Spark Lab Pivot Reports Episode 2

In this episode of the Spark Lab Pivot Reports, Russell Brown chats with CEO of Soul Machines, Greg Cross, and Chief Activator of COIN South, Lou Evans.

Within days of lockdown, Soul Machines used their expertise in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create Bella, a friendly virtual assistant to answer those scary COVID-19 questions.

Meanwhile in the deep south, Invercargill-based COIN South has been helping local businesses establish their presence online with its "Digital Army" of volunteers. Learn more about COIN

Soul Machines & COIN South also helped coordinate Hack the Crisis, a hackathon that brought together young innovators to solve pandemic-related problems.

Visit the Hack the Crisis NZ website

During this global crisis, we’ve seen how important it is to stay connected, from video calls for work and catching up with friends and family, to getting kids learning online. But how else has the tech sector swung into action, and what can small business owners learn from it?

Here's a recap of the livestream from Russell Brown, Lou Evans and Greg Cross:

Digital doesn't have to be hard.

There are a lot of options out there to help small-medium enterprises get online. You don't necessarily need a high-tech or expensive website. Just find something that does the job and lets you get started on building your digital presence. It can be a simple website or even just a Google My Business listing.

Learn more about Google My Business

Equal access, from anywhere.

Innovation can happen anywhere. Being remote or rural doesn’t mean you need to be disconnected from resources. With so much available online, you can access experts and share information to anywhere else in the world. Take advantage of free resources designed to help businesses cope with the crisis.

Collaborate across the country.

Teamwork can happen remotely using the various online tools out there. Your location doesn’t have to stop your business from exploring new markets or building ideas across different regions.

Get uncomfortable.

Push yourself to do things differently. Go outside the usual channels to reach new audiences in new ways. Consider new ways of working, based on what you’ve learned from working remotely during the COVID-19 alert levels. That could be shrinking your office space, or using online tools to bring your team together.

Tech innovation brings many positives, and the learnings of life during lockdown keep revealing even more potential for the post-lockdown world.

Join us again for the next episode where we begin to explore the world of entertainment and music.