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WHAT UP ENTREPRENEURS!

Luna is a new concept paving the way for the Australian startup scene.

Luna is a full service startup hub offering legal, accounting, education and more tailored specifically to startups and social enterprises who are keen on doing things a little bit differently.

Founded by Ronen Heine who operated for a number of years under the #CorporateAdvice banner has re-branded, re-fresh’d and is elevating his company and everyone around him.

Check out the vlog, Ronen is a star and i’m super proud to have him in our Richmond community & building.

Enjoy 🙂

Transcript

Ronen Heine: Tobi?

Tobi Skovron: Yo.

Ronen Heine: I’ve got something I want to tell you.

Tobi Skovron: Oh, really?

Ronen Heine: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: Let’s get into it.

Tobi Skovron: It’s been a minute. It’s been a minute.

Ronen Heine: Yeah. It’s been a minute.

Tobi Skovron: About a 12-month minute.

Ronen Heine: Yeah. More than a minute.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, so I’ll actually link … 12 months ago you and I sat here in this very room, I think we were in reverse, talking about our startups and the landscape of the space, or the ecosystem.

Ronen Heine: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: I’ll link that in the below. But 12 months ago, you’ve always been known as Ronan Heine, But 12 months ago, commercially, you were known as #CorporateAdvice.

Ronen Heine: Yes.

Tobi Skovron: And a week ago? Two weeks ago?

Ronen Heine: A week ago, we rebranded. It took about a year from, “Hey, we need a rebrand,” to actually getting it up, but we rebranded and realigned ourselves. External rebranding, but branding and logo is only one part of a brand. That’s what people see. Then there’s the whole bit that people don’t see that’s realigning the team on vision and who we are and what we stand for, which has all been part of it as well.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, so formally #CorporateAdvice, currently …

Ronen Heine: Luna.

Tobi Skovron: Luna.

Ronen Heine: Startup Studio.

Tobi Skovron: The Startup Studio or just-

Ronen Heine: Luna Startup Studio.

Tobi Skovron: So talk to me about obviously brand, very different name very different call to action, in terms of we’re not going to the Corporate Advice website anymore. We’re going to weareluna.co. Has the mission changed? Or have you just created clarity around what was, to now, what is?

Ronen Heine: It’s a really good question. Someone actually asked me this, this morning. So, the mission hasn’t change. The mission’s been the same from day one, helping entrepreneurs launch and grow businesses.

Tobi Skovron: Right.

Ronen Heine: I guess our way of doing that, and sort of taking steps towards the mission, has changed a lot.

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: The mission’s the same. It always has been that from the start.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: How we do it is constantly changing because it’s more based upon the needs of entrepreneurs and what services we can offer them-

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: Rather than what we want to do.

Tobi Skovron: Okay. So you’ve really, I guess from the branding exercise, created more clarity around who you guys are, from an identity perspective?

Ronen Heine: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: What else has changed?

Ronen Heine: So, our branding wasn’t working for us. So we actually ran a rebranding exercise, where we went out onto the streets, handed out our business cards, and asked people on the streets … people who have no idea who we are, what they thought we do. And we work in start-ups. We’re helping start-ups launch and grow their businesses, you know, dynamic, young, innovative people. And we’re walking around the streets and people are reading a card that says #CorporateAdvice. They don’t even see the hashtag. They look at Corporate Advice and they think we’re providing consulting services to corporates or some sort of corporate advisory, investment-y type of service. They were thinking old gray-haired dudes in suites in a formal office. Here we are.

Tobi Skovron: I was gonna say, couldn’t be further, furthest from the gray hair. You know, full office.

Ronen Heine: Exactly. So that was completely off. What we had to do, in order to restart that, or actually develop a new brand, was do some self-reflection first.

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: And it’s not just about creating something that looks good. So, we first went on a process on trying to identify who we are.

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: Whether that is some really cool exercises around if we had to be a city, or a type of drink, or all that stuff.

Tobi Skovron: Or another planet.

Ronen Heine: Or a planet or just describing the type of business you are in a person.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: So we did all that and it was really great for the team, because we really aligned on who we are and what we want to be.

Tobi Skovron: Mm-hmm.

