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Business Insights

Knowledge Base

Business building tips and insights from Startup NZ subject experts.

Browse lessons by topic

Bridget Unsworth: Angel funding insights

Angel Association New Zealand

Topics covered:

  • An overview of angel investment in New Zealand
  • The role of Angel Association New Zealand for investors and founders
  • What is angel investment and who are the “angels”?
  • What is the difference between angel investment and venture capital?
  • Who and what are angel investors motivated to invest in?
  • What are they looking for in the founder they invest in?
  • Are founders still investable if they don’t have previous business experience?
  • How can New Zealand founders find and engage with potential angel investors?

Kirsten Patterson: Founder and director obligations

Institute of Directors

Topics covered:

  • What is the role of a company director, or director of any organisation?
  • What is governance?
  • How is governance and directorship related to being a founder?
  • How can a board of directors help startup founders build their businesses more effectively and when is the right time to consider building your board of directors?
  • What are some of the key obligations of directors and what are the costs or legal penalties for not performing directors duties properly?



Topics covered:

  • Understanding your best customers (fans) to drive customer growth
  • Communicating value for new products or categories
  • What really attracts customers to successful brands?
  • How emotions trump logic for customer buying decisions?
  • Why empathy and a deep understanding of your customers is key
  • Understanding how the broader context of our world situation affects your messaging

Natalie Fennell and Claire Bodle: Get contracts and legal documents right

On Your Terms

Topics covered:

  • Understanding the On Your Terms legal document creation process
  • What are the key legal agreements nearly every founder will need to get in place when setting up to trade
  • Common mistakes made by founders regarding their terms of trade
  • General conditions under which employment contracts are required
  • Avoiding future conflicts with shareholder agreements

Brent Ireland: Social media strategy

Collab Digital

Topics covered:

  • Are there any reasons why today’s businesses should not use social media to grow awareness for their brands? Why or why not?
  • What are three key things founders need to know or do in order to best harness the benefits of social media for their business?
  • What are some common mistakes new businesses make when trying to use social media to grow their brand?
  • How do we employ a test and learn process to find the right content?
  • What is a realistic amount of time that small and large businesses will need to invest into social media in order to see real benefits?
  • What should founders know about the relevance of TikTok for businesses today?

Luke Smith: Employee share schemes


Topics covered:

  • What is an employee share scheme?
  • What are employee share scheme benefits for employees?
  • What are employee share scheme benefits for employers?
  • What’s the difference between shares and share options?
  • What’s the difference between a share register and a cap (capitalisation) table?
  • What are some of the potential issues founders should know about when setting up a share scheme?

Robert Rolls: Business structures


Topics covered:

  • Understanding the three main types of legal business structures in New Zealand
  • How do the business structures differ?
  • What are the pros and cons of each structure?
  • What is the best business structure for my needs?
  • Company shareholder agreements and constitutions
  • What should I focus on first when starting up?

Ben Van Rooy: marketing Fundamentals

Human Digital

Topics covered:

  • What is marketing?
  • What three things should founders know when starting in marketing?
  • Understanding customers using buyer personas
  • Customer interviews
  • Monitoring your competition
  • Using AI for marketing

Joe Sutheran: Google adwords & analytics

Joe Blogs Digital

Topics Covered:

  • How do I set up a successful Google search ads campaign?
  • How do Google search ads compare to paid social media advertising?
  • How much will I need to spend?
  • How much time does it take?
  • What key mistakes should be avoided, to save time and money?

Leah Harold: WordPress Websites

Little Biz Online

Topics covered:

  • What is the WordPress website platform?
  • Why is it so popular?
  • How does it compare to other “DIY” website platforms?
  • How much will I need to spend?
  • What is the process to set up my own website with WordPress?
  • What key mistakes should be avoided?

Tom Sweeney: Hiring Staff & Team culture

Tom Sweeney Crew Technical Recruitment

Topics Covered:

  • What does a recruitment agency do?
  • How does the service work?
  • What key mistakes should be avoided when hiring your first tech team member?
  • What is hiring for a “culture-add” and why is it more important than “culture-fit”?
  • Job descriptions and successful staff onboarding

Paul Veric: Invoicing & payments


Topics covered:

  • Why late customer payments are such a problem
  • What can business owners do to avoid late customer payments?
  • What is payment escrow?
  • How does it work?
  • Quoting tips and agreements for delivery