The founders of co-working facilities provider BizDojo, Jonah Merchant and Nick Shewring have launched Founders Central, describing it as an initiative to support entrepreneurs.
Founders Central will be located within BizDojo’s co-working space in Auckland’s innovation precinct, GridAKL and will consist initially of “a series of learning focussed experiments, designed to inform programs and activity that will be subsequently be rolled out across New Zealand,” BizDojo says.
Merchant said that his and Shewring’s experience working alongside startups and entrepreneurs had given them insights into the type of support needed that is not presently being provided.
The initial Founders Central offerings will include education and mentoring around investment and business makeup provided by BizDojo investors-in-residence Greg Sitters and Ken Erskine, and a founder mental health and wellness project.
Merchant and Shewring say they decided to launch Founders Central after discussing the concept with BizDojo residents and other founders. “We got some excellent feedback from the community. More than 37 percent of people wanted more appropriate resources, 20 percent of people called for increased openness and 12 percent found it confusing navigating the current landscape,” said Shewring.
Shewring described Founders Central as “a rally 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.”
He added: “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.
“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,” says Nick.
BizDojo says it is also supporting ZeroPoint Ventures in its plan to help founders “build their business to the $1 million revenue mark within two years”. ZeroPoint Ventures provides early-stage funding and coaching and early stage funding for ventures through what it claims to be a unique online business incubation model.