Investing in Startups: Investor 101 with Ken Erskine

When: Tuesday 6th November

Where: GreenHouse – 146a Lichfield Street Christchurch

Time: 12:30pm – 4pm

In an interactive couple of hours experienced angel Ken Erskine will cover the introductory basics of angel investing. This session is not so much a training course, more an awareness raising session, ensuring you know what you don’t know and providing you with a raft of resources and touch points for the answers. Followed by time with Ken discussing content and networking. It will cover:

  • Angel investing in New Zealand

  • What’s your motivation

  • What should you look for in an investment

  • How does it work

  • The Jargon

  • Government support

  • Tales from the real world; The Good, the bad and the ugly

  • Plan for success…

  • How Canterbury Angels as your angel club specifically works

  • Q&A

This session is for people considering early stage investment in startup businesses who want to learn more about angel investment in New Zealand and gain practical experience and insights.

Spaces are very limited so register here.

Lunch is provided. Please contact gabby.addington@canterburyangels.nz if you have any food allergies.

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Ministry of Awesome’s 6 week Startup Activation Programme

Launch Club is Ministry of Awesome‘s Startup Activation programme tailored for early-stage entrepreneurs who want to spend focused time developing their venture and defining their pathway to success.

The programme will include:

  • Six 2-hour training workshops

+

  • 4 x 30-minute mentoring sessions with the Ministry of Awesome’s Startup Activator

Programme Structure

Session # 1

Vision & Customer Discovery

This first session focuses first on gaining clarity around the ‘why’ of your venture. We will focus on developing your startup’s ‘Vision’, ‘Mission’, and your long-term goals. Then, for the second half of our session, we will work on identifying the market need and your potential customers.

Session # 2

Prototyping & Validation

This session takes a critical look at your product or service, explores your pricing and business model, then shows you how to quickly test your product with potential customers and optimise until you have traction.

Session # 3

Business Model & Pricing

In this session, we’re going to explore different types of business models and how each can be the key to building a sustainable enterprise. You will through the lean business canvas and work through various business models to see which creates the best outcomes.

Session # 4

Marketing

Intelligent marketing drives growth. In this session, we will look at how to develop a brand and support it with impactful storytelling. We will look at how to develop an overarching marketing strategy and review some tactics that will execute that strategy.

Session # 5

Sales

Developing and maintaining a successful sales pipeline will be your single biggest challenge as an entrepreneur. In this interactive workshop, participants will be introduced to various sales strategies, techniques, and the importance of developing a robust sales pipeline.

Session # 6

Success metrics, legal foundations, and next steps.

Having a grip on your success metrics is key to running a successful business operation.

Our experienced accountant will show you which metrics to track to understand a company’s performance in real time. Then we will look at the legal set up of your young business reviewing issues such as intellectual property, company ownership, licensing, and customer agreements.

In the second half of this session, we will concentrate on your very next steps and how to build accountability into your growth process. We will also look at developing strategic partnerships and how to effectively communicate your elevator pitch and build powerful networks.

Register here.

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Pitch & Pizza Evening – Thursday 18th October

 

Great Information, Great Fun, Free Pizza
Thursday 18 October, 5:30pm at GreenHouse – 146a Lichfield Street

Yes!  It’s that time again!  Pizza & Pitch #4 is next week.

This is a great event for startups who are looking for investment during the next six months. The format will be three pitches with a relaxed “dragons den” with a panel from the Canterbury innovation ecosystem, followed by a Q&A on what is an investible pitch.

Who should be there ?

Startups that will be seeking investment

  • Anyone wanting to get a better understanding of fund raising
  • Investors looking for future investments

It’s great fun so make sure you get a seat and register here to attend.

Filed under: Events

September Investor Evening

September Investor Evening

Thursday 20th September – 5:30pm
Venue: Grant Thornton
L3 Grant Thornton House, 134 Oxford Terrace
Register here

Lock Thursday 20th September into your calendar to come along to our next investor evening. Canterbury Angels supporter Don MacKenzie, has kindly offered to host this event in their new Grant Thornton building at 134 Oxford Terrace.

