Nicole Retter – PAM

Nicole Retter – PAM


February 12, 2024

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Sharing the load with Nicole Retter

Meet Nicole Retter, the visionary mastermind behind PAM (Personal Admin Manager), a groundbreaking app revolutionising the lives of working parents. Based in Wellington with over 20 years of experience in marketing and brand management, Nicole’s entrepreneurial journey is a testament to turning challenges into opportunities.

Nicole’s journey began during a leadership team retreat at a digital agency. Tasked with envisioning a business unrelated to their agency, Nicole pondered her skills and identified a critical gap—support for working mothers. The result? PAM, an app designed to streamline and share the responsibilities of juggling work, family, and home life.

Nicole Retter - Marketing Guru“It’s the strain and overwhelm on them (working mothers/ parents) in terms of juggling work and family and home life, and how I could create a tool that made everything more visible and give that same kind of village support that we had in past generations” says Nicole.

Despite a brilliant vision, Nicole faced the challenge of translating PAM into a feasible startup without a bottomless budget. The real magic? Scaling down the app’s grand design into something that provided great value without breaking the bank. While Nicole brought considerable business experience to the table, there were still gaps to fill. HTK Startup provided crucial support, connecting Nicole with a Digital Architect. The weekly check-ins ensured accountability, helping Nicole navigate the intricacies of startup life.

“The biggest challenge was going, how do I peal this back to be the absolute smallest nugget of gold that gives people enough benefit and value, but that I can build in a feasible way that isn’t going to cost the earth? It took a lot of consideration, refining, experimentation, and focus groups to see if what I was looking at was going to be valuable. We are just at the testing stage now, which is exciting.” Nicole explains.

One the most valuable lessons came from Head of Startups Jacob Varghese, in the art of slowing down. In a world where speed often takes precedence, Jacob emphasized the importance of careful consideration. This approach allowed Nicole to make informed decisions, dodging landmines, especially in selecting the right digital partner for PAM.

“Slowing down for me, sounds counterintuitive, because I am a go a hundred miles an hour, all guns blazing kind of person, especially when I’m passionate and excited and have a limited window of time. It was helpful to slow down. Taking the time to find the right digital partner to build my app was probably one of the biggest and best decisions I had to make.” says Nicole.

HTK Startup helped Nicole avoid potential pitfalls saving valuable time and resources. Choosing the right path led Nicole’s journey to partner with Paperkite, one of New Zealand’s top agencies, known for its values and integrity. This strategic alliance brought her vision of PAM to life, highlighting the immense value of aligning with partners who share the same passion and integrity.

“It took me six months to find the absolute right fit. And I could not be happier where I have ended up. PaperKite found a way to deliver on it quickly and in a way that I can afford as a bootstrapped startup,” Nicole expresses on her LinkedIn profile.

From conceptualization to partnership, Nicole’s story resonates with aspiring founders, demonstrating that the right support can turn even the grandest visions into reality, and a testament to her perseverance, resilience, and the collaboration with HTK Startup making better-informed decisions to suit her startup.

Sign up to the testing stage of Nicole’s inspirational startup PAM to It’s so popular there is a waitlist.

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