October Investor Evening

October Investor Evening
Join us for our inaugural online event

Tuesday 19th October –  5:30pm – 7pm
Venue: Zoom online
It is looking increasingly unlikely that we will be able to hold our October Investor Evening in person so we’re going online for this inaugural event. You will need to provide your own drinks and nibbles this time so make sure you have the pantry and fridge well stocked!! Register here.

Please save this Zoom link into your calendar.

We thank you for your understanding during these unprecedented times and cannot wait to finally get the chance to once again showcase the thriving start-up community that exists in Ōtautahi.

If we can hold the event in person due to level changes, it will be hosted by Lane Neave as originally planned, and we will communicate any changes as soon as they are confirmed.

Check out our exciting line up:

Swallowing Technologies Ltd was incorporated in April 2021, a spin-out company from the University of Canterbury Rose Centre for Stroke Recovery and Research. Our mission is the development of innovative technologies that enable increased and equitable access to rehabilitation following neurological injury, benefitting patients through improved health outcomes, quality of life and community integration, and benefitting the community through reduced healthcare costs.

Ambit‘s AI-powered chatbots deliver automated customer service at scale to help your business maximise revenue, reduce costs and better engage customers.

Viewpoint Medical have developed a portable and contactless vein-viewing device that identifies hard-to-locate veins. Their aim is to increase the rate of first-time cannula insertions.

Amy is one of CA’s portfolio companies and is currently raising again so we’re looking forward to an update from them. Amy is an AI-based private tutor for math that makes learning math easy for everyone. She does this by giving students feedback and automatically filling their knowledge gaps as they learn.
Filed under: Events

Creative HQ Investment Night – 23 September 2021

Creative HQ Startups is hosting its first virtual investment night. The first of what will become a regular event in our calendars.

Hear from a range of founders who are currently in our Climate Response Accelerator Programme and our Incubation Programme. The full list to be shared soon. These teams are at a range of stages and will be pitching for bridge, pre-seed and seed funding. For some of these startups it’s their first time raising capital and you’ll have the opportunity to “get in first”.

Previous companies from our accelerator demo days include Sharesies, HnryTapi, First AML & Dexibit.

For more information about the evening and to RSVP please follow this link.
Filed under: Events

September Newsletter

Kia ora,

Here we go again. Covid is disrupting our lives and businesses. It’s beginning to seem like the new normal.

Notwithstanding this, locally and internationally the tech start-up world is going gangbusters with unprecedented levels of investment.

As part of this, the new investment trend that has emerged is for VCs to now be engaging with companies at the seed stage, effectively competing with Angel investors.

To respond to this Angel groups like ours need to engage early and effectively around our areas of strengths – we’re local, we interested in their development and are prepared to help. A strength we need to add is to be more nimble in our dealings with start-ups. Sometimes it can take many months to get a deal over the line leading to frustration and some start-ups looking for other options.

Having more resources with Matt Wiles on board helps, so too will all of us being nimble in our approach to investing and being prepared to get involved in helping the companies we invest in.

As you will be aware we are wrestling with Covid to land our AGM and next pitch evening. We hope to host these events live in the last week in September otherwise virtual events will be held. More on this in the coming days.

Ngā mihi

Paul Claridge

Interesting Stuff

These two articles provide useful insight into the future of work and the value that Angel Investors can add over and above a financial commitment.

Dealflow & Investments

It’s been a busy few months with an excellent pipeline of founders hoping to pitch for investment. This shows the health of the startup ecosystem both here in Christchurch and across New Zealand and also makes deciding who can get a slot at each event even harder.

While we have had to delay the September Investor Evening, recent events have led to plenty of interest by CA members. These include:

  Icehouse’s latest fund

 Triathlon officiating technology

Plus, our investment in Happy Moose is nearly done and dusted so great to get that over the line, and we can’t wait to see the results that Alex and the team achieve.


Our September Investor evening was unfortunately impacted by the recent COVID lockdown and the uncertainty that this brings, but we are hopeful that we can reschedule for a date later in the month. Watch this space for updates plus we are also looking for ways to optimise a virtual Investor Evening to ensure that we are future-proofed against any further lockdowns and still enable founders to pitch for investment.

On the topic of virtual pitch nights, Icehouse held their most recent showcase at the end of August. This was supposed to be an in-person event but had to be adapted to be a virtual one. Anyone who attended will no doubt be as impressed as we were as to how smoothly it went while also seeing some amazing pitches by eleven amazing founders. If you didn’t manage to make it you can check out how it went here.

Electrify Aotearoa – Unfortunately and after much consideration due to the unfolding impact of COVID the decision has been made to reschedule Electrify Aotearoa to a full in-person event on Thursday 17 February 2022 at the same venue – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch. We are looking forward to an amazing event next year and can’t wait to be there in person for the full experience!

