The Angel Association New Zealand (AANZ) held its 13th annual summit at Hunting Lodge on the outskirts of Auckland in the lovely green rolling hills last week. Several members from Canterbury Angels were among the 160 in attendance. This year the focus was ‘How to be the best angel you can be’. The format for the two days was a good mixture of presentations, discussions and time to meet others who are passionate about angel investment.

Day one started with Ian Taylor from Animation Research who talked to us about his company who make the graphic overlays to help us all understand what’s happening in things like America’s cup, cricket, golf etc. Covid hit them hard but with some changes it allowed them to keep the entire workforce.

Bernard Hickey’s chat on early stage companies and their role in economic prosperity was very interesting and as usual he delivered it in a fun, captive way.  ‘NZ is looking like the best horse in the knackers yard’.

Some key points from day one included:

  • COVID has made us more adaptable and agile than ever before.
  • The economy in NZ will be rebuilt on tech/ICT.
  • We need to improve founder/investor relationships.
  • More talent is needed with access to NZ residency.
  • Angel investment is tracking to similar levels as 2019.
  • Globalisation and disruption of the service industry is needed, especially health sector.

The ‘fireside chat’ with Sir Stephen Tindall and his son Robbie was excellent on day two, speaking from their own experience and despite huge success they came across as very humble and down to earth people.

Some of their key must have’s in a company:

  • Scalability, great teams, people you want to spend time and work with.
  • How do the founders respond when things get tough?
  • Get the people side right and the rest will (often) follow.
  • In the last 10 years Angel Investing has changed significantly.

Some other takeaway nuggets of advice from VCs to Angels were:

  • Lead by example
  • Show the results
  • Exit plan
  • Be around more
  • Work together with VCs

To be the best Angel group that we can be we need to live up to the idea that it takes a village.

Ian Bishop from Mentemia spoke around founder mental health and some of the results were surprising – Entrepreneurs are 50% more likely to report mental health conditions:

  • 10x suffer from bi-polar disorder
  • 6x suffer from ADHD
  • 3x suffer from substance abuse
  • 2x have suicidal thoughts
  • 2x suffer from depression
  • 2x have psychiatric hospitalisation

The summit concluded with award presentations and the winner of the Arch Angel Award was Serge van Dam. Serge is an experienced high-tech company founder, director and investor. He loves globally-minded Kiwi software companies and is actively engaged with companies such as Montoux, Landlord Studio, Wiptser, Common Ledger, Tourwriter, Raygun and CoGo and is an exited investor in Publons and IMeasureU. The recipient of the Kotahitanga Award is one of Avid.legal’s founding partners, Bruno Bordignon. The Puawaitanga Award has been presented to FileInvite CEO James Sampson and investor-director chair, Flying Kiwi Angels’ Garth Hinton. See more here.

Gabby Addington
CA Operations Manager

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