This week, we are joining the crew from Kiwi Connect in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week by highlighting a #NewFace! The #NewFace hashtag is about showcasing young entrepreneurs, so we sat down with Amelia Gain from Preno to talk about the what and why of her business, the status of the NZ startup eco-system and advice she wish she had back when she started her business... 

 NAME: Amelia Gain AGE: 28
COMPANY: Preno

What is your business? Give us the elevator pitch.
80% of smaller accommodation operators have said that lack of time is their greatest challenge in running their property. At Preno we are familiar with the daily struggles of running an operation that is 24/7, which is why we have developed the next generation of reservation management software for boutique properties.

Using our tool, it’s quick and easy to reference guest profiles and offer guest more personalised service. Preno also streamlines the daily administration tasks giving owners and operators around significant amount of time every day.

If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and have 15min with your former self to communicate any lessons you've acquired, what advice would you give yourself?
15mins wouldn't been enough! Our startup is still early stage and we have learnt so much since then.

One point would be talking to more users. I gain so much from talking to operators of B&Bs or Hotels, but in the early days I didn't do this enough. At that stage we were too focused on having a more complete product.

Knowing that back then, it would have saved us a lot of time and effort.

List 3 qualities that you believe are essential to the character of an entrepreneur.
Be willing to learn everyday

Be able to take advice

Be resilient 

How does your job now compare to childhood dreams? Did you expect to be running your own company?
I didn't think about running my own company until after University, but following this I really put my mind to it. I had many inspirational people around me at the time that helped make the dream a reality. In 2010, my sister and I started our first company running a luxury boutique hotel, The Spire Hotel. We were so passionate about offering the best service and the most unique experiences to our guests, that this became the inspiration for Preno.

I have never started or operated a business on my own, in both instances I have always had incredible business partners and talented people to work with.

How do you feel about the startup ecosystem in New Zealand? Where do we excel and where do we need to strengthen?
I can not speak on NZ as a whole, but from what I have experienced in Auckland and Christchurch, it’s fantastic. It’s an environment that is incredibly supportive, inspiring and provides you with access to an incredible network of talented individuals. My Co-founder (Max Podolian) and I are hugely thankful for the help and support we have received from so many amazing people.

I have no comment on what areas need to be strengthened, as our experience within the ecosystem has exceeded all expectations. 

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