Undercover at Two Feet: Investment

Welcome to the sixth instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we cover each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

This week was all about investment with Ishani Chattopadhyay, read on to find out what was was covered…

Date: 1/8/2017

Location: The Academy, 50 Miller St, North Sydney

Facilitator: Ishani Chattopadhyay

Session: Investment

Vibe: It should come as no surprise that as soon as the topic turns to “how to get more money into my business”, entrepreneurs’ ears prick up. After the last session on Finance fundamentals, today’s session switched to viewing the business through an investor’s eyes.

There are all kinds of investment out there (equity, debt, mezzanine etc.), so it’s important to think through the pros and cons of each investment type and which might be right for your business given the stage you’re at.

The teams got the chance to play their hand at being discerning investors, grilling Ishani on a real world case study. Judging by the quality of the questions, I think we had some savvy potential investors in the room!

Lunch: Wraps and sandwiches

Playlist: Folk, rock, chill (a collection of chilled classics)

“If you take on investment without a sound business model, you may turn a paper cut into a haemorrhage.”

Key Takeaways: Nobody believes in your idea like you do. As an entrepreneur you have a vision and the drive to make it happen. For an investor, their view of your business is going to be very different. There are investors of all types, with different appetites for risk, differing focuses and different values or specialty areas.

Having a key understanding of the risks in investing in your business and demonstrating that you know how to face these challenges is paramount in helping you secure the capital you need.

At the end of the day, investment is not a magic fix. Without a sound business model and a deep understanding of your customer, investment may only delay the end rather than be a catalyst for growth.

Key Moments: The teams really got into the role play, asking very deep questions and really testing Ishani’s knowledge of the business. It’ll be very interesting to see how they handle the pressure when their own business is probed deeply in next week’s funding and pitching!


Undercover at Two Feet: Business Finance Fundamentals

Welcome to the fifth instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we cover each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

This week covered Business Finance Fundamentals, and was facilitated by Ishani Chattopadhyay, read on to find out what was covered…

Date: 12/7/2017

Location: Donkey Wheel House, Melbourne

Facilitator: Ishani Chattopadhyay

Session: Business Finance Fundamentals

Vibe: There was a little apprehension in the room at first because a lot of people dislike numbers. That said, Ishani quickly got people in the groove with her practical and ‘real life’ view on numbers and finance. She told everyone about her love for numbers and how good numbers actually tell a story that brings light to the effectiveness of your operations.

By the end, people were fist-pumping and high-fiving, having learned how they can choose the right numbers to make decisions and were eager to get going on their own business financials. An incredible transformation really!

Lunch: delicious Japanese-style soups to warm our souls from the Melbourne winter chill.

Playlist: mood-lifters and party starters to keep us rolling through the numbers with excitement

“Don't interpret numbers, understand them and make decisions using them. Numbers don't lie, people do!”

Key Takeaways:

Using three simple statements well, you can tell a story about your operational performance, what your business is worth at a particular point in time and how funds flow through your business.
When taking numbers to project or forecast you should always be thinking about “what decisions am I trying to make?” and “how does this connect with my operations?”.
In turn, this should all help you understand risk and figure out how to mitigate it.

 

Key Moments:

People who had assumed they were terrible at numbers actually proved to know much more than they thought through learning numbers in a more pragmatic way.
Having people leave the session saying they loved it given their initial fears about numbers was a highlight for everyone involved!


Undercover at Two Feet: Theory of Change

Welcome to the fourth instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we cover each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

Last week was Week 1 of Two Feet topic 5: Theory of Change, facilitated by TDi’s Anna, read on to go inside the session and find out what happened..

Date: 27/6/2017

Location: Donkey Wheel House, Melbourne

Facilitator: Anna Moegerlein

Session: Theory of Change

Vibe: An incredibly inspiring session and really saw the teams grapple on the spectrum between good intentions and reliable outcomes. For such a tight amount of time, people were really engaged in thinking through the change they want to see in the world, and how they can meaningfully contribute to such a change.

Lunch: Pizza!

Playlist: Songs about change (A change is gonna come, Man in the Mirror, Waiting on the World to Change…)

“Be rough on your plans but clear on your assumptions”

- Scott Anthony, Innosight

Key Takeaways: The world is littered with examples of people that have had good intentions but disastrous consequences. Prohibition for example actually saw an increase in the violence and social issues that banning alcohol was meant to prevent.