Bring along a friend who may be interested and register you both here.

We have a great lineup of speakers including Matthew Jones of Certus Bio and Craig Rowland of Sandfly Security.

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2018 Canterbury Tech Summit

Canterbury Angels is proud to be a support partner of the 2018 Canterbury Tech Summit. This event is the South Island’s largest annual tech conference that brings together leaders in innovation, technology and business to share ideas, grow their networks and be inspired.

When: 12th September
Time: Registrations from 11:30am
Where: Airforce Museum of New Zealand – 45 Harvard Ave, Wigram

Click here to see more and register.

Filed under: News

Get in quickly – AANZ Summit registrations open!

Diversity … making a difference and delivering outcomes

Last year we celebrated a decade of angel investing in New Zealand. And it was terrific to have that line up with some impressive success for angel backed companies with PowerbyProxi selling to Apple, Publons selling to Clarivate and ImeasureU selling to Oxford Metrics. Last year was also record year for ‘dollars into deals’ with a 26% increase on the previous year’s investment at $86m.

We are genuinely creating value for New Zealand and New Zealanders. At this year’s summit we will focus on amping up that value through the power of diversity. Why and how does a more feminine approach, both as founders and investors, add value? What values do different ethnicities bring to angel backed ventures to increase the prospect of success? Why is it important we include millennials in our ventures?

It’s all about making a difference… diversity and inclusion delivers higher value outcomes.

The 11th Annual NZ Angel Summit, 1/2 November, is being held at Marlborough Vintners, 10 minutes drive from Blenheim and in amongst the vineyards. We deliberately choose smaller intimate venues to ensure we create the right atmosphere for relaxed and rewarding conversations. Our last three summits have sold out as we prioritise places for those ‘doing deals’.

On the first morning we set the context for the two days by reviewing the year and have a session on the values that drive angel investors and how these impact on success. In the afternoon we apply these insights to the more practical aspects of angel investment with sessions on the new industry standard term sheet, how to ensure alignment with follow-on funding sources and dig into the government’s plans to support our endeavours, particularly with respect to tax reform. On Friday morning we focus on our own heroes and hear first-hand from some of our founders and investors who getting real traction offshore. All of this will be shot through with input from successful women and millennials in our community and deep engagement with Maori and our Asian investor migrant community.

Click here to register

Filed under: News

Pitch and Pizza – Thursday 16th August



Great Information, Great Fun, Free Pizza

16 August, 5:30pm at GreenHouse – 146a Lichfield Street

Yes!  It’s that time again!  Pizza & Pitch #3 is next week.

This is a great NEW event for startups who are looking for investment during the next six months. The format will be three pitches with a relaxed “dragons den” with a panel from the Canterbury innovation ecosystem, followed by a Q&A on what is an investible pitch.

Who should be there ?

 Startups that will be seeking investment

  • Anyone wanting to get a better understanding of fund raising
  • Investors looking for future investments

It’s great fun so make sure you get a seat and register here to attend.

Filed under: Events

Pitch & Pizza – Thursday June 21st


Thursday 21st June – 5:30pm
Venue: Vodafone Xone – 213/221 Tuam Street, Christchurch
Register here…now!

Great information, great fun, free pizza!

Pitch & Pizza is an event for start-ups who are looking for investment in the next two to six months.
The event is a relaxed “dragons den” format with panellists providing Q&A on what is an investible pitch.

Our panellist line up for this month:

                     Toni Laming – Blinc Innovation

    Rachel Wright – UC Centre for Entrepreneurship

        Peter McDonald – NZTE


Who should come?
 

Start-ups – looking for a “stepping stone” to investiblity.
Investors – to see future deal flows
Future start-ups – to understand the process and expectations around capital raising

 

 

Filed under: Events

Start ups need to do due diligence, too

I hear a lot of horror stories about investors. Many are misunderstandings. Some are just outright false. Then there are those that are true. Sadly, there are a lot of those.