CA are proudly supported by:

Filed under: News

Electrify Aotearoa – Postponement

Unfortunately and after much consideration due to the unfolding impact of COVID the decision has been made to reschedule Electrify Aotearoa to a full in-person event on Thursday 17 February 2022 at the same venue – Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch.

Full details are available at www.electrifyaotearoa.co.nz

We are looking forward to an amazing event next year and can’t wait to be there in person for the full experience!

Filed under: General

Electrify Aotearoa announced, a rallying call for women startup founders


The all-day October 14 Christchurch conference will feature several of NZ’s top women
founders to inspire and connect with the next generation of women-led startups.

July 26, Christchurch: Women will start, shape, and build the future of Aotearoa industry, but
change needs to come faster.

That’s the rallying call for Electrify Aotearoa, an all-day national conference taking place in
Christchurch, October 14. Spearheaded by Ministry of Awesome and Blackbird Ventures, the
event brings together Aotearoa’s leading founders, aspiring entrepreneurs, and early-stage
startups for a day of inspiration, strategy, and connection.

“Many of our country’s most important high growth startups are woman led and we need many
more women to follow suit to ensure our country’s future success and leadership on a global
stage. Electrify Aotearoa is designed to send an electric shock through the startup community
and get more of our inspiring wahine turning their big ideas into world changing companies,”
said Marian Johnson, CEO of Ministry of Awesome, and organiser of the Electrify Aotearoa

Globally, women only represent one in every four startup founders, despite research showing
women-led startups are more capital-efficient, achieve 35% higher return on investment, and,
when venture-backed, bring in 12% higher revenue than male-owned tech companies.
“We’re partnering with the Ministry of Awesome to encourage more ambitious Kiwi women to
take the leap into startups. By showcasing women founders and operators at different stages of
their journey, we are hoping to inspire others with tales of courage and triumph,” said Samantha
Wong, General Partner at Blackbird Ventures.

Electrify Aotearoa will help establish a foundational network for women entrepreneurs, New
Zealand’s top investors and venture capital companies, and the nation’s most successful
women entrepreneurs. This network will help them form a pathway for more women founders to
activate and succeed with a powerful community supporting them.

The conference will involve keynotes and masterclasses led by mavens of the tech industry
including Sharesies’ Brooke Roberts, Yabble’s Kathryn Topp, Outset DeepTech’s Imche Fourie,
and Theresa Gattung,NZ Lead for SheEO, and Chair of Women in Entrepreneurship at the
University of Auckland Business School. Together they will share personal stories, showcase
vulnerability during challenging times and roadmap future woman entrepreneurs’ success.

The event is being backed by some of New Zealand’s most important organisations for the
startup and innovation ecosystem, including MBIE, Callaghan Innovation, New Zealand Growth
Capital Partners, and AWS.

Electrify Aotearoa will take place on October 14, at Isaac Theatre Royal in Christchurch. Full
details are available at www.electrifyaotearoa.co.nz

Media contact
Leni Ma’ia’i
022 413 1596

About Electrify Aotearoa
Electrify Aotearoa addresses the global, national, regional, and local women founder gap by
providing role models and success stories to inspire and activate the wāhine of New Zealand.
Confirmed speakers:
● Theresa Gattung – cofounder of My Food Bag, chair of Global Women, chair of Aotearoa
Centre for Enterprising Women at the University of Auckland Business School
● Brooke Roberts – Sharesies
● Kathryn Topp – Yabble
● Kaye Maree Dunn – Ahau
● Suse Reynolds – Angel Association New Zealand
● Imche Fourie – Outset Deep
● Emily Blythe – Pypervision
● Amber Marie Naveira – The Granary
● Kaila Colbin – Boma
● Maria Jose (MJ) Alvarez – NZGCP
● Lauren Peate – Multitudes
Electrify Aotearoa partners
● Ministry of Awesome
● Blackbird Ventures
● Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
● Callaghan Innovation
● New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP)
● Hillfarrance Venture Capital
● Startmate
● Angel Association New Zealand
● ChristchurchNZ

● GoMedia
● University of Canterbury Centre for Entrepreneurship
Channel partners
● Territory 3
● ArcAngels
● Icehouse Ventures
● Epic Innovation
● University of Auckland Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
● GridAKL
● Soda
● Canterbury Angels
● TechWomen

About Ministry for Awesome
Christchurch-based Ministry of Awesome exists to drive startup and innovation growth and
success in Aotearoa. The organisation works with ambitious startups to provide incubation,
mentorship, and access to the investor networks, commercial partners, and professional
services they need to succeed.
Less than three years since launching, Ministry of Awesome’s incubator, Te Ōhaka (the Nest)
has become firmly established as a fulcrum for Christchurch’s fast growing startup ecosystem,
helping generate millions in investor capital, and creating nearly 100 high-skilled jobs within the
local economy.

