Phew, what a huge few days with last guests leaving the Bay this afternoon.
Accelerate 2011 was another fantastic event with over 80 people enjoying learning from others how to Accelerate their businesses. The idea behind Accelerate is to build the network of active entrepreneurs, companies and investors by getting them away for a couple of nights, spoil them with a great Bay experience, and share stories.
We kicked off in the new Pipi bar on Thursday night. What a great venue and the perfect icebreaker.
Friday was BlackBarn where we had a number of great companies present on their business model, opening questions up from the floor. The standard of entrepreneurs and their presentations was a real step up. All were 'up for it', slick, and knew their businesses. It felt like all the companies were at the next level. Well past start up and into the growth stages. I learned something from each presentation.
You could feel the new confidence in New Zealand businesses. Mark Robotham wrote a good summary of the discussion: Its Business Not Technology – Accelerate 2011
We all took some pride in again breaking the record for longest lunch at a conference with 2.5 hours under the vines. But that's when people really get to know each other so - all good! Blackbarn food was superb as usual.
Following the afternoon sessions was standup supper and ice creams before the short walk up to the underground cellar. We probably started a bit early but as it got dark people headed inside to Minuit going off.
Minuit finished with Aotearoa - which should be a new national Anthem for NZ. I've been hammering it in the car since. Everyone would have been up for them replaying their first set as everyone was in the mood. I hope Francis brings them back for the winter series -the cellar is such a special venue.
Thank you to Odette Bowyer who ran the event like clockwork for attendees and partners; Blackbarn for an outstanding venue, food and concert; the moteliers of Havelock North for working with us as we filled the event, Village Shuttles who got everyone where they needed to and the Accelerate sponsors.
The feedback from the day has been fantastic and I'm confident we achieved our purpose of lifting the game for everyone and accelerating the network. We look forward to making Accelerate a regular event in the calendar.
Update: A few more pics