2Shakes formed in 2016 wanting to find another way for Government to solve its problems, using Lean Startup and customer centred design. 2Shakes is a cloud-based client on-boarding service for practices ranging from bookkeepers, accountants, tax agents, financial advisers and more. By automating paperwork, 2Shakes aims to reduce companies’ client sign up processes from 1-2 hours to about 5 minutes.

We caught up with 2Shakes, to get up-to-speed with their journey since leaving the R9 accelerator.

How did the accelerator help you?

R9 has been huge in helping us build enough trust to work with government. Being part of the accelerator helped us to get funding from Government departments. The fact that we were funded by the organisation we were working with was an incredibly important point to get across. Many objections and concerns about transparency and the ability to work with us were removed when we were able to point out that we had been funded by that agency to do the work. Hence it was OK to work with us and support us.

What role has collaboration played in your journey?

We think it’s incredibly important to share and be generous. We share everything we can. We help in any way we can. We are generous with our time, IP, and our learnings. We believe we are part of a bigger solution and that we can’t solve it all ourselves. So we are trying to create a movement – to shine a light on a systemic problem, and model how it can be solved to help NZ and the international community work better using good value useful solutions.

When we share, we hope that it will take root, and we know that what you put out there comes back and helps you too! Don’t keep your ideas secret, thinking that it is the IP that will make you successful. Share.

What have you been up to since leaving R9?

After completing the R9 accelerator, we joined the post-accelerator incubation programme at Creative HQ to focus on getting traction and clients. We launched 2Shakes on the Blockchain and started to explore how our tech can be used for different government processes. Late 2017 we became a Xero Connected App, and started to attract international clients through the Xero Marketplace. To help with new legislation affecting our clients, we have recently finished an extension to our software to do Anti Money Laundering Customer Due Diligence checks on clients as well.

What were the critical factors to 2Shakes’ success? Any learnings you can share with us?
  • Do something that’s recognised & solve a real problem in a new way, based on good research.
  • Don’t spook the horses! Ensure that what you are doing cannot breach privacy or security.
  • Focus on value for the customer and the taxpayer. We are open and transparent about what we are solving, and the value we create for our customers. There is no hidden agenda or other reason for what we do.
  • Fit in – bespoke to fit each government agency. We realised early on that we could not rely on large agencies, with all their constraints, fitting in with us. If we were to be successful, we needed to fit in to each agency’s unique situation, knowing that over time and with sufficient evidence they could move toward us too.
What advice would you give to Lightning Lab GovTech’s teams?

Our top 3 suggestions to make successful GovTech teams are:

1.     Teams must understand Government. A GovTech startup straddles the private and public sectors. It straddles customer behaviour and organisations’ business processes. It needs to understand all these worlds. The biggest challenge for most GovTech startups is in understanding NZ government’s culture, drivers and mechanisms to get a result.

2.     Look after your community. GovTech startups need support – lots of support and help to keep going. This support needs to be financial, as well as moral support.

3.     Dig deep, don’t give up. What is hard to convey is the constant pressure you are under in a startup. The level of personal sacrifice needed to create and keep a startup alive is huge! There is no safety net. There is no guidance on what to do and with every step there is no guarantee you will be successful.

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R9 Accelerator
Effortless onboarding automation.