Building Engagement with Angel Investors

Published Nov 4, 2021

Connecting with investors early on in the commercialisation process is important. Investors not only help with essential funding to get an idea off the ground, but they are able to provide opportunities for professional development and market validation to help drive an invention to success.

At Wellington UniVentures, we work closely with investors across the country as well as with those local to Wellington. Over the last year we have grown our relationship with Angel HQ Wellington, having a team member help our researchers at every stage of development.

A big part of this has been to engage with our Angel community at a much earlier stage in the journey. When a researcher first has an idea, our screening team assesses the commercial potential. The team analyse the solutions and get a better understanding of the market, customers and end-users. Researchers use this information to influence the development of their product or service for it to become market ready. We saw this as a perfect opportunity to connect with Angel HQ to get their thoughts and insights. We invited Vinny Venkatesh, an Angel Board Member, to join our screening meetings, giving the Angel team the opportunity to see the early assessment process too.

"I find the time I spend with Wellington UniVentures at the screening meetings and follow-up meetings both exhilarating and valuable. Seeing opportunities in the pipeline early helps me to follow up and position the appropriate ones for presentation to the Wellington Angels (Angel HQ). The quick financial commitments made to TasmanIon are an example of success we can hope to repeat often. I hope my perspective on what the "investor will look for" early in the piece, is useful for the founders and commercialisation managers. As will relevant introductions to Angel HQ members or to people in the wider start-up community who could help develop the opportunities.   

I find Hamish and the wider team welcoming, open with information and willing to take on feedback. I have been made part of the team. I wish we had started this sort of intensive involvement much earlier."

Taking this a step further, when we know a project or idea will be pitching for external investment, we also ask one of our Angel Investors to attend our pitching evening.

Hamish Findlay, Wellington UniVentures General Manager says: “The Angel community is a fantastic network to help our researchers connect with industry partners and investors. Engaging with the Wellington team means that they can get involved in the technology coming out of the local University. We’ve taken some great steps this year to work together and look forward to continuing on this path to success.”