Ronen Heine: And that sort of set the strategy for the brand. And then, from that, we’ve been able to do our own internal strategy, in terms of what types of services we want to build, what types of new projects we want to take on. And because we had done that alignment piece on internally who we are-

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: We could do those other things really well.

Tobi Skovron: Very cool, so, we house a lot of start-ups. I’m personally, obviously, very deeply entrenched in the start-up ecosystem. Every second, or even every first start-up that I speak to has either had some sort of engagement with you guys, had some engagement with you guys, is currently engaged with you guys. So you cover pretty much everyone in the ecosystem. Talk to me about … or talk to the audience about, sort of like the depth of service in the studio. I understand like, historically it was sort of legal, accounting, some venture funding, what other services have been added?

Ronen Heine: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: Or have I missed?

Ronen Heine: So, we started off by virtue of my background, predominantly legal and little bits of accounting.

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: So that’s where we started off. And then we started to add on all these entrepreneurs that you speak of, start to come to us, and some say, “Hey, doing great job on legal, so who can help us out on accounting, who’s just like you?” So then we start to bring in accountants. And then we would work with them, you know, when they’re just at the idea phase, and we started to realize that they’re actually, they’re pretty good, and maybe the worlds not seen them yet, or they’re having a hard time getting out of the job into this full-time. But, we can tell they’re really good, because we’ve worked with them for three to six months already. So, how can we give them little bits of funding?

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: To get them moving a little bit quicker. Sometimes that’s even moving to a failure. How can they get in and fail a couple of times, quicker, so that they can learn and get ahead. That’s where we started to connect with funding. It started off with connecting to angels, and having an angel group.

Tobi Skovron: Mm-hmm.

Ronen Heine: Now moving towards our little venture offering, and then probably the newest thing to happen this year was … we’re doing this great work on legal, accounting, connections with capital. But we find ourselves in unique position that we get lots of interactions with founders and we want to help them develop their business. That’s our mission, or to launch and grow businesses, not just provide ad hoc services where we can. So, we started to put together a founder education offering.

Tobi Skovron: Great. And that’s what we’ve been running here out of CreativeCubes. Kind of once a month, we firmly believe that there’s no point educating founder one-on-one, because even when you run an education program, you bring in an expert, and it’s amazing, but, it’s the connection to other founders in the room-

Ronen Heine: Totally.

Tobi Skovron: That really, really benefits them. So, it’s quite amazing, you run a session on maybe, you know, building a high performance team with an absolute guru, someone who you couldn’t get two hours with-

Ronen Heine: Yep.

Tobi Skovron: And that’s great, but it’s the connections made between the founders-

Ronen Heine: Totally.

Tobi Skovron: That form those bonds, and help them the most. So, we’re running that.

Ronen Heine: I love it. Yeah, I love it. I spent the last three days in a business school, doing something very similar with [Westpac 00:07:26] as a corporate, trying to understand the ecosystem and [inaudible 00:07:30] reserve, and I think that those sorts of sessions … I come away from that the past three days with such clarity on the next step.

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: So, that’s really impactful for a founder or an entrepreneur. Maybe in particular a solo entrepreneur. They just want to be around like minded people. I think, you know, CreativeCube’s can offer a certain platform, but then it’s that deep dive with experts in your suite of team.

Tobi Skovron: Yep.

Ronen Heine: That helps a lot of people thrive. So then they’re being, proving to be relatively successful?

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, I mean, like you know, whenever you start a new project-

Ronen Heine: Of course.

Tobi Skovron: You put something out there, you know, our first iteration of it was a concept called Just in Time Education. We were trying to look at ways that, how could we provide education to founders, just when they need it? There’s lots of info out there. There’s lots of programs, accelerator, incubators, events. But, because we were interacting with founders monthly, we could work out their pain points-

Ronen Heine: Yep.

Tobi Skovron: There and then. So, we at the start, tried to go with this concept with Just in Time, as in, when we see a common need, let’s throw education Just in Time for the need. There’s no point running an investment session, if you’re not looking for investment-

Ronen Heine: Totally there.

Tobi Skovron: When you’re too months away and you’re looking for it, that’s a great time to run it.

Ronen Heine: Perfect.

Tobi Skovron: So that was the idea. Putting it all together, time-wise, proved to be hard.

