Entrepreneur Speaker Session a Success as Local Talent go under the Spotlight

Fresh off the back of launching the Business Mentors Initiative in mid-April the Centre of Unique Business Evolution (CUBE) has partnered with Ignite Wanaka (Wanaka Chamber of Commerce) to develop an Entrepreneur Speaker Series for 2017.  The Speaker Series will cover a range of discussion topics and involve a mix of local and out of District entrepreneurs representing a variety of business sectors.

On Wednesday night, the first session of the Series was held in front of over 100 people at Edgewater Resort and was booked out days in advance.

Jason Watkins, Business Development Manager of the CUBE says, “this Entrepreneur Speaker Series initiative has grown out of a desire to provide opportunities for local entrepreneurs, innovators and business owners to hear about the philosophies, experiences of speakers and panellists and expose attendees to new concepts and ways of thinking. Wednesday night kicked off with a superb panel discussion that was highly entertaining and engaging for all in attendance”.

This first session was run in a panel format with four local entrepreneurs; Hamish Acland (CEO & Founder – Mons Royale), Hamish McGregor (Founder – kin2kin), Stef Zeestraten (Co-Founder – Wanaka Lavender Farm) and Alice Herald (Founder – Herald Diamond Couture) the guest panellists. The session was hosted by Richard Liew founder of NZ Entrepreneur Magazine who introduced the session with his observations around business growth in Wanaka and the drivers for balance between business, lifestyle and the needs of the community.

Jason commented “we wanted to start the Series off with local entrepreneurs who represent a diversity of sectors and we assembled a great line up of panellists and moderator for the night in Richard”.  He added, “the panel discussion was a great format and the panellists gave some exceptional insights into their businesses and philosophies.  I think everyone who attended appreciated the openness the panellists showed and there were certainly some brilliant gems of advice that I am sure many people would have taken onboard and can apply to their own business endeavours”. A particularly enlightening moment in the night was during the Q&A section where the audience could present questions to the panellists and an attendee asked the panellists’ about their thoughts around ‘failure’.  Universally all the panellists’ agreed that failure was a key step in making progress and something to be considered as a development opportunity, rather than being calamitous.  “Collectively the panellist responses highlighted some of the key characteristics of people who are goal focused, in that the entire journey in their business endeavours is considered vitally important, not just the good times”, Jason stated.

The 2017 Entrepreneur Speaker Series is one of a number of business support initiatives for the Upper Clutha District currently being undertaken by the CUBE and Ignite Wanaka and further information can be found on their websites.

This article was originally published by The CUBE and has been republished by Startup Queenstown Lakes to complete our archives.