Valuable online tips for startups and entrepreneurs to thrive during the pandemic

Libby-Jane Charleston

(Picture: Unsplash)

If there is one issue the Covid-19 pandemic has made clear, it’s the need for a digital disruptor to enable entrepreneurs and startups to thrive from wherever they are working.

Now entrepreneurs and startups can access a new digital "one stop shop" designed to accelerate their growth and success. The Fishburners Founders Hub is a platform that gives small businesses the latest information, resources, tools, templates, mentors, expertise and perks to help entrepreneurs get started and grow.

Fishburners CEO Nicole O’Brien said the pandemic means rethinking how entrepreneurs can access valuable information.

“We had to rethink how we could provide the same level of incubator support that we were providing startups with at our physical hubs and find a way to do this remotely. So, during the shutdown we developed Fishburners Founders Hub to provide everything a founder needs to start and grow a business at their fingertips, wherever they are,” Nicole said.

Entrepreneurs who want to fast track their success will have access to free advice from Experts in Residence, a huge library of educational content, talks and templates with great hacks on marketing and growth.

(Picture: Unsplash)

They'll also be able to learn from other successful founders and entrepreneurs, with experts, mentors and interns to support them. There are also opportunitites to pitch to a global network of investors, plus more than $100,000 worth of free perks from Google and Amazon.

“Having worked with entrepreneurs and startups for the last nine years we know what their challenges and needs are and these became even more acute during COVID with everything being forced into lockdown. With Fishurners founders Hub our mission is to make one of the hardest things Founders do easier by combining everything they need on one easy-to-use digital platform,” Nicole said.

Fishburners has pulled together the tools, templates, latest information, learning content and events, so that founders have everything they need to get started and grow. The digital platform is convenient and easy to access – and, more importantly, it gives them access to mentors, ‘experts in residence’ and other Founders to provide much needed guidance and support

The platform also allows interns to be listed and matched up with a startup, providing them with much needed work experience and providing startups with the talent and help they need to get a business off the ground.

Fishburners has also developed a free four week online “Founders Bootcamp” to help get new and aspiring founders on their way.

Fishburners CEO Nicole O'Brien (Picture: Supplied)

“‘We are really mindful that there are currently a lot of unemployed and underemployed people out there with great ideas that we hope to help ignite with this free toolkit’, Nicole O’Brien said.

Startup success story

Michelle Forster is CEO and founder of myWhānau, the first calendar assistant app that 'automates' your family calendar; taking on the role of a virtual personal assistant for your family’s scheduling.

Michelle was struggling to juggle her corporate role with three busy children, and feeling overwhelmed with the hours she had to devote to organising the family activities. Working 50-60 hours per week in the corporate world, Michelle would find herself spending at least 30 minutes each morning organising the family activities before leaving for the office. But, eventually, the juggling was getting too much for her.

Michelle Forster (Picture Supplied)

“I was really struggling. The time spent sorting out the kids with all the forms and scheduling just added to the hours I was already working and I found it very stressful. Something had to change and that’s when I decided to do something about it. I thought, if I’m struggling, I’m sure other parents are struggling too,” Michelle says.

“Then, I saw an app called “Tripit” where you can organise all your travel plans. I also noticed Apple was starting to translate dates and put them into your calendar. So, I thought, ‘Why can’t we do this for family schedules and really automate the process?’ So it was that way of thinking that really got me started.”

Michelle created “myWhānau” (based on the Maori word for extended family) as the ultimate family backup.

It works by automatically adding your family's events and tasks, saving time and frustration building your calendar. myWhānau automatically creates entries for school events, parent tasks and any activities outside of school, sourcing them directly from emails, portals and websites. Your calendar is 100 percent personalised for you and your family.

Michelle was so inspired to make myWhānau a reality, she quit her job and launched the pilot in July, 2019, testing it on 21 families using the Google calendar.

(Picture: Supplied)

“I was still using automations behind the scenes but the families were using Google calendar, which worked as a preliminary MVP. This was great, as it didn’t cost me anything but my time. It showed me what my customers were needing, what they liked and what they didn’t like,” Michelle said.

“So, I had customers using it for a year and loving it, giving me great insights. Then I officially launched the app in October 2020, designed specifically for parents’ needs and dedicated to making their lives more stress-free.”

Fishburners CEO Nicole O’Brien says she is proud to help support startups like myWhanau, and Michelle is a great role model for other mothers wanting to make a difference to the lives of others.

“It's great to see startups like myWhanau thriving. And Michelle's journey is proof that when startups are fully supported, there's no limit to what they can achieve,” Nicole said.

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I'm a journalist and author writing across a wide range of topics, including tech, travel, history, business/startups, relationships, beauty & fashion, British royal history, & local stories concerning Charleston, S.C (where I have a long family history on my father's side: hence my surname! ) Former HuffPost Assoc Ed, ABC TV, ATV Beijing correspondent and many more. Author of "Fatal Females." Mother of three boys: I will love them until the Statue of Liberty sits down.


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