Chartered accountants Judith Cambridge (right) and XingDong Yan noticed business school graduates, though well- trained, appeared to lack real world knowledge of technology and the Kiwi business environment. That discovery was the genesis of cloud-based tool AccountingPod.
Idealog: So what kind of benefits does a startup get from an accelerator programme like this?
Judith Cambridge: For us, especially coming to Wellington, the first thing we could see was the new ability to really build out a network, which i s so much harder t o do down south [i n Queenstown], particularly i n Fi nTech.
We had a lot of people we got to go and talk to about what was happening in the business education space, so for us, that was an amazing networking opportunity. It was like being taken on a curated journey to really prove your thinking, the customer problem, the solution fit, and whether the business could be repeatable and scalable to really find success globally. There’s a really high bar to be able to do that, but we had wonderful mentors and met all sorts of people that have really helped us define the essence of AccountingPod and the direction we need to go in.
You’d done a lot of research before coming to the accelerator, was there still more to learn? What was a key takeaway for you?
We've really learnt how to see through the lens of a lot of different people and discern what is right for the company. In an accelerator like this you're faced with a lot of ideas and the skill is to find your way through that and make the best decisions for your company. And building the resilience that you do going through that process.
Resilience? So you're talking about resilience in the face of rejection?
Yes. That happened many times. Because sometimes the person you’re talking to who says ‘no’ has a particular need that you haven’t addressed, so it's understanding where they're coming from and thinking, ‘well, maybe we just haven't communicated our vision properly’. It’s learning from that and being able to really home in and clearly communicate the AccountingPod mission.