Ronen Heine: Well, it’s no different to the styles that you’re serving, right?

Tobi Skovron: Exactly.

Ronen Heine: Is a way to throw yourself out there, in fact, I’m doing a year in review right now, for the companies that I involve with, whether it’s, you know, CreativeCubes or Wag, or whoever. Just to sort of like reflect back on, “Hey, it felt like a shit-show, but we actually created some really big things.”

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: So, I think that’s really, really important.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah. So, we’ve kind of done year one, we’ve run about 20 or so sessions. Most of them here at Cubes. Some at other accelerators and universities, and whatnot as well.

Ronen Heine: Yep.

Tobi Skovron: And now were kind of exactly going through with that, evaluating what worked, what didn’t work, whether we had more impact, where do we not have such great impact?

Ronen Heine: Amazing.

Tobi Skovron: And so we’ll be rolling out a new program for the next year.

Ronen Heine: So you guys have been established for a relative amount of time, but you are still going through that start-up-

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: Working it out. You know, we’re a start-up that supports a bunch of start-ups as well. You know, very different.

Tobi Skovron: Start-up, start-up.

Ronen Heine: Yeah, so the start-ups that support the start-ups right here, that’s really cool. What else is on the horizon in terms of, I mean, if there’s stuff that’s under-wraps, keep it off limits, but …

Tobi Skovron: That’s really, for us, that’s the main thing. How can we … So, we’ve got two things. Something about, we have been going for about three years now, and totally underestimated how hard it is actually to get a business, your own business, up and running. Which got us great empathy actually for what, out there, others are going through.

Ronen Heine: I know. I think that’s … I don’t think we should just glance over that. That’s a huge double-click right there, in terms of, a lot of people engage people that really don’t understand.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: What you’ve got here in your suite and team, offering is, you guys have walked the path.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: So you can actually execute, not only from a intellect perspective, or from a service offering perspective, but actually from an empathetic position as well.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: Because you’re currently doing it, or have done it over the last three years.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah.

Ronen Heine: Helpful stuff, man. It really is. And I think that that’s sometimes overlooked.

Tobi Skovron: Yeah, I think, yeah, I agree with you. That’s where we get most our wounds. We practice on ourselves.

Ronen Heine: Sure.

Tobi Skovron: And then take twice upon what are failures as well, basically.

Ronen Heine: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: But yeah. For sure.

Ronen Heine: And 2019?

Tobi Skovron: Oh, so 2019. Really sort of doubling down on what we’re doing now. So, new team members have joined late in the year, which means we’ve got more experts to support start-ups. Because we’ve been around for three years, some of those start-ups we started with early on, you know, got through year one. And they made it through year two and then all of this, like, how do you keep up with them. So, we’re kind of doubling down on what we’re doing-

Ronen Heine: Great.

Tobi Skovron: Support the start-ups we’re currently working with even more.

Ronen Heine: Yeah.

Tobi Skovron: We’re hell bent on trying to get more Aussie big hero success stories, and we think we’ve got a couple of them, so we just want to double down on that. So that’s probably our first focus.

Ronen Heine: Yep.

Tobi Skovron: And then it’s really taking the stuff we did on the education and venture front and trying to open that up to more people.

Ronen Heine: Okay.

Tobi Skovron: In different shapes or forms. So, online education component is something we’re looking at.

Ronen Heine: Yep.

Tobi Skovron: Should be a cool project. More in the finance, more in the accounting, more in the legal.

Ronen Heine: Awesome. So, new website. Weareluna.co.

Tobi Skovron: That’s it.

Ronen Heine: I actually really enjoy watching your stories.

Tobi Skovron: Yes.

Ronen Heine: Luna_startup.

Tobi Skovron: Startups, yeah.

Ronen Heine: Startups. Because I see you around the ecosystem, I have honestly see you here quite a bit, and the majority of your team here more often than you. But that’s alright, you’re out there hustling. I really enjoy the stories. Because I see the interaction that you’re having. I really like the personal touch that you guys have applied to your social as well. You make it very real, very candid. So, I will link all of the connections, all of the handles, in the description. I think it sits above. It sits below on YouTube. It sits above on my Vlog. Ronan Heine, everyone. See you soon.

Tobi Skovron

Author Tobi Skovron

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