale.
InvestaMatch helps businesses to achieve their goals by allowing them to promote their need to ‘Investors’ who have the resources to help, whether those resources are money, advice or key industry knowledge and relationships. When businesses are looking to grow, diversify or if they are looking to sell up immediately or over a period of succession, InvestaMatch promotes the need of the business with their membership of Investors on the InvestaMatch platform. If an Investor wants to know more about the opportunity, the Investor initiates contact with the business.
What were you doing before Investamatch?
I was and still am a mortgage and insurance advisor. I've got my own business in Dunedin, First Mortgages NZ and Oliver Financial Planning Ltd. And so, we help first home buyers to get lending from the banks and sort out their Kiwisaver so that's the deposits and the home start grants, and help people to go through the process of buying and house, and life and health and covering mortgage protection covers.
Was there a particular a-ha moment in which you came up with the idea for InvestaMatch?
The idea that was actually presented to me by Sarah at Immersion who was doing work for the co-owners. They asked to me to come on board to be the face of the business and to be the business development manager.
Who's part of the InvestaMatch team?
Sarah, myself and also Nathan. They're more the marketing department. We've got our legal advice as well. I've also got an admin person help me on the occasion as well. It's really kind of four people directly involved.
If you could recruit anyone to the InvestaMatch team tomorrow, who would you choose?
I'm interested in Nadia Lim, she's got good experience and good profile. She's a young person, people know her and I think there's probably a level of trust that's associated with New Zealand businesses, New Zealand startups.
I feel like she's been there, done that and I quite like her as a business person. What they've done; she knows how to push something to succeed and how to innovate. We're talking about a whole industry; she's changing the way people eat and how people shop. I just really like the general feeling of what they're doing and I suppose the entrepreneurship of their concept with how they've gone about it.
Tell us about your FoundX Startup Showcase experience?
Foundx was put in front of me by Sarah and I did some of my own research online. Startup Dunedin has come up with a great concept in the showcase. It puts the guys who have the experience and the cash, and the know-how, directly in front of everyone which is perfect.
That's what Investamatch is looking to do, just on a much bigger scale. We'll be using Foundx as a spring board and using our contacts from then, over the next few weeks.
Plus Dean Hall was really good. It's probably crucial for ongoing events to have someone that is open and candid and quite a likeable type of person to get up and speak. Dean demystified what he really does; there's no magic about it, he makes video games. Makes video games that, people like to play. The growth of Rocketwerkz and the story behind it was great.
How do people currently solve the problem that InvestaMatch solves?
Crowdfunding or they put the opportunity onto TradeMe, at least in a business selling type of scenario. Then there's word of mouth, through advisors, accountants, lawyers or investment guys; any kind of business and buyers might have a ... database of clients that are looking to invest or have opportunities to invest with. It's quite an insular type of scenario.
What's the toughest part of building a digital product?
Just the cost of getting it up and running.
I'm a relationships guy. I can talk to people, get an understanding, help them with their problems. Not knowing the ins and out of the tech...it's frustrating but I mean that's not for everyone. So yeah, probably comes back to the cost of getting things set up and doing it properly. But if you want to, anything worth doing is worth doing properly. It's not really begrudging it but it's just one of those things you need to do before you see any cash coming in.
What advice would you give a startup getting involved in an area that can have tricky legislation?
Get good advice. Get good advice and take good advice.
Understand where your value is within that industry. That could change, the more you learn about the industry, the more that you understand the industry, the more you'll be able to recognize where the opportunities are. It's just about finding where your value is and being able to innovate to solve those problems and to be able give more value in that industry.
Do you have any odd habits?
I'm a very, very early riser. People ask me what time I get up and I tell 'em I'm up at 4:00am. I get sideways looks and gasps at that, incredulity, disbelief.
Maybe my girlfriend might tell you something different but I couldn't; that would be the worst or the strangest one.
If you could put anything on a billboard that would be seen by millions of people what would you choose?
