November Newsletter

Kia ora,

While Covid continues to be somewhat disruptive, life certainly goes on at a pace in the start-up world.  We are dealing with a steady stream of approaches from companies. At our recent Screening Group meeting we had 15 companies on the list to review. As noted on the PwC/AANZ report (see link below) investment in the NZ Start-up Ecosystem is at record levels.

Further to this, it’s encouraging to see the start-up ecosystem maturing in Canterbury and Te Wai Pounamu with effective accelerators and incubators in place supporting a wide range of companies. Our role as members of CA and investors is to help these emerging start-ups secure the help and investment they need to take the next steps.

As you will be aware we went virtual for our pitch evening in October and at this stage it looks like we’ll be virtual for our next pitch evening on 25 November. While not quite the same as a live session it does the job effectively and we look forward to you joining us.

Ngā mihi

Paul Claridge

Interesting stuff

Further encouraging news from PwC and the AANZ on a flourishing ecosystem plus an important topic that we have recently covered in our education series.

Investor News

It’s been a busy couple of months since our last newsletter and we eventually managed to get what was originally intended to be our August Investor evening over the line in what ended up being our inaugural virtual investor evening. It turned out to be a very well-attended event with over 41 people tuning in to see four great pitches and we only had to overcome one small technical hitch.

The companies that pitched were:

Engineering recovery for Swallowing Impairment

  AI-powered chatbots delivering automated customer service at scale to help businesses maximise revenue, reduce costs, and better engage customers

Amy is an AI-based private tutor for math that makes learning math easy for everyone

Viewpoint Medical is dedicated to improving vein imaging, aiming to establish a new standard of care in venepuncture

As we highlighted in September, dealflow is still extremely healthy we have several companies looking to be able to pitch at our November Investor Evening which will be the last one of 2021.


Before the end of the year, we will be looking at options to expand the number and type of events that we hold. The aim of this is to grow engagement with our existing members, attract new members, and to embed ourselves into the innovation ecosystem here in Christchurch which will allow us to support more companies in their growth while also providing more early opportunities for investment.

Events that are currently planned are our next Investor Evening on the 25th of November which will more than likely be our 2nd virtual event and you can register for this here. Other options we are looking at are informative events focused on a range of topics and also looking at ways we can help founders achieve their commercialisation goals.

If you have any ideas of events that you would like to attend, please let us know your thoughts here.

CA are proudly supported by:

Filed under: News

November Investor Evening


November Investor Evening
Last one for 2021

Thursday 25th November –  5:30pm – 7pm
Venue: Zoom online

Next Thursday we will be getting together online for our last investor evening of 2021 and it’s shaping up to be great one. Register here and save this Zoom link into your calendar.

We’re excited to present the following companies who will be pitching:

Power Trip is creating the technology and connections that support and reward the people and businesses who keep our planet habitable. In response to the lockdown and new incentives from the Government, Power Trip temporarily pivoted from serving NZ’s EV dealers to create solutions for that support corporate fleet EV uptake and the Government’s long-term EV and battery strategy. They are raising funds to deliver on partnerships with two of the world’s biggest telematics companies and have also secured a contract with EECA and the Ministry for the Environment that will give Power Trip a central role in the EV and battery industry for years to come.

Stockfox is a new disruptive app developed in New Zealand with a potentially global reach that provides a total sharemarket solution for busy people. It makes professional share market advice, which is usually only available to the top 1% of investors, accessible to everybody and links investors to an account with the broker of their choice to instantly place a trade.

HealthNow is a platform built to create a seamless and stress free health journey, by enacting a Buy Now Pay Later platform and a Health Savers self insurance function that is available across all healthcare streams. Our mission is to increase the uptake of health services and encourage users and communities to make better and more proactive health choices. For health providers it makes their services more accessible and means they get paid instantly. HealthNow also provides employers the Health Savers system to support their employees by partially funding health related expenses.

Cetogenix has developed a technology to increase renewable natural gas production from existing organic waste treatment by 40%, while also converting all the waste into usable products such as bio-fertilizers. Cetogenix avoids the need for the waste to be taken to landfill or incinerated and instead allows it to be processed into products for other industries, lowering environmental impacts and generating novel commercial opportunities.

Ritual and Rise are a health and wellness company focusing on impact through connecting people to knowledge, rituals and nutrition. We are creating an online community, to give access to daily practises and supplements designed to enhance mental and physical health. Over the past four and a half years we have created a vertically integrated supply chain for our key nutritional ingredient; The New Zealand Hemp Seed. We grow and process our very own hemp seed in Canterbury before further enhancing these into retail ready nutritional supplements. These supplements including a unique plant-based, flavoured protein powder, the first produced in Australasia. We combine unique, effective products with knowledge and rituals to create meaningful impact for human health.

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.

CA are proudly supported by:




Filed under: Events, General

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: General

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

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

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