Last week, I returned to Texas after an almost three-year stint running acceleration programs in New Zealand. It’s impossible to distill my overseas adventure into a handful of descriptors, but I’ll “give it a go” as is often said in that part of the world: inspirational, eye-opening, insightful, failure-prone, educational, transformational. (Much like the journey of a startup, actually.)
With Lightning Lab Manufacturing (which resulted in the creation of 1st Assembly), two R9 Accelerator programs, Disrupt (Fonterra’s internal accelerator) and many other projects and endeavors, I honed my skills on how best to deliver value and faced many challenges — the distinct pains of growing hardware companies, the complex politics of working with (and across) government agencies, counseling co-founders through profound disagreements (and breakups), and the limits of my own resilience to name a few.
I learned more about my strengths. I learned more about my weaknesses.
If left to my own devices (and considering the state of the country and current political climate), I’m not sure that I would have returned to the US of A. However, with ongoing family issues, we decided it’s best to be close to family in Texas (perhaps the silver lining of this change).
In the meantime, I’m on the hunt for new opportunities and interesting work in Austin.
The path ahead will no doubt be a different one, but I’m up for the challenge to begin anew in the very special city that was my home for over 20 years.
Iterate. Adapt. Onward through uncharted waters.