Similarly, if a Keep Cup is bought but never used, there is a risk that it creates more harm than the good environmental impact it wants to create. Thinking through your program logic and theory of change is incredibly important in ensuring that you move down the spectrum to reliable outcomes and the change you’d like to see.

Engaging with beneficiaries as soon as possible, and seeing whether they agree with your proposed desired outcomes/vision is incredibly important.

Identifying your assumptions is critical.

Key Attendants: Kate Barelle – co-founder of Streat. Kate came in and shared the incredible story of Streat and how it grapples with it’s Theory of Change, holding the young people they work with at the centre of all decision-making. When they began they thought creating employment and housing opportunities for vulnerable young people was at the very centre of their desired outcomes. As they iterated through the program they discovered that a sense of belonging was the most important thing for their trainees all along.


Undercover at Two Feet: Piloting & Prototyping

Welcome to the third instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we cover each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

Last week was Week 2 of Two Feet topic 4: Piloting & Prototyping, facilitated by Ryan Hubbard from the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI), read on to go inside the session and find out what happened..

Date: Wednesday June 21

Location: Brisbane

Facilitator: Ryan Hubbard from TACSI

Session: Piloting & Prototyping

Vibe: Lots of eagerness and energy in the room as all the frameworks and tools we’ve been covering seem to be falling into place. A lot of sticky notes, people moving around the room, ideas and paper and post-its spread across various surfaces, and a mix of huddling together, bouncing ideas off each other and sitting reflectively in sunny spots for inspiration.

Lunch: Mini sandwiches, bagels and vegan rice paper rolls (yum!).

Playlist: Nick Waterhouse (US) & Clairy Browne and the Banging Rackets (MEL – although recently disbanded); contemporary artists bringing back old school jazz and rhythm & blues!

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would've said a faster horse"

- Henry Ford
(apparently Ford never said this, but a good quote nonetheless!)

Key Takeaways: The focus of a startup is learning! Framing assumptions, figuring out where we sit on the learning journey then getting out and talking to people. Small-scale experiments, testing lean and simply, learning and iterating quickly.

Key Attendants: A few designer minds in their element, including Ryan, with his slightly disappearing, pseudo Matthew McConaughey voice. A notable majority female presence of true WonderWomen, coinciding nicely with the box office release this month!

Key Moments: Our 30-second dance party to old school jazz & rhythm and blues; Bronte’s realisation that Ryan was sounding particularly McConaughey; and the round sharing what each enterprise will be prototyping or experimenting over the next fortnight!


Meet the Entrepreneurs: Ethical Foods

As Two Feet is well and truly underway across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, we thought it was high-time for everyone to meet the entrepreneurs taking part! Each fortnight we’ll be profiling some of the participants in our Meet the Entrepreneurs series.

In our first instalment, we’re chatting to two entrepreneurs working in the ethical food and urban farming spaces. Hayley Dunne is the founder of Little Delish Bakery, a Brisbane-based enterprise that is providing ethical and sustainable catering services to locals with a focus on bringing people together around the conversation of conscious eating.

Geert Hendrix is the founder of Farmwall, an urban farming initiative that will see vertical planters going into restaurants and cafes around Melbourne, bringing the farm-to-plate idea to our doorsteps.

Little Delish Bakery

"In Australia, we have so much beautiful, local produce to enjoy, but often it's hard to know where your food is really coming from, and what impact it has had on the environment when it was grown"

- Hayley Dunne, founder of Little Delish Bakery

We had a chat to Hayley to find out why she does what she does.

What is your intent, and how are you making or plan to make an impact on the challenges that your business is wanting to address?

Little Delish exists to create beautiful, mindful food that brings people together. Our main focus is on connection – of paddock to plate, of farmer to customer and between the people who are enjoying our food. We hope that by bringing people together, we can make people aware of how their food choices are impacting the environment, and their local community. By sharing stories of farmers and makers, we hope that our customers can be more connected to the food that they eat, and continue to make choices that support their community.

 

Tell us about your business model currently and the changes you have made/are making…what are you products/services?

