Bootcamp catch up: Vxt
By Kyra Piccione
Since the Soda Inc. NZ Startup Bootcamp several of the teams have gone on to do some impressive things. One of those teams, made up of Luke Campbell and Lucy Turner, is Vxt.
Vxt is a smart assistant that converts user's voicemails to text and provides them with tools which save time and money by automating administrative tasks.
We saw Luke and Lucy hustle hard to improve on their innovative startup over 48 hours during the Bootcamp and they came out with a special mention from the judges as well as a sponsorship from Rocketspark.
Then, we heard whisperings that they’d gone on to do some great things in the short few months since the event, so we thought we’d catch up with Luke to see where Vxt is now.
You won the Rocketspark website and were given a special mention in your category at the Bootcamp – what’s happened since then?
Since the Bootcamp we have all been working really hard to prepare for launch in October. We were really excited to have been accepted into the Google Cloud for Startups Programme shortly after we got back to Christchurch. It's super encouraging to receive support from such an established name.
We've also grown the team to five! About a month ago we hired three student contract developers to speed up our research and development process and it's been phenomenal working with them so far.
Most recently we received funding from Callaghan Innovation for our R&D and are competing in a three month long business competition run by and for students down here in Canterbury for a shot at $85K worth of prizes.
It seems you’ve gone from strength to strength – where to next?
Thanks! We're really excited to be involved in Entre's $85K Startup Challenge down here in Christchurch. It's great to be around other student teams who are in similar situations to ourselves and are facing the same challenges. Our beta programme will be open to the public next month, so we're looking forward to getting Vxt out there.
Are you all still studying while working on Vxt? How do you manage that? Do you have part time jobs too?
Yeah, we’re all full-time students. It can get pretty crazy trying to manage the business and our studies especially around exam time.
We're really privileged to have the ability to pay most of the team for their mahi, something that a lot of other student-run startups can't afford to do.
When we started Vxt, Lucy and I were both working and studying so we didn't really have any free time outside of our responsibilities which was hard. That's not to say it can't be done, I definitely do not recommend it. It's super important to make time for socialising and relaxing. Being able to sit down and do nothing every once in a while is also great!
What encouragement would you give to others who are thinking or starting a business?
Do it, of course. Especially if you are a young student. It's easy to think that you'll have a better chance when you're more experienced and have money in the bank, but the truth is you'll likely have other responsibilities, like a family or a home that you might not be willing to risk. Why not start something now when you're already accustomed to living on a strict budget and little sleep.
In any case, you'll learn so many skills in the process that are applicable in a bunch of areas.
Check out Vxt’s website here for more information.