Over the years we have been in the unique position of working hands-on growing our own business, while sitting side by side within a community of startups and entrepreneurs. We have seen gaps in the kind of support that is out there for founders and we are keen to do something about that, but we are not interested in shuffling the deck-chairs. We want Founders Central to be truly helpful to our founders community and complementary to the other great things happening now across the NZ ecosystem. — BizDojo Co-founder Jonah Merchant.

Our founder focussed initiative has been launched hot on the heels of the government’s announcement to commit $372.8 million towards business growth, and we believe New Zealand’s coworking and collaboration provider, BizDojo is in a good position to rally the private sector to support this growth.

Initial Founders Central activity is framed around discovery, experimentation and iteration — with a strong focus on data collection and founder-lead, targeted initiatives. Earlier in the year, we reached out to the founder community discovering 37% of founders wanted more appropriate resources, 20% called for increased openness and 12% of those surveyed also reported that it was confusing navigating the current landscape.

Feedback highlighted key themes of founder issues with mental wellness, and investment readiness which is where we have focussed our attention for the first Founders Central initiatives, working on a wellness program and BizDojo investors in residence — Greg Sitters and Ken Erskine.

We are also supporting ZeroPoint Ventures with their plan to help founders “build their business to the $1 million revenue mark within two years”.

Jonah and Nick’s vision for New Zealand is to have it populated by empowered founders who are also supported by the innovation ecosystem.

We know the need is there, but we cannot do this alone, so we are calling on the ecosystem to help us. With time we can get programs running on our own dime, and we are committed to doing that — but a collaborative approach will mean faster deployment which will be better for everyone. — BizDojo Co-founder Nick Shewring

As a country, we encourage people to become their own bosses, to take on new challenges and to change the world around them. Our wish for Founders Central is that it will help founders on their journey and ensure they achieve the vision they’ve set for themselves.

Founders Central is essentially a rallying cry for our vision of healthy, productive founders who are able to work through the stresses of entrepreneurship and creativity and come out the other side with both a successful business but also a successful life.

If you would like to be involved in accelerating business growth in New Zealand by supporting the country’s community of creators, reach out via Founderscentral.com, we can’t wait to see what we can do together.

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