Want to tap in to the best startup advice from entrepreneurs who are out there doing it? Welcome to ‘500 Founders’ where we ask innovators from around New Zealand for their top insights for first time startup founders.

500 Founders

Luke Campbell – Cofounder


“Startup founders should connect with other founders at similar stages to them, and ones who are a few steps ahead.”

“Other founders know better than anyone else how hard entrepreneurship can be and can lend a unique perspective to what your best path forward might be. Founders a few steps ahead of you will give you the most valuable advice you have ever received because they were in your shoes not too long ago. 

Connecting with other founders who share your problems and ambition is validating and will help you build your confidence. This is especially important if you’re young because it can be hard to relate to your peers about your business when they’re studying, working etc. Connecting with founders who are at later stages (~5+ years) are great but memories fade and their views on the past will be colored by the work they do today. 

Surround yourself with people and things that lift you up and support you. Ultimately the difference between failure and success is usually decided by persistence. Never give up.”

500 Founders

Marta Meszaros – Founder

The Cleaning Lady

“Never stop learning.”

“The best investment you can do is to invest in yourself. Read books, listen to podcasts, pay for courses you think will be beneficial, have a coach or mentor, listen to others who have more experience, watch videos, train your mind, and go to networking events. Learn about yourself, and develop a strong mindset. Learn patience, learn to take action, learn to do things with joy, and learn to accept everything that comes your way.

With the right mindset you can make the right decisions and you can make your business move forward.”

500 Founders

Andy Bowie – Cofounder

My Auto Shop

“Try to test and prove out your go-to-market strategy, before launch.”

“If you’re a B2C business, go and figure out what channels will get you the leads you need, and at roughly what cost. If you’re a B2B business, go pitch your target audience before you have a product and validate what will make them say yes. 

We left it too late, and were simply lucky to unlock a low cost channel competitors hadn’t been able to tap previously in SEO, but our initial theory of a mix of paid and brand proved wrong. We spent 6 months trying to figure it out, when we could have had that knowledge prior to launch, and gained traction much quicker.”

500 Founders

Abbe Hyde – Founder


“Truly enjoy the company of the people you work with.”

“You don’t all need to think the same (in fact it’s better if you don’t) and you don’t need to be a ‘family’, but things are 100 times faster and fun if you truly are excited to pick up a call with anyone in your team, at any time of the day. You really do spend a lot of time with your team – and as you progress they are the only ones who really know the challenges faced and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles everyone had to break through to ‘make it’. You will share experiences with these people that no one else will ever believe – so it’s worthwhile to truly enjoy their company.

Surround yourself with people that have done the next stage that you are progressing to. If at all possible, hire them, and give them what they need to do their best work. If you cannot hire them (it often isn’t possible) ask them to mentor you and advise you. Be good at spotting the weaknesses that are being created from your personal lack of knowledge and expertise and hire or seek advice to fill them.

You can’t know everything – but you need to build a team that knows what you need to get to the next level or you will waste time on the level you are at. It will take longer and be more expensive and painful to progress. If you are going in circles – stop and find someone who can help – you don’t have time for circles.”

Supporter Spotlight: Offers and services from NZ Entrepreneur supporters!


SME&E Festival Podcast: Craig Hudson, Why workplace wellbeing will help your business grow



You might also like...