KiwiNet News 14 August 2012

Workshop highlights future investment opportunities for investors

Tauranga, New Zealand, 14 August 2012

Investors in the Tauranga region will have an opportunity to preview promising technologies being developed in universities and Crown Research Institutes at a workshop today. The investor engagement event run by KiwiNet, Enterprise Angels, Return On Science, and the Angel Association of New Zealand has the dual purpose of highlighting future investment opportunities to investors and helping commercialisation professionals to develop their presentation skills.

Around 20 commercialisation professionals will participate in the workshop and at the end of the workshop seven projects will be presented to a group of 20 local investors. Projects range from a new way to disinfect and purify water supplies (PEFT Cell), a novel medical device for the accelerated healing of chronic wounds, and a framework for modular Wireless Sensor Networks designed to capture and monitor climate, atmosphere, and plant and soil data in a crop field.

Dr Bram Smith the General Manager of KiwiNet says, "The workshop is a fantastic opportunity for investors who want to know more about the technologies being developed in public research organisations. By gaining early visibility into technologies that are coming through the pipeline investors can express interest in projects that may become future investment opportunities."

Dr Smith says investors can then follow their development progress. "Some investors may also choose to get involved as advisors early in the commercialisation process, before projects are ready for investment, and provide advice for strategies taking these technologies to market. This will increase the chances of success for the project and allows the investor to get to know a technology before investing."

Active angel investor Bill Murphy, the founder of Enterprise Angels and a member of the Angel Association of New Zealand Council, will help attendees to shape their elevator pitches prior to presenting to local investors.

Mr Murphy says, "The ability to effectively present your technology business case is important for successful commercialisation. The opportunity to present projects to investors for feedback and business advice before they are ready for investment is invaluable."

Workshop participants will also work with other commercialisation professionals to develop their presentation skills and gain a better understanding of investor expectations and what motivates them.

Prior to presenting to investors workshop participants will also hear from Michael Ahie the Chairman of Plant & Food Research who will talk on the keys to successful investment in research projects.

The commercialisation and angel investment groups behind the forum are:

Enterprise Angels: an active group of 70 experienced business people looking to invest in start up and early stage businesses. They provide a source of funds, backed by extensive business skills and experience. New Zealand's second largest angel investor group with 70 members looking to invest in start up and early stage businesses. They provide a source of funds, backed by extensive business skills and experience and to date have invested over $4 million in startup and early stage companies.

KiwiNet: The Kiwi Innovation Network (KiwiNet) is a consortium of universities and Crown Research Institutes who are dedicated to taking a collaborative approach to research commercialisation. Founding KiwiNet members include Plant & Food Research, Otago Innovation Ltd, Lincoln University, AUT Enterprises, AgResearch, University of Canterbury, Industrial Research Ltd, Viclink and WaikatoLink.

Return On Science: a national commercialisation programme launched by UniServices and technology incubators around the country that connects science with strategic management, top-tier advice, and efficient access to capital.

NZ Angel Association: an organisation that aims to increase the quantity, quality and success of angel investments in New Zealand and in doing so create a greater pool of capital for innovative start-up companies.

The event follows the success of the Wellington Investor Engagement Event held by KiwiNet in May. The next Investment Engagement workshop will be held in Auckland on 12 September.

For further information please contact:

Sandra Lukey
Shine Group
Phone: (03) 374 6753; Cell: +64 21 2262 858