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Multi-Million Dollar Angels Look for Smart NZ Co's

Media release

14 September 2006

Multi-Million Dollar Angels Look for Smart NZ Companies

Angel investment network ICE Angels is looking for up to 50 smart start-up companies to invest in over the next 5 years, amounting to over $10m in business funding with the support of the Government's recently-announced Seed Co-Investment Fund (SCIF).

Under the new SCIF programme, investments made by ICE Angels into companies will be matched up to $250,000 per investment.

It aims to enhance the development of angel investor networks and stimulate investment into start-ups as well as matching angel investors with new companies.

The ICE Angels, New Zealand's premier angel investing network with more than 55 'angel' investor members, has made four investments totalling $2.6m since its inception almost three years ago and is projecting to have at least 50 by 2011. Importantly, its investments have received venture capital investment as well as follow on funding.

It is believed to be the largest grouping of active investors in Australasia.

ICE Angels Chairman Trevor Smith says the business acumen that ICE Angels' investors can bring to a business carries as much weight as the funding itself, with the ICE Angel experience a well tested format.

"Feedback from business tells us that mentoring and external governance is critical to supporting growth and the funding, and it's something that is often overlooked in the rush to get the dollars in.

"ICE Angel investors, who will mentor the entrepreneur and sit on the Board of Directors, provide industry experience, global networks, corporate governance and knowledge, which accelerate the growth of the business," says Mr Smith.

ICE Angels include industry heavyweights like Aki von Roy, former President of Bristol Myers Squibb in Europe, David Evans former senior executive in Canada's largest research organisation and Duncan Ledwith, a senior executive with Microsoft in Europe, as well as international angel and VC linkages.

According to ICE Angels CEO, Mike Murphy, this additional funding, allocated through the government's SCIF programme, illustrates a growing awareness of the growth potential locked into New Zealand's innovative start-ups.

"We are now in a highly active mode looking for New Zealand's smartest young companies," he says. "Whilst ICE Angels' previous investments have been into companies associated with the ICEHOUSE incubator, we are broadening our horizons with close working relationships with other angel networks in the country to help identify potential investment-ready companies."


Notes to editors: ICE Angels

* The ICE Angels is an angel investor network founded in Auckland by the ICEHOUSE.

* It is a collective of private investors who have banded together to increase their 'deal flow' (the number of investment opportunities they see).

* Potential deals must meet a strict criteria for investment to be considered by the ICE Angels, and undergo a thorough due diligence process prior to investment.

* Members are experienced entrepreneurs and business people who take an active interest in the management of investee companies.

* ICE Angels is not a venture capital fund, but does have venture capitalists as affiliate members.

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