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: Uncategorized

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

Deep Tech Event

Kia ora koutou,

We would like to invite you to join us for a MacDiarmid Institute Industry Interface event as part of the Techweek series. We will be showcasing a mix of excellent, commercially relevant research, researcher-industry linkages, and exciting technology companies. Please join us in celebrating deep tech companies and meeting the research entrepreneurs who can deliver commercial solutions to some of the world’s major challenges. 

When: 5-7pm Friday, 28 May  

Where: Ti-Kouka, 90 Ilam Road, Christchurch 

Further details: For the event programme, speakers and our event partners, see the Techweek website 

Register: here  

What’s Deep Tech?  

“Deep tech” is a relatively recent name coined by investors for technology companies that emerge from scientific research. These companies offer a major competitive advantage to their host countries in providing solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Deep tech companies apply research to solving issues like sustainability, Covid-19, space travel, green energy and advanced manufacturing, all emerging commercial frontiers that stand to provide the competitive edge needed by economies in these times of change. 

Brought to you by:  

  • The MacDiarmid Institute – the Centre of Research Excellence for materials science and nanotechnology and we have a focus on materials for sustainability. 
  • NZProduct Accelerator (NZPA) – an industry facing, research intensive network for helping NZ companies develop new products and processes, by pulling research and expertise from all NZ Universities, one CRI, and other organisations as needed. 
  • Momentum – a national ākonga/student-led investment committee program which provides access to world class advice, connections, and investment opportunities to ākonga/students and start-ups across Aotearoa. 
  • CHIASMA – a student-led network with the mission of connecting the next generation of innovators with the science and technology sectors of New Zealand. 
  • MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA) – a thriving community of materials science PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, working together to deliver training workshops, seminars and engage with the public. 

·         Biomolecular Interaction Centre (BIC) – a multi-disciplinary research centre at the University of Canterbury dedicated to the study of molecular interactions critical to biological function. Understanding these interactions is central to a range of fundamental sciences, discovering new treatments for disease and developing highly functional products. 


Not in Christchurch? Join us for our Wellington Deep Tech event on 26 May – find out more here

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Early Stage Investment Series 2 Workshop

We’re back with our early stage investment series hosted by AANZ and NZGCP.  Portfolio Management is the second workshop of the series, a half day morning event to showcase how a well-structured and well-managed early-stage venture portfolio can deliver outlier returns, both financial and socio-economic.

This workshop is designed for investors and provides networking opportunities after the presentations (here’s hoping we won’t have to go ‘digital’ this time, so that we can enjoy in-person conversation!).


Marcus (Investment Director) and Hursh (Investment Manager) will take you through the processes and management of the Aspire NZ Seed Fund with 160+ active portfolio companies. Topics covered will include venture capital portfolio theory, investment strategy and portfolio management. The duo will share their watchouts and recommendations as well as highlights of success within the portfolio.


Marcel will lead a discussion on the importance of portfolio balance in regards to sectors, stage and diversity to increase the chances of success. He will share insights from his vast portfolio and experience in early-stage investment. He will then lead a discussion with a panel of early-stage investors (participants TBC) on their portfolio investment approach and how to determine which companies are best to double down on and why.


Details: When: Thursday 13th May 2021 9am – 1pm
Where: NZX. Level 1, NZX Centre, 11 Cable Street, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Cost: The cost for this event is $100+ GST and includes coffee on arrival and lunch.
Register: Register here

We are capping this event to 25 Investors – so be sure to book your spot today to avoid missing out. We look forward to hosting you at this session!

Best wishes,
Suse, Bridge and the team at NZGCP

Filed under: Uncategorized

May Investor Evening

Thursday 13th May –  5:30pm – 8pm
Venue: KPMG, Level 5 – 79 Cashel Street

Kia ora, reserve your spot and register here to come along to our May investor evening. The evening will be kindly hosted by Craig Jakich and the team at KPMG.

See below for our excellent looking lineup:

Happy Moose – Automatically curating the best family photos from tens of thousands of photos on your mobile.


TankView has been established to enable tank owners and wider communities better manage water usage through easy to use, reliable water monitoring and advanced prediction algorithms. TankView uses long-range, low power internet of things technologies to connect water tanks, tank owners, water carriers and community groups and provide real-time information that delivers value to each stakeholder.


HuntingHQ connects hunters with exclusive locations to hunt and stay. The community is powered by landowners, who provide vetted hunters access to approved and unique locations not available to the general public.


KiwiNet’s Alexandra Stuthridge is giving an update on:

  • KiwiNet’s Auaha Innovation Platform
  • Pathways project – mapping of pathways to funding and expertise of the innovation ecosystem
  • KiwiNet driven commercial upskilling programmes

Canterbury Angels’ members are welcome to bring along guests free of charge but make sure to register all of you here.

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Clare Capital Workshop

Mark Clare from Clare Capital Limited advises clients on capital raising activities such as VC investments and rights issues, and brings significant M&A experience to help clients achieve high-quality outcomes in commercial transactions.

From Xero to the Ranqx deal with Kiwibank, he is highly regarded within industry and will deliver a SaaS valuation workshop which includes the SaaS Metrics Cheat Sheet (see below). He’s also about to close three VERY interesting M&A deals that he might be able to tell us about.

Where: BNZ Centre – Level 4 111 Cashel Street.
When: Thursday 25th February
Time: 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Please email Gabby Addington if you are keen to attend this session.

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