Little Delish creates breakfast bars and grazing tables, as our focus is very much on sharing our table. We rescue produce that would otherwise end up in landfill and turn it into all kinds of delicious creations – jams, dips, cakes and more. We work with whatever produce is seasonal, so our menus are constantly evolving.

We support our community by using our catering resources to fundraise for charities, and we also offer discounted rates to community organisations. We also collaborate with small growers and makers to help them promote their businesses, with the hope that we can build a community of ethical foodies and farmers that all work together to create more ethical food choices for customers.

This is a recent development for us, and we’re always working towards finding new ways for our business to create impact in our community. We try to stay creative in the ways that we work with charities and community groups, so that we can create change in new ways. Sometimes it’s the little, simple things – like a bake sale – that can have a huge impact.

 

Where does Two Feet fit into your journey?

Two Feet has been incredible for us in bringing focus to the aspects of our business that work best, and those that need more love. By bringing our intent into focus, we’re able to make better choices about which products and projects are the best fit for us. As a solo entrepreneur, the support of the Two Feet community and the incredible mentors has allowed us to grow in ways I couldn’t imagine before we start. I now have clarity and confidence moving forward, knowing that we are on the right track. Two Feet has been invaluable in guiding our business towards the change that we want to create.

Farmwall

"By growing food in the city we’re hoping to have a positive impact on the environment"

— Geert Hendrix, founder of Farmwall

What is your intent and how are you making or planning to make an impact on the challenges facing agriculture?

Our intent is to transform our city into a food producing ecosystem that positively impacts our environment while inspiring others to make sustainable change

  1. Through embracing vertical farming technology and design, we can create an inspiring aesthetic that sparks conversation about urban food production.
  2. Using chefs as mediators and food as a communication tool—we can transform our food values by encouraging urban, locally grown produce.
  3. To use aquaponic innovation to repurpose vacant space—turning under-performing land into urban food producing environments.
  4. Connect urban growing spaces with local community by providing educational tools and resources around healthy, nutritional produce.

 

Tell us about your business model currently and the changes you have made/are making…what are you products/services?

Although it may seem we are in the business of Aquaponic and Vertical Ag technology, our core business is selling locally grown fresh produce + maintenance and farming services.  We operate under a subscription model where monthly produce is guaranteed in return for a fixed monthly fee. We have recently brought our plans for a commercial aquaponic farm forward to a parallel trajectory in the overall pictures.

 

Where does Two Feet fit into your journey?

Two Feet is an important step in our growing process and the shared knowledge keeps our minds on the right track. We feel confident knowing there are so many talented people on our side to seek mentorship and follow our journey. We hope TDi becomes apart of story in the long run.


We’re loving working with Farmwall and Little Delish Bakery, check out the awesome work that they’re doing below. Tune in soon for the second instalment of Meet the Entrepreneurs!


Undercover at Two Feet: Customer Focus & Value Proposition

Welcome to the second instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we cover each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

This week was Week 2 of Two Feet topic 3: Customer Focus & Value Proposition, read on to go inside the session and find out what happened..

Date: June 6 2017

Location: Sydney

Facilitator: Caroline Sanz

Session: Customer Focus & Value Proposition

Vibe: There was a lot of energy and buzz in the room with a big group. Some new faces joined us for the VP session, but the organisations’ commitment to the program was clear, with many having done a lot of work between sessions and coming raring to go.

Lunch: Mediterranean salad

Playlist: A mixture of pop and electronic chill

“People might tell you to your face that they are buying for an ethical reason, but if they have a choice behind closed doors they may behave differently”

— Kathy from Moeloco
Quote of the Day

Key Takeaways: This week was all about going beyond feedback and putting yourself in the shoes of your customer. It was a fascinating insight into how to really get to understand what makes your customers tick, how to go out and talk to customers, and how to validate your assumptions about what you think is important to your customer. Only by truly understanding your customer’s pains, gains and what they are actually trying to get done can you put yourself in a position to design solutions that really work for them/resonate with them.

Key Attendants: Our Sydney Two Feet cohort! Who range from Disability Service providers, to renewable energy innovators, to social equality and leadership gurus.

Key Moments: A really inspiring moment was seeing the teams really understand how important this work is to ensuring they can build a viable business. Many of the teams throughout the day said that they would no doubt find the idea of going out and doing some of these empathy interviews a little bit daunting, but that it could really give them some valuable insights and help them decide where they should focus.