There’s the alleged angel in the Baltic region who committed (in an email) to leading a round and then refused to talk to the other investors and eventually seemed to bury his head in the sand and disappear. There are countless stories of mysterious Middle Eastern angels who put teams through painful pitch, due diligence and negotiation processes only to bail (post-term sheet) after months of promises and B.S. about the money being delayed/lost/stolen/on the way.

This kills companies. I’ve watched great entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas sink because they’ve been fucked around and because they made poor choices. Many of the so-called “investors” involved are odious individuals. I wanted to write something that will help people avoid having to deal with them, so here are some tips.

Financial institutions are bound by a regulation called KYC (know your customer). It’s time we created KYI for investors. You should want (and probably need) to know who’s investing, why they’re investing, who they are, how they made their money, what else they’re up to, what they’re like to work with, what’s their temperament and risk appetite and other such useful tidbits.

Do some digging on the people you’re going to target — creep on their AngelListCrunchBaseLinkedIn and other profiles. Check to see if they blog, tweet, judge at Startup Weekends, mentor at accelerators, speak at conferences or do things that the vast majority of other investors do. Are they talking about their existing investments? Do they add value to industry conversations? Do they seem credible? Do they appear mostly sane?

Red flag No. 1. If they don’t have an online profile of any description, be a little wary. There are some super-wealthy people who obviously don’t want to be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other such platforms as they’re too busy in their walk-in humidors. But in general terms, someone who has zero online profile makes my spidey senses tingle.

Red flag No. 2. If you’re constantly dealing through an intermediary, be wary. When you get into Series A/B/C, etc., it’s more natural for this to happen. This is what venture capital is, to a certain extent. In angel rounds, if you’re not regularly dealing directly with the angel, this is likely a pattern that will repeat. Also, you run the risk of Chinese whispers and subsequent misunderstandings.

If someone’s going to give you anything between $5,000 and $500,000 that they could otherwise spend on a holiday, a car or a buy-to-let flat in Walthamstow, they should probably want to look you in the eye and talk face to face. Likewise, if you’re giving someone a single- or double-digit percentage of your company, you’ll want to spend time with them. If you ask to meet an investor and that never happens for various spurious reasons, don’t take their money.

Ask to talk to companies that the investor has previously put money into. This leads us to red flag No.3. If they refuse this, or are sketchy about it, you should be very, very wary. Talking to companies that your investor has previously put money into is pretty normal due diligence for a startup. You should be asking what the investor is like to work with; are they pushy, obnoxious, needy, anxious, cool, useful or just good/bad/indifferent to work with.

The right investors should be happy to share this info with you. The bad ones won’t want you to find out that they are secretly tools. Incidentally, you don’t need an investor’s permission to do this — if they have investments listed on LinkedIn, AngelList and other places, just connect directly with the founder/CEO and ask.

Red flag No. 4. Watch out for loonie valuations. The less sophisticated the investor, the more of your company they’ll want. The classic instance is where the investor wants 51 percent of your business. In most funding rounds, you should be aiming to give away 10-25 percent of your company. The lower end implies you’re a hot deal or you’re doing something really well. The higher end implies it’s riskier or perhaps the traction isn’t that great. In early rounds, my personal feeling is that anything more than 25 percent is too high and can create a disincentive for founders, staff and current/future investors. Anyone who wants anything north of 25 percent is worth spending some more due diligence time on.

Red flag No. 5. Watch out for people who aren’t at least reasonably amenable to standardised term sheets. SeedsummitYC and many others have produced great templates that are pretty standard. Watch out for things like participating liquidity preferences (1x liquidity preference is probably ok, others would argue it’s pretty standard). Watch out for warrants, vesting clauses that are overly punitive, full-ratchet anti-dilution clauses and stuff like that. If you don’t understand these terms, you need to. Do yourself a favour and buy Venture Deals and appear smarter than your lawyer. Also, get a lawyer.

