The Business Rundown: Tackling growing pains with Creative HQ
Applications for Lightning Lab tourism are now open! The three-month business acceleration programme focused on building a sustainable innovation ecosystem for the future of tourism in New Zealand. The programme will bring together a cohort of early-stage ventures and project teams from the tourism industry who will aim to solve the productivity, cultural, environmental and social challenges for the sector. For more information, or to apply for Lightning Lab Tourism visit: www.lightninglab.co.nz/tourism/
Based in Wellington, Creative HQ run a range of incubation and acceleration programmes as well as education and innovation services for entrepreneur initiates and services.
“Innovation discipline is what most entrepreneurs struggle with. Getting good at innovation is like working out in a gym to get fit. You can go to the gym with the right gear, but you need someone to show you hot to use the gear properly and kick you in the butt every now and then. We provide those instructors and develop a training plan to ensure entrepreneurs use tools such as Design Thinking or Agile in the right way,” says Korn.
There are many different types of business that Creative HQ work with, from traditional start-ups to large corporations, so they see a variety of different problems and solutions.
“What we look for initially is clarity on what problem or opportunity the business is addressing and who the target audience is,” adds Korn.
With a range of programmes for different people and industries, there is a place for every idea.
“I don’t know of a better way to take a loosely formed business idea to an investable business than going through an accelerator. The biggest challenge I see for entrepreneurs is that they have the start of a great business concept but no structure or discipline to progress it, so they are essentially wasting time.”
“Our incubation programme is a different in that is being run nationally and has no fixed intake deadline – entrepreneurs can join at any time. Incubation is ideal for teams that are not sure yet whether to fully commit to the business, or whose business is in a different industry to that of a current acceleration programme,” says Korn.
“Incubation doesn’t have the same intensity as an accelerator, but you can run through the idea with a partial commitment to see if it is something you want to do.”
The latest experience that Creative HQ has launched is the Lighting Lab GovTech programme which is specifically for government agencies based in New Zealand and overseas.
Even Governments need help growing, adjusting and innovating, explains Korn.
“Government agencies all around the world are finding out that it is really impossible to solve many of today’s wicked problems using the same incremental approach they have been using over the last few decades. They now need new approaches which are much more inclusive, structured and more collaborative, solving problems together with communities and private sector.”
Creative HQ doesn’t just run accelerator programmes for startups, they also create immersive innovation experiences to suit any organisation’s culture and desired innovation outcomes. Regardless of size or maturity or stage of the company, Creative HQ has a programme designed specifically to develop the entrepreneurial spirit in everyone.
“What businesses and public sector agencies need these days is to go from ‘how long a piece of string consulting’ to being super disciplined, structured and time bound about addressing a given problem or opportunity,” says Korn.
“To brings that discipline and structure to our clients we have defined seven sprint types that are used in the different developmental stages of companies or enterprise projects. We use the appropriate sprint type and work with the company team for a week to nail the problem.”