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Emily and Oli, co-founders of NINA, present the business on stage as part of the Resurgo Ventures accelerator for social impact business.

Building a brand with purpose


We’ve just finished a 12 week accelerator programme!

We’ve just come to the end of the Resurgo Accelerator which we started in the sunshine of September and which came to a close last week as we pitched in front of 200 people.

It was an amazing experience. The whole thing. The first chance since university to have such a great opportunity for learning. A fantastic curriculum of entrepreneurs and speakers from across the business spectrum of PR, Digital Marketing, Finance, Fundraising. The most amazing foundations for us and it really was so inspiring to hear from so many brilliant leaders. The accelerator was specifically for social enterprises, businesses with a positive social goal, and we were so lucky to have such a great group of other businesses on it with us tackling recycling, fashion waste, addictions and global warming.

I remember back in July after we had recently returned from Peru with our first samples, some preliminary brand work and designs, that I felt like we were moments away from launching. We got lucky and got the chance to meet with a multiple business owner and someone who has now become our advisor. In our first meeting he heard our story and took a quick look at the work we had done. And said slow down. It’s stuck with me because it’s exactly what I have learned in the months since. My number one learning from the accelerator may sound counter intuitive given the name but it’s also ‘slow down’, I’ll tell you why.


Before you accelerate, know where you’re accelerating to

It’s so easy to get caught up with your great idea, to think you’re ready to go but what I’d say now is that it’s really important to plan properly. Of course, the most important thing with a start up is to have the bravery to do it in the first place, and we’ve learned heaps about building fast and failing quickly. Yet, I’ve also learned that the business becomes all encompassing. It takes over your life, your friends want to ask you about it, you never get away from it. I’ve been thinking about it at four in the morning (those morning ideas seem genius but never are), talking about it all day every day and spurred by inspiration in every mundane situation.

I love being passionate about NINA. And I’m getting more comfortable talking about it the more I am confident about why we will succeed. Key to this is our taking the last few months to quickly learn so much across a whole range of business skills and build our vision and how we’re going to get there. That’s so important, we’re about to spend the next decade of our life on NINA and we’re going to need all that self belief to continue when times get more challenging.

The accelerator gave us those foundations. And the chance to think through what we want to do and how we’re going to get there. We dug into what we stand for and are building something below the surface level, about how we deliver impact, how we create a winning brand, and how we build a cult following.

It all sounds so simple now! We spent three months fine-tuning the engine, and now we’re almost ready to turn it on. Then we’re accelerating on.




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