It's all about being grateful. Just be grateful for what you have. Just be grateful for your family, be grateful for your friends, and be grateful for your health. I wake up every morning and just make sure I give thanks for the people around me and what I've got in my life. If you're grateful then that goes up, outwards and if you can project gratitude, then you're gonna get it back.
INTERVIEW BY ANGUS PAULEY
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEATURE ON THE STARTUP DUNEDIN BLOG CONTACT US AT HELLO@STARTUPDUNEDIN.NZ
Angus Pauley interviews fellow Startup Dunedin Community manager Casey Davies-Bell.
How did you come across The Distiller?
I first came across the The Distiller after attending the 2015 Startup Weekend. I didn’t even know we had co-working spaces in Dunedin at that point and had been working from a friends garage that leaked!
When I first came in 3 years ago, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Back then there were a couple of people that used it but for the most part it was empty. I was made to feel welcome by the then community manager Jason Beck and quickly become friends with the other residents. I remember thinking it was pretty awesome to have an actual office building to work on my idea.
Do you follow a particular process when you meet a new Start-up? What does that process look like?
Often the first move is to get them to come into the Distiller for coffee, or on a 31 degree Dunner Stunner like today, a cold glass of water. I like to meet face to face to hear them out and listen to their idea first, as well as get a feeling for them as a person.
I find this important for a couple reasons - people come in at all different shapes with ideas at all different stages. There is no one size fits all solution so it’s important to listen and give help based on their unique situation. Usually the most valuable next move is a relevant connection, introduction to tools like the Lean Canvas, covering upcoming events, or making them feel welcome to use the free co-working space.
Coming to the Distiller for the first conversation is non-committal and an easy way for someone to feel out the environment and network directly with other entrepreneurs and Do’ers. Fittingly, we usually conclude with a tour of the Distiller and introductions to the other residents.
What’s the most common mistake you see in an early stage start-up?
There are two.
The first is feeling it is imperative to be secretive and coy about sharing the idea incase someone pinches it. The reality is you are significantly more likely to fail due to the execution whether you don't understand the market or have an internal breakdown in your team. The more help you can get the more you stack the odds in your favor. Of course there are exceptions like ideas that need a patent, but they are few and far between.
The second is ‘project creep’ - wanting to start big. Startups are usually under resourced so it is important to be strategic about what you pursue first. It’s not to say you shouldn’t have big aspirations, but starting small and acting now can’t be stressed enough. Startups don’t starve from ideas, they drown in them. You really want to build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and take it from the assumption you are almost certainly going to be wrong on some logic you have - and that is okay. The goal should then be to test your assumptions in the real market and scale what works.
Is there part of your job you find particularly enjoyable?
One of my favorite parts is getting to meet and hopefully help people working on all sorts of different projects. I get a kick out of trying to join the dots and find solutions for problems. In particular I really like commercial ideas that try and solve global problems - I see enterprise as a powerful vehicle for change, good or bad, and we have the power to make it good.
What is one thing you wish you had more time for?
I really want to get back into surfing. I snapped my board a while ago and haven’t made the time to get back into it. St Clair and Black Head are my go to spots.
What 2-3 books have most profoundly affected your life in recent memory?
‘Zero to One’ by Peter Thiel is a must read for any startup. ‘The E Myth Revisited’ by Michael E. Gerber is also great for any small business. My favorite for sure is ‘Elon Musk - Tesla, SpaceX and the quest for a fantastic future’ by Ashlee Vance.
What Startup Dunedin event are you most excited for in 2018 or have talked about most to other people?
Definitely Startup Weekend. It’s amazing to watch people exceed their own expectations of what they are capable of in such a short time. Also the opportunity for connecting with other entrepreneurs and leaders in the space in a single event is arguably second to none.
Do you have a strange habit, or something which you do that even you, yourself, consider absurd or odd?
I enjoy working from the Distiller so much that I actually have an alarm to tell me to go home at 7pm! Of course I have been known to ignore this from time to time.
And finally Casey DaviesBell, who is your favourite co-worker?
Well I certainly have a lot in common with Angus, including our birthday!