Canterbury Angel Investors Inc. is a registered society in New Zealand and is governed by a voluntary committee.

Paul Claridge - Chair

With over 30 years commercial experience, Paul has worked in senior management and executive roles in a range of business from start-ups to corporates across a variety of sectors including, tertiary education, logistics and processing,

business and economic development, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and in the IT sector in software and services delivery and sales. Areas of interest and expertise include business development and strategy, sales, operations,

building strategic partnerships and growing tech businesses. Paul is a business mentor to a range companies including advising companies in UC’s Entre $85k Challenge and CDC’s Hi-Growth Launch Programme.

Shane Wakelin - Treasurer

Shane is a Chartered Accountant and an experienced astute finance professional with experience in financial services, IT, startups and Insurance in the UK and New Zealand. 

Shane currently is  CFO for Receivables Management (NZ) Ltd and was a founding member of Canterbury Angels and has held the position of treasurer since its formation.

Michelle Polglase

Michelle Polglase has been a business owner, employer, and has worked in hi-growth global SaaS companies for the last decade. She's been through IPO's and M&As, and has extensive experience within the innovation ecosystem. As former Director of the Kiwi FinTech Accelerator, she is passionate about supporting founders through the commercialisation journey.

Geoff Brash

Geoff is the founder of GBJ Innovation. GBJ provides support to startup companies by supporting the startup ecosystem, providing direct one-on-one startup support, and operating startup ventures of its own. Prior to GBJ Geoff was a co-founder of SLI Systems and held positions of CFO, VP of Marketing, and VP of Business Intelligence. Under Geoff’s direction, SLI won the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards Marketer of the Year in 2005. SLI was listed on the NZX in 2013. Geoff is the Programme Director of the Christchurch Lightning Lab Programme, committee member and former Chair of Canterbury Software, Trustee of Ministry of Awesome, and Board member of Canterbury Angels.  Geoff holds an MBA from Massey University.

Ben Reid 

Ben Reid is Consulting Director at Memia Ltd, a technology industry advisory firm based in Christchurch. Ben has a professional background in software development, architecture and technology strategy.

Ben has been a longstanding committee member and former Chairman (2012-2013) of the Canterbury Software Cluster (now CanterburyTech), the regional industry body. He is also the co-author of the 2014 Flux Report covering the Canterbury tech sector (download from

Gary Jensen

Gary is passionate about scaling the New Zealand technology industry and is currently completing growth advisory services as Principle of his career, Gary has been active in leadership within the global technology community covering the journey from consumer and small business product revenue generation, innovative enterprise software creation and commercialisation through to mentoring CEOs.Formerly, Gary built and led the Enterprise Mobile R&D division of Telogis disrupting the US logistics and field services markets and was Board Chair of leading up to winning Best Hi-Tech Start-up Company of the Year 2013.

Joelle Grace


Joelle Grace is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer and is a partner at Lane Neave.  She advises businesses of all sizes on a wide range of matters including capital raising, commercial contracting, transaction structuring and business acquisitions and sales.  Joelle has a keen interest in the start up sector and assists both founders and investors to structure their entities and investments with the future in mind.  Joelle spent eight years working in Sydney, Australia, before returning to her hometown of Christchurch in 2015.

Richard Williams

Richard has over 30 years of experience in the geospatial technology field working in the UK, US and New Zealand.  He has a PhD in Computer Graphics from the University of Cambridge, and worked at Trimble from 1991 to 2016 in software engineering, product management, marketing and sales roles.  He is currently a director of TracPlus and a business mentor for Business Mentors NZ and for CDC’s Hi-Growth Launch Programme 2017.