#ABAF15NZ Summit Speakers – Nelson Gray

Meet the speakers #ABAF15NZ – Nelson Gray

The 2015 Asian Business Angel Forum, proudly bought to New Zealand by the AANZ, and runs from 14 to 16 October 2015. 

Among the international guest speakers at ABAF is Nelson Gray winner of 2015’s prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion and an internationally recognised thought-leader in early-stage investment.

Nelson will share his insights on angel investment models, international connectivity and portfolio companies gleaned from over 20 years of experience as an angel investor.


Following the sale of his own successful business in 1995 Nelson Gray became an educator, angel investor, mentor, non-executive director, and fund manager.

A key player in the development of the business angel community in Scotland, Nelson was central to the widespread international recognition and adoption of the LINC model (Local Investment Networking Company). He is now a non-executive director of the Scottish Angel Capital Association established in 1993 to promote Business Angel Investing – LINC Scotland.

A passionate promoter of angel investing’s important role in the development of the economic success, in BQ, one of the United Kingdoms key online publications Nelson says “people like myself become business angels because we want to invest our capital and knowledge into local businesses with the potential to make a significant economic difference.  Seventeen years ago my wife and I invested in a Borders company which has grown into one of the largest employers in the area.

“I feel that we’ve put something back into Scotland, particularly for young people, it’s not just a financial payback but a social one.  I am a ‘hands-on’ investor and like to help businesses as well as providing money and if we can have fun along the way, even better.”

Using his qualifications as a UK Financial Services Authority fund manager, Nelson has managed two early stage investment funds responsible for funding over 50 Scottish SMEs in addition to 25 companies personally.

Beyond his tireless work in Scotland Nelson is also recognised internationally. He has worked with development and government agencies around the world to develop and implement policies which facilitate growth and effective operation of local investment communities. This work has contributed to his achievements helping build angel groups in Latvia, Jordan, Russia and Jamaica.

Global engagements have included United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), The Inter America Development Bank – Washington, The International Science and Technology Centre – Moscow, the Estonian Development Fund – Arengufond, the Latvian Enterprise Department, Intertrade Ireland and Enterprise Ireland, El Hassan Science City– Amman, Jordan, the National Agency for Technological Development – Kazakhstan, advice on the establishment of Angel tax incentives in Finland and the expansion of Angel groups and syndication in Estonia. In these special project director roles he acts as a mentor to new investment groups and develops tools and procedures to further best practice in Angel investing.

Nelson was the European Business Angel Network ‘Business Angel of the Year’ in 2008, and is now Vice-President. He is a director of ESEP Ltd, which administers European Union Structural Funds Programmes on behalf of the Scottish Government.

He has provided advice on the establishment and structuring of a number of innovative early stage investment funds (both in Scotland and overseas) is a member of the investment committee for the £50m UK Angel CoFund, a non-executive director for the Genomia Seedcorn Investment Fund which targets the research outputs of the animal and life sciences sector. Formally the locum Fund Manager for Clyde Blowers Capital IM LLP, a £250 million venture fund. As a member of the Advisory Board of SU2P, a collaboration of 6 universities (Strathclyde, St Andrews, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow, Stanford and the California Institute of Technology), he has supported the increase in academic and industry interaction between the USA and the UK.

He has been chairman of Firth Ventures for over 15 years and is also a member of the Investment Advisory Board to the UK Government’s US$160 million Co-Investment Fund and a member of the advisory panel to the Welsh Government for the establishment of a development bank for Wales.

As the former locum Fund Manager for Clyde Blowers Capital IM LLP, he managed a US$400 million venture fund; and, from 2001 to 2010, was a board member of Scotland’s Entrepreneurial Exchange, which has some 400 members heading-up companies that employ more than 150,000 people and with a collective turnover of over US$25 billion.

It is no surprise therefore that this year Nelson won the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion for individuals who have played an important role in promoting enterprise skills and supporting entrepreneurs.

Follow Nelson Gray on Twitter and meet this giant of early-stage investment in person at ABAF in Queenstown this October. By securing your seat at the forum you are joining the southern hemisphere’s largest international exclusive investor event.

Register now, Asian Business Angels Forum, Queenstown, New Zealand, October 14-15 2015.

 ABAF2015, NZ

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Lead Partners

NZTE NZGCP PWC “NZX” Callaghan Innovation

Expert Partner

AVID “Jarden”

AANZ Summit Sponsors

“UniServices” Kiwinet “AWS” “BNZ” “Momentum” “Punakaiki” “MBIE” “GD1” “WellingtonUniVentures” “Movac”