You know when you've met Erika! Tons of knowledge, plenty of expertise, infectious enthusiasm, a listening ear... and reality checks.
Erika Harvey, InVenture CEO and Tauranga Startup Weekend mentor, shares her entrepreneurial adventures with us:
"Coming from a corporate background, I’ve worked for Fortune 500 companies most of my life and identified ways that big businesses can do things better. Working with CEOs globally I identified patterns in their behaviour that were holding their businesses back.
This is how I started to dip my toes in to the Entrepreneurial world. My adventure has been one for a reality TV show (seriously!) you name the issue, I’ve probably experienced it (and more!) All of these problems I faced on my journey have helped shape me in to the person I am today.
At this stage I have created over 7 businesses and built them from the ground up. My businesses range from Behavioral and Operational Services, Software Platforms, Retail, as well as Marine. I’m what they call a serial entrepreneur - I have an idea, and after I’ve done my homework using the Lean Canvas to see if it works out - there is no stopping me to bring it to life.
What are the elements of starting up a business that get you most excited?
What gets me most excited is 'Market Validation' when you’re validating your idea and the feedback you get is opposite to what you thought. This means you have now uncovered a new opportunity to ask people what they want, what they’d pay for, then solve their problems by evolving your idea to fit their needs, then in the future sell it back to them. It's how you approach the "Market Validation” phase that will set your business apart from others. I tell my clients I work with “If your idea doesn’t evolve from conception to delivery, you’re doing something wrong” Have an open mind to change and compliment the needs of your target customers and consumers.
What is the most important thing that you think entrepreneurs should know?
Nothing is ever a mistake or a failure - it's just learning different ways to do things. Every part of building a business is another piece of education you’re now armed with to face the future. Entrepreneurship should be your life's work and a statement of who you are, and what you stand for.
How can you help Tauranga Startup weekend participants?
I’ve been in the emotional trenches of building a business from the ground up and I’ve learned many lessons along the way. Lessons I can help you avoid. I’m a problem solver and quick thinker who loves the challenge of tinkering with a universe that doesn’t yet exist. I’m here to help you evolve your idea, make it strong, give it legs to stand on, and be there along your journey to ensure you get the best out of Startup Weekend (and potentially leave startup weekend with a business to build!)
Why should someone who has been thinking about a business idea go to Tauranga Startup Weekend?
If you’re waiting for the right time - it doesn’t exist. There is never a “right time” and the problem with time is we always think there is more of it, but part of life is….you never know how much time we will each have. So, what have you got to lose? You’re either going to lose 5 years of your life or save 5 years of it by running and validating your idea within 54 hours. It’s a no brainer! Startup Weekend is the best way to meet amazing people who share the same passion and drive as you do and who want more out of life! It’s time to leave your mark and change things up in the market! I look forward to meeting you and helping you any way that I can!
Now, want to know more about building a startup business from the ground up, and surround yourself with people who can help you do just that?
Join in at Tauranga Startup Weekend - November 13 2015
Passionate about Inclusion, Collaboration, Innovation and making a difference.