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News from the Angel Association of New Zealand

News from the Angel Association of New Zealand

Upskiling: Increasing NZ angel capability

Networks around the country held a variety of up-skilling and connection events including highly recommended learning-by-doing lead investor workshops.

Our annual Angel Association Summit 2014 saw over 140 Angels come together to share knowledge and build relationships. The Summit welcomed eight international guests including John Huston and Catherine Mott, Jim Connor from the United States and Tom McKaskill from Australia. Look out for the launch of some short video compilations of highlights on our website very soon.

This year also saw us begin work where we hope to partner with the IoD to create some accredit-able training and resources for early-stage and startup board members. The first 'Innovation Boards' workshop was held at Ice House in December.

The AANZ's lead partner NZVIF has been working on a set of baseplate term sheets and other investment documents which we also look forward to adding to the “Resources" section of 2015. You can check out the revised termsheet right now here.

More Angels: All over New Zealand

This year saw our Angel throng grow from around 368 accredited investor members in our networks in 2012 to around the country to over 700 by the end of this year. As I mentioned above, this means are are meaningfully increasing the capacity of our community to support more innovative New Zealand startup and early stage companies to grow and succeed.

A quick roundup of the highlights includes Invercargill's angel presence began to grow and was helped along with the interest created by the town’s first Startup Weekend. In Hamilton a new chapter of Enterprise Angels was created with support from SoDA and the region’s own well supported startup event, Innes48.

Arc Angels launched in Auckland at the end of 2013 now has 35 members who have collectively invested almost $1m into startup companies in 2014.

A small room of prospective investors got together in Whangarei with a local start-up looking for funding and we look forward to the establishment of “Angels of the North” next year.

In Christchurch good progress was made to establish a conventional angel network to compliment the investment support and opportunities PowerHouse provide from their hub there. PowerHouse have done great work expanding their work into Dunedin and Wellington this year and have big plans for next year.

AANZ Chair Marcel van den Assum visited Nelson and came away enthused about plans the members of Venture Accelerator have to reinvigorate their angel network.

Angel HQ, Ice Angels, Enterprise Angels and other established networks and funds have of course also welcomed many new members.

International Connectivity: 2014 / 2015

AANZ council members and other lead angels have attended international conferences this year to bring back connections and learnings. Reports from both the American Angel Capital Association (ACA) conference in March and the Asian Business Angel Forum (ABAF) in Hong Kong in May are available and will be profiled on our website in 2015.

In 2015 we look forward to welcoming the ABAF event to New Zealand, October 15-16 in Queenstown. We expect up to 60 international visitors and all of you to be there!

Economic Impact: Data and Alignment

To improve visibility and support for the work Angels do, the first stage of a project to collect and collate angel industry data on an ongoing basis has been completed. It will also illustrate the fragility of the industry and leverage angel investors provide in terms of capital, market channels, governance and job creation.

The aim of this work is to enable us to better evidence the role angel investment is playing in economic development, to help AANZ work even closer with government agencies who encourage and work alongside kiwi founders and angels to make innovative ideas grow into commercial successes.

This data, along with meetings and events held this year and set to continue into the new year will help to:
o Ensure alignment of effort in the innovation eco-system;
o Raise awareness of complimentary initiatives in the innovation eco-system;
o Improve policy advice provision;
o Promote the role of early stage investment in economic growth.

And finally...

And finally, a look at 2014 would not be completed without a shout out to all who were involved in the successful growth and exit of GreenButton to Microsoft this year. A project is underway to collect the highlights and tell the story of this, New Zealand's largest exit to date. Every founder and every company is different however it is our aspiration that launching the 'GreenButton story' will be an inspiration to angel backed companies in 2015.


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