About Blackbird Ventures
Blackbird is a venture capital firm whose mission is to invest in wild hearts, with the wildest
ideas, right at the beginning. The Blackbird team does this by raising venture capital funds,
investing in the best startup companies and helping them succeed. The company has more than
a billion dollars under management and a portfolio of over 70 companies including some of the
most successful Australasian startups such as Canva, Zoox, SafetyCulture and Culture Amp.
Blackbird has a $60M fund dedicated to investing in Kiwi founders building world-class
technology companies.

Filed under: News

Electrify Aotearoa

Ready to Electrify Aotearoa?

We’re excited to be supporting a fantastic event that showcases Aotearoa’s electrifying women founders!

Hear stories of grit and Kiwi ingenuity from women founders who have gone before you and learn from exclusive masterclasses with top investors to level up your startup experience. From aspiring founders to experienced operators, Electrify Aotearoa invites the Kiwi startup community to take part and celebrate our homegrown diversity at this one-day event in Ōtautahi Christchurch this October.

Click here for more information and to buy tickets.

Filed under: Events

July Newsletter

Kia ora,

It’s exciting to report with our Partnership Agreement with ChristchurchNZ in place we now have the resources we need to accelerate the growth of CA. With the arrival of Matt Wiles (see below) working alongside Gabby we are in a position to progressively raise the profile of CA within the start-up ecosystem and to lift our game in terms of what we can offer our members and how we deal with Founders.

What will change?  

  • We will be much more active on social media telling our stories and those of the founders and the companies we support.
  • Our investment process will become more urgent and founder-friendly (see below for details)
  • We will offer more investment education activities for our members and founders (see below for details on the DD session on 28th July).

How can you Help?

  • Support our activities and pitch evenings
  • Share our content on social media channels you use
  • Respond expeditiously when you are interested in investing.

Ngā mihi

Paul Claridge

Introducing Matt Wiles


My name is Matt Wiles and I have recently been appointed Investment Attraction Specialist at Christchurch NZ, with the aim to create and implement an investment strategy in Ōtautahi Christchurch.

I have spent a large part of my career in people leadership and operational roles. These have ranged from Flight Centre to Z Energy and most recently as Chief Operating Officer at Save My Bacon.

A large part of my role is to work closely with the Canterbury Angels to reach membership and investment goals. This will involve working with the local ecosystem to grow capability and streamlining opportunities to facilitate early-stage investment.

Another key focus will be to help raise the profile of the club. One of the easiest ways to do that is through marketing activity, specifically social media by being more active, particularly on LinkedIn with a focus on regular posting and by amplifying posts and activity by relevant people and organisations.

Thanks for your support with this over the upcoming months and I look forward to meeting more of you at the Investor Evening on the 28th of July.


New Investor Evening Process

We are making some changes to our investment process (see below) that will add rigor and more urgency while also providing clear communication and timeframes for our Founders. Importantly the changes will provide the opportunity for those unable to attend to review the relevant information to assess each pitch while allowing Founders to be more involved.

The new process will commence from the July Investor Evening.

Filed under: News

AANZ 2021 Expert Session: Undertaking Technical Due Diligence with Amazon Web Services

Wednesday 25 August, 10:00am – 11:30am
Join up to this workshop to get a cheat sheet on what to look out for when it comes to technical due diligence. Learn what to ask and how to spot red flags as an investor when founders are pitching. AWS will also cover tech trends in the cloud including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning startups (AI/ML).

Join Steffen Merten, Shane Tracey-O’Connell and Daniel O’Brien from Amazon Web Services as they share insights, case studies and practical advice on:
  • How do you make judgement of the sophistication of the technology especially when companies always mention AI and ML?
  • What aspects should you focus on /questions to ask when conducting due diligence on technology software companies?
  • How do you judge the security level of their cloud infrastructure start-ups?
Topic: Technical Due Diligence with AWS
Time: 25 August 2021
10:00am – 11.30amVia Zoom (link will be shared with attendees prior to the event)
Register: Yes I can attend


Filed under: News

Investor Education Series – Putting the Diligence in DD

Kia ora, Wednesday 28th July we have two events. First up from 4pm – 5pm we have one of our Investor Education Series – ‘Putting the Diligence in DD’ Featuring:

  • Joelle Grace – Partner, Lane Neave
  • Ben Reid – Memia, Futurist
  • David Oliver – Ascend Capital Partners.

To register for this session, please click here. Feel free to stay on for the Investor evening straight after.

Filed under: General

July Investor Evening

Wednesday 28th July –  5:30pm – 8pm
Venue: PwC, Level 4 – 60 Cashel Street

Kia ora, reserve your spot and register here to come along to our June investor evening. The evening will be kindly hosted our sponsor PwC.

Watch this space for our line up…

Continue reading

Filed under: News