A Meeting of Minds: R9


BizDojo Wellington is set to welcome a 12-week accelerator program which aims to solve business pain points and reduce the cost of working with government. The program, called R9, teams private sector entrepreneurs with ‘intrapreneurs’ from government in an attempt to find new ways of looking at old problems.

Ah, yes. Problems. Challenges. Hurdles. Bottlenecks. Snags. Whether you come from a private sector business, a government organisation, a social enterprise, a startup yet to launch or from something else entirely, chances are you’re familiar with the frustration of seeing a project stall or fail altogether due to forces outside of your control.

This article about the R9 programme in Forbes recently highlighted the blockers oft-experienced by government agencies, which are sometimes labelled ineffective due to bureaucracy and the necessary caution that constrains organisations accountable to a whole nation of tax paying stakeholders. The varied nature of business in the private sector means the reasons for project delay or failure are pretty much unlimited, but it’s fair to say that untested processes, insufficient customer base and the occasional bit of blind ambition can be contributing factors. And this is why we’re looking forward to hosting the R9 Accelerator at BizDojo.

We regularly witness the practical magic of people with great ideas finding the very last jigsaw piece of their puzzle in an unexpected place. Anyone with a bit of business nous recognises their limitations, and one benefit of having a community of talented people with varied areas of expertise is that there may be someone sitting two desks down who is an expert in the one field your team has zero experience with.

Maybe the person sitting two desks down isn’t an expert in anything much. Maybe their life or work experience has been the absolute opposite to yours, and when you’re struggling to write yet another pop song (or piece of code, or press release) after a life of immersion in pop culture they introduce you to obscure heavy metal that completely unlocks your understanding.

An accelerator program that sees government and private sector organisations drawing on each other’s experiences has the potential to uncover some completely new approaches, and it’s intended that these discoveries will lead to the implementation of tools and services to streamline the process of working with government and allow businesses to grow at a greater pace.

John Gonzales, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Hashbang, will take part in R9 as a private sector representative, and says much good can come from government staff and entrepreneurs with successful ventures working together.

“I think working with government entities in an incubator environment, away from red tape, will bring great results. I’m also extremely happy to see the program be based out of BizDojo. It’s place where innovation happens daily, and I’m sure the R9 Accelerator will be able to tap into its energy.”

BizDojo’s ethos and environment is geared toward supporting collaboration and innovation. We’re currently enjoying seeing the growth of products and services resulting from the VicLink Victoria University Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, held at our Wellington coworking and events space earlier this year. It’s refreshing to see government organisations broadening their thinking and considering new approaches, and we look forward to supporting Creative HQ and the The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment with R9.

We can’t wait to see the results! 

Nik Jarvie-Waldrom is BizDojo Wellington’s Community Manager. Follow her on Twitter @nikinajar.