This week, The Fetch Perth’s Curator, Justin Strharsky spoke with the iConnect Catering team, winners of Startup Weekend Perth 2.

The iConnect Catering Team: Naomi Henn, Jay Whiting, Evan Nunn, Brendan Glynn, David Daws, Mike Weaver, John Kelly, Peck Kong
The iConnect Catering Team: Naomi Henn, Jay Whiting, Evan Nunn, Brendan Glynn, David Daws, Mike Weaver, John Kelly, Peck Kong (not pictured)

Photo: Dion Photography

Congratulations on your achievements at Startup Weekend Perth. Tell us a little about the business you built.

Naomi:  iConnect Catering helps spectators enjoy the game with a cold one and a bite to eat in their hands, without even moving from their seat. The app that I designed allows you to have your beer and not miss crucial parts of the game in long queues. Very simply via two options, you can either order your meal and pay an additional fee for the meal to be delivered to you, or order your meal and you get a notification when your meal is ready and go grab it. From the weekend the team and I found out there is a huge market for this service. It will be a free app for spectators. The revenue model will be to charge the venue itself either as a percentage of sales generated through the app or at a flat rate.

How many people were on your team?

On the weekend for the competition we had a team of 8. 

With so little time available, how did you manage to get so many people to stay focused on the same objectives?

Naomi:  To be honest, getting people to stay on task, with the pressure of the competition over our heads was really a challenge in itself. One that was much more interesting and rewarding than originally anticipated. There were 5 key things that made the outcome possible; the lean canvas, judging criteria, realistic goals given the time, breaking into smaller groups, and the mentors. I found myself consonantly saying, “lets refer to the lean canvas, where does that fit into the judging criteria? Is that realistic in 54 hours?” Basically I saw how the group could be split quite quickly with smaller groups focusing on certain tasks. Making the process more efficient. Only with the invaluable help of the mentors was the final product and pitch even possible.

Brendan: Yes, the mentors provided the team guidance, direction, and tips on what to focus on. Working through the lean canvas helped provide focus on the required tasks.

The world of the weekend was “flearn” (fail+learn). Did you have any significant flearnings?

Naomi: Apps need to be a simple as possible. We flearnt that extravagant design is not necessary or cost effective. Reduce your product down to MVP. We flearnt that presumptions are bullshit in business. Do not merely presume what your customer wants. Go out, now, and if you are already developing stop, and go validate what your customer actually wants.

Jay: #Validated: If you know you’re good at something, take control of your domain.

What was the biggest lesson you left with?

Naomi: Lessons are better learnt straight up, rather than later, $20k deep in coding, design and marketing with no one wanting to use your app. Market validation. Market validation. Market validation. Don’t spend time, money and resources, pouring your heart out into an idea you think is going to succeed until you have validated the market for it. Simplicity is key, test the market with your MVP. This may save you heartache and learn vital lessons you need in order to pivot or alter your idea.

Jay: If you know you’re good at something, take control of your domain! (Take control of your own area, specialties/skills set.)

Have you made any progress in the week since Startup Weekend?

Naomi: We have followed up on a few companies that were interested in our services that we agreed to chat with this week. The main focus of this week was to quickly sort out what will happen internally to discuss a clear path ahead. We are in the process of delegating roles so the process is much more efficient. Once this is done moving forward will be a lot quicker and more focused.

What’s next for team iConnect Catering?

Evan: We are forming an organisation to follow through with the strategy whilst maintaining the momentum and focusing on ways that will design and develop the business model. We are creating and continuing to develop strong business relationships to support our customers and their customers. Have strong integrity, communication and trust with the venues and their desires.