Unleasher Meetup: Creating
Unleasher Meetups are a fortnightly networking opportunity to find your innovation project soulmates! A new addition to the Unleash Space artillery, these Meetups serve to connect like-minded individuals and facilitate finding necessary talent for your projects. Each event proposes an in-depth look into a key theme of entrepreneurship. This week’s theme is Creating. Startup founders Wynona Dekker and Pius Ersando have agreed to give their take on the often overlooked middle part of the journey; aptly named as the “scribble” by Pius.
As the first acting CEO of Unleash Space, Wynona Dekker is no stranger when it comes to creation. Her journey has provided her with a collection of what she calls “nuggets” of wisdom. In her presentation, Wynona shared five of these nuggets to the audience hoping that one day, they too will collect their own.
Her first nugget revolves around having a vision and a clear destination whilst being open minded about how you get there. In fact, before the conception of Unleash Space, Wynona’s goal was to foster a unique community within the university that was not already available. Initially, she believed that a breakfast porridge club would be the vehicle to achieving this goal. Had she been stuck on her early ideas, it would not have allowed her to discover the opportunities lying ahead.
Subsequently, she explained that the creation of Unleash Space was only possible by collaborating with the Centre of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Wynona then advises not to shelter ideas; she understands the fear of risking an idea being stolen but believes that co-creation is a necessary component to success.
Wynona encourages people to think big, and act small (but not too narrow!). Inspired by many quotes from Steve Jobs, Wynona states that if you think small, then you can only achieve small results. On the contrary, Wynona does not believe in glamourising the entrepreneurial journey. She finds the most common response from venture founders is that they want to “work their own hours and and make a lot of money”. To counter fantasy with reality, Wynona calls upon her experience on missing family holidays, working through midnights and desperately relying on UberEats. However, she confidently proclaims that she would relive all those hours again if she had to.
Wynona expresses her final thoughts with a touching anecdote of her time as CEO of Unleash Space.
“After interviewing the team and taking our first photo together, it was a beautiful moment for me to realise the potential that resides within my team. It may be cheesy, but I truly envisioned that they had unleashed their potential. So go forth and chase what is yours, but make sure you support others along the way” she says.
The next speaker, Pius Ersando, opened with a modest introduction. However, his story is the embodiment of the spirit of entrepreneurship. He was a former photographer on the Unleash Space student team and has now founded his own business, named The32. What began as an innocent photography hobby is now a small media business housing clients such as AUT and the University of Auckland.
“It’s never too late, and you aren’t too old to try something new,” was his first piece of advice. Having graduated with a Bachelor of Science & Physiology, Pius believes in the continual learning process and is currently studying Languages & Psychology. “Experimentation can be messy, and it might not work, but it’s always worth it” he says. He emphasised not to overlook the patience and perseverance required when experimenting.
Pius reminded the audience that people are not alone in their journey, and that they should not burden themselves with loneliness. There will always be others who share their perspective, and those are the ones they should seek out. As a result, he believes that people should not be held back by uncertainty. As a charming example, Pius claims that his business was decided on spontaneously, in reference to a restaurant table number. Pius also shares his terrifying experience of expanding his photography skills into the culinary world. What kept him going? “Uncertainty,” he says. “Don’t be afraid to try something different and broaden your horizon. No growth is done in the comfort zone.”
Lastly, his last message was about inspiration. “Inspiration is everywhere – you just have to look for it. No one talks about the scribble in the middle but don’t be scared to share it.” Listeners had the opportunity to network and engage with the speakers afterward, complemented by delicious nibbles from Hollywood Bakery.
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