Despite a reputation for being the home of high net worth individuals and senior executives, the Queenstown Lakes District lacks any local-centric investor community. That is about to change. Startup Queenstown Lakes is pleased to announce the launch of WWIN (Wanaka & Wakatipu Investor Network), a professional network that gives qualified investors access to upskilling, capital-raising deal flow opportunities, and connections within the local region and New Zealand’s growing startup and innovation scene.
“An incredible array of executives, directors, and shareholders call the Queenstown Lakes District home. Many of these professionals are at the point in their career where investing in high-tech, disruptive, or innovative startups is an exciting way to diversify their portfolio and be a part of something new,” said James Burnes, CEO of Startup Queenstown Lakes. “We have launched WWIN to build this part of the innovation ecosystem in anticipation of more deal flow coming as our work with entrepreneurs progresses.”
WWIN (pronounced ‘win’) provides these individuals a confidential, closed forum to connect and learn about the high-risk challenge of investing in high-growth startup, innovation, and technology companies. Participants can talk freely among their peers about opportunities, challenges, and issues.
Programmes include a monthly morning roundtable featuring a seasoned startup investor sharing war stories and lessons learned over the years, pitch events giving founders an opportunity to showcase their business and raise capital, and skill-building workshops. Organizations including NZTE, Angel Association of New Zealand and other expert organizations will conduct sessions for active and potential investors to better understand the risks and strategies necessary to make smart investments.
Roundtable to feature Roger Sharp
On Friday, 7 June WWIN will host a Morning Roundtable featuring Roger Sharp, chairman of Webjet and managing director of North Ridge Partners. The forum takes place at Remarkables Park’s executive board room, and is free for those who RSVP in advance.
Roger has 35 years experience in global markets as a growth company investor, advisor, and director with a focus on technology.
During his career, Roger and colleagues have built and sold seven companies. He has been a CEO, Chairman, and investment banker, completing billions of dollars of complex M&A transactions and financings through bull and bear cycles.
Now based in Queenstown, Roger runs an international technology investment bank, North Ridge Partners, chairs ASX-listed Webjet, and NZX-listed Geo and is Deputy Chair of Tourism New Zealand.
Investors are encouraged to sign up soon for one of the limited seats of the Roundtable.
Next month, David Wallace, Joint Managing Director of Armillary Private Capital, will be the featured guest at a session 5 July in Wanaka.
Not an investment fund
It’s important to note that WWIN is not a formal angel investor group, nor is there an investment fund affiliated with the network.
“Many individuals in our District belong to angel investment groups or are shareholders in investment funds,” said Burnes. “We don’t expect to get involved in the deal flow, but we do want to make sure investors here are getting access to these opportunities and are prepared to make better decisions when deals come up.”
“We hope WWIN helps investors create stronger connections among their peers in this high profile, but often disconnected community, and introducing those who have lacked access to deal flow a doorway to learning and participating,” said Burnes.
Startup Queenstown Lakes trustees expect that the creation of WWIN will stimulate individuals to join into one of the existing angel groups or investment funds in New Zealand, which provides the legal structures and due diligence expertise required to make a formal investment.
A South Island wide investor community
Startup Queenstown Lakes is working with investor communities in Invercargill, Dunedin, and other regions around the South Island to build a more connected and prepared investor community to make deal flow easier for Founders in the South Island.
WWIN is the local effort to contribute to this initiative, ensuring that investors in the Queenstown Lakes District have access to investment opportunities and learning programmes that had previously not been seen and required travel to Christchurch, Wellington, or Auckland.
Individuals interested in participating in WWIN programmes simply need to sign up to attend an upcoming event. There is no formal application process, but it required that the individual disclose whether or not they are a qualified investor or investment advisor to participate. WWIN sessions are not open to the general public.
Learn more about WWIN and view a schedule of events by visiting www.startupqueenstownlakes/wwin/.
WWIN is not an angel fund and is not a registered investment advisor or providing investment advice. Participants who may make an investment in a startup through WWIN events or activities does so at their own risk. Discussion with an attorney, accountant, or qualified investment advisor is highly advised.