Red flag No.6. Watch out for people who only bring cash to the table. Introductions, advice, connections and guidance are the most useful things that early-stage companies can get. The right type of angel — usually one who’s been there and done that — is worth 10x their investment in this regard. They’ll shill for you at conferences, introduce you to people, act as an additional BD/sales/HR person and generally add way more than just cash to the equation. Ask not what you can do for your investors (you should know the answer to this already — make them a fuck ton of money), ask what your investors can do for you.

If you’re feeling cheeky, send them this. But seriously — be upfront about asking what else they’re bringing outside of cash — can they introduce you to potential clients or useful contacts? Can they help with hiring or international growth? Do they know the reporter covering your area at the biggest trade publication or at the FT? Can they connect you with bigger investors when the time is right?

Red flag No. 7. Watch out for people who want overly complex financial projections (or other ludicrous requests) when you’re pre-revenue or pre-product. Anyone with a brain in their head will know that it is A) guesswork and B) producing this material is a time sink.

Smart early-stage investors are backing the team, the market and the idea — probably in that order. If someone’s looking for five-year projections, you’d be as well off reading the tea leaves with them. Definitely have your product roadmap in your head, and some ideas about how you’re going to scale into new markets, etc. — and have an idea of what you’d like to make, but you shouldn’t have to waste your time on projections.

Red flag No. 8. Watch out for people who drop off the face of the planet after giving you a soft commitment. As a species, we’re not great at saying “no” to people, so a lot of investors will simply break off contact instead of saying no. If someone drops off the radar after saying they are in, it probably means they are out. If they’re going on holiday, having surgery or doing something else that prevents them from replying to an email/WhatsApp, etc.,they’ll probably tell you.

Red flag No. 9. If your gut feeling is bad about someone the first time you meet them, pay attention to that. You don’t have to be best mates with all of your investors — in fact, you shouldn’t be. But, you do have to at least tolerate them. If you’re lucky, you’ll be talking to and emailing them once a month for the next five to 10 years. Gut feeling is important.

I’m not saying discount an investment straight away, but if someone feels off, creepy or just not right, spend a bit more time figuring out why, and definitely do at least one more meeting to double-check that feeling. I have taken on investors in previous businesses who I really didn’t like when we first met, but they offered money. It ended like this.

These are just a small subset of the things you should be looking for when you’re talking to early-stage/angel investors. It’s equally as applicable to later-stage investments, but in the early stages of a business, this is serious stuff. The people you take on as investors at the start can be a huge predictor of the success of future funding rounds, or the company as a whole.

I’ve heard stories of people who had investors who were supposed to put in the second tranche of funding, but couldn’t because their assets had been seized by a country as a result of various nefarious deeds in the past. I’ve met companies who’ve taken investments and then did their due diligence on the investor — only to find out they were one of the leading fugitives from a European country. As you can probably imagine, having someone like that on your cap table is going to make it a lot less likely that a tier-one VC will invest in your next round.

Do your homework. Do it early. Do it often. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and more info about the person who’s investing. If they’re sufficiently motivated and interested in you, they should be happy to do it. If they’re sufficiently smart, they’ll respect you asking. If they’re sufficiently sketchy, you need to think about casting a wider net.

Original article here 

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Pitch & Pizza

Great information, Great fun, Free Pizza

This is a great NEW event for startups who are looking for investment in the next six months. It’s a stepping stone between start up phase and pitching to investors. The format will be three pitches with a relaxed “dragons den” with panellists from the Canterbury innovation ecosystem, followed by a panel discussion Q&A on what is an investible pitch.

Limited seating – secure your spot here.

Who should be there?

  • Startups that will be seeking investment.
  • Anyone wanting to get a better understanding of fund raising.
  • Investors looking for future investments.

Want to pitch?

Email Gabby
or call Gerald on 021 37 35 38

 

 

Filed under: Events