How the BizDojo is supporting Aussie ventures get a foothold in New Zealand

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Looking to grow your business by taking it to New Zealand? Here’s a space to work with people that can share local knowledge as you venture into new territory.

If you’re a solo entrepreneur, startup or small business, managing the overheads of your own office space isn’t always the most financially smart choice. But this is particularly true for those looking to land in a new city for just a few months and set up a new business location.

A collaborative workspace, like Wellington’s BizDojo, gives creative startups, niche businesses, freelancers and travelling workers a space to share with like-minded people along with plenty of quirky tables, chairs and pods.

There seems to be hundreds of these sorts of spaces but the BizDojo, based on Vivian St in Te Aro, is about taking business to the next level with people, places, spaces and programs.

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Founders Nick Shewring & Jonah Merchant believe that combining knowledge and social networks are crucial to success in the future business environment.

BizDojo was first launched during the 2009 Global Financial Crisis when Kiwis were floating back to New Zealand in droves and heaps of people were made redundant from big companies.

They began with a little space on K Road in Auckland with enough room for about ten people. They had 25 in two and a half months, and went okay “there’s something in this”. Shewring and Merchant quit their consultancy jobs and continue to build the national coworking network.

A good coworking environment can act as a business accelerator, when resources are shared effectively and companies create valuable cross-business relationships.

It is this social capital that is key for companies looking to grow and venture into new territories. Combining knowledge helps small businesses compete globally and it is this culture of conversation and communication that makes the BizDojo the only national coworking space in New Zealand.

Having just returned from Tel Aviv, Kochie’s Business Builders sat down with the BizDojo’s chief entrepreneur Nick Shewring to understand how they are supporting businesses landing in Wellington.

My job is actually to always be looking outward and seeing what we can be doing differently, how we can add more value to our community, and what we can do to help our community professionally and personally develop,” he explained.

BizDojo is working to push the envelope on the sense of community and collaboration present in coworking and become the cornerstone that allows businesses to establish a foothold in new cities.

It is hard to drop into a new city and that’s where the BizDojo is ready to help. They’re branching out into bars, cafes, private offices and residential spaces to create a complex business network.

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BizDojo wants to create environments where you can drop in and have everything you need to do business.

“We’re building our version of what Google campus was. We want it to be incredibly accessible for someone to come in and spend $40 a month, have super high speed internet, buy their coffee, buy their food but more importantly be around an incredible group of people and get their ideas moving.”

Having a diverse number of businesses each with their own skills, they encourage everyone to share what they can to aid in each other’s success beyond the BizDojo’s doors.

“The ability to solve problems and share experience and knowledge is infinitely greater than if it was two guys just trying to build apps. There’s an authenticity to it that we search for. So diversity is the key for us.”

Choosing to work in a space where you can share knowledge and collaborate with other entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses can be the difference between failure and success.

So if you’re thinking of getting started across the ditch, we recommend checking out the BizDojo.

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Chloe Potvin
Chloe Potvin is the Online Editor of Kochie's Business Builders.