New Regime at Angel Association New Zealand
As outgoing Angel Association New Zealand Chair, John O’Hara steps down from his two-year term, the AANZ today announced the appointment of the current Executive Director, Suse Reynolds to the role.
“As an active angel, a co-founder of Wellington’s 90-strong AngelHQ and one of the first AANZ Council members, this appointment is not only a natural progression for Suse it also marks the beginning of an exciting new period of activity for the AANZ,” said John O’Hara.
The AANZ is also delighted to announce the appointment of Bridget Unsworth to the position of Operations Director. Bridget brings deeply relevant experience following nearly 10 years as Investment Director of the seed co-investment programme at the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.
Both appointments will take effect from 31 March.
Suse Reynolds acknowledged the contribution John O’Hara has made to the Angel Association noting he led work to establish Flight, an annual programme of events to support investor directors, instigated The Runway, an initiative to bring together founders and investors, and that he spends countless hours mentoring and supporting founders and investors. John will remain an active and engaged angel and mentor.
In a little over a decade, formal angel investment in New Zealand has grown from three or four networks with about 300 investors to over a dozen networks with nearly 1000 members investing over a $100m per annum. Over 250 start-ups have received angel investment in that time.
Looking to the next decade Suse Reynolds said the industry would double-down on growing angel investment but will also bring a tighter focus to the support being provided to those founders and investors making traction to help them expedite their growth and generate the financial and socio-economic returns expected of the asset class.
“It is important that we continue to grow the pipeline of investors and investment as there is no shortage of deal flow. Literally dozens of incredible start-ups are being generated every year by ambitious, creative kiwis commercialising their own ideas and the stunning IP being generated by New Zealand’s universities and crown research organisations,” said Suse Reynolds.
“It is equally important we expedite the success of the current portfolio of angel-backed ventures. The AANZ is about to put our programme of connectivity and professional development on steroids. We learn best by doing and by sharing the doing – so look out for more events bringing experienced and inexperienced founders and investors together, more governance workshops, more on how to navigate term sheet negotiations and more on how to ensure cap tables are in good shape,” Suse Reynolds pointed out.