Rudi Bublitz has been awarded Angel Association New Zealand’s 2021 Arch Angel Award today at the 14th New Zealand Angel Summit in Wellington.
The Arch Angel Award is the highest honour in New Zealand’s angel investment community, given to those who exemplify the quintessential angel and who advocate for the endeavour and make a significant difference to New Zealand’s start-up ecosystem. As well as their personal capital, Arch Angel recipients share their time, insights, deeply relevant skills and their networks with high growth start-up companies.
Originally from Germany, Rudi’s journey with angel investment in New Zealand began with his membership of Ice Angels where he was an active member for about 5 years. Rudi was awarded the Ice Angels Active Investor Award in 2011 and was a member of the Ice Angels screening committee. In 2012 he left Ice Angels to start Flying Kiwi Angels (FKA).
FKA currently has 72 members and a portfolio of 32 ventures. The club has invested over $4m and is returning $11m to 60 investors over the coming months, including from the recently announced sale of Moxion to Autodesk, where Rudi was one of the first investors and an investor director. Rudi is currently a director of Mindful Muslim and GEO AR and a trusted adviser to a wide range of other founders and start-up businesses, both within the FKA portfolio, and more widely.
For nearly a decade, Rudi has been the driving force behind FKA as the “Chief Cat Herder”. FKA offers New Zealand angel investors a different model from traditional angel groups, with no membership fees and no commission on investment to founders. Members are deeply engaged with their portfolio companies and with founders and are very collaborative with each other and the wider ecosystem.
Rudi is also the founder of the ADI (Angel Drop In) advice clinics. Since ADI’s inception, dozens and dozens of these clinics have been held from Dunedin to Whangarei, delivering advice to thousands of founders and budding entrepreneurs. Rudi writes a weekly newsletter and is active on LinkedIn, using both channels to champion his passionately held views for the integrity and success of early stage venture investment.
Each year, the Arch Angel award recipient is chosen by the previous years’ winners.
Acknowledging Rudi’s tireless dedication to venture investment for over 15 years, Angel Association Chair, Suse Reynolds, noted that Rudi is without doubt one of the community’s more colourful characters.
“Rudi’s maverick M.O can at times bump up against kiwi reserve but there is never any doubt that Rudi cares and that his intent is very genuinely to see venture investment in New Zealand be highly successful,” she said.
Fellow Arch Angel and FKA member, Debra Hall says “Rudi is a relentless force for good in the New Zealand angel investment community. While his direct “tell it as I see it” approach is not always to everyone’s taste, his guidance and wisdom is valued by both founders and fellow angel investors. He cares deeply for people, wants us all to do better and be better and is never too busy to help with advice and support. I am truly delighted to welcome Rudi into our band of NZ Arch Angels; an award that is long overdue.”
Rudi received his award at the 2021 annual Angel Summit, which was postponed twice in 2021 and finally held at Ohariu Farm in Wellington this week. This year’s delegates are being encouraged to be more ambitious under the theme of “Go Big or Go Home” with speakers such as Straker Translation’s co-founder, Merryn Straker and Toha founder, Nathalie Whittaker.
Former Arch Angel winners include The Warehouse founder and K1W1 founder Stephen Tindall; Andy Hamilton, former chief executive of The Icehouse and IceAngels founder; US super angel Bill Payne; Movac Ventures founder Phil McCaw; veteran angel investor the late Dr Ray Thomson; prolific AngelHQ member Trevor Dickinson, former AANZ Chair Marcel van den Assum; ardent angel investor Debra Hall, champion for kiwi start-ups Dave Moskovitz and long-time Ice Angels member Scott Gilmour and most recently SaaS champion, Serge van Dam, a member of AngelHQ.
For more information, please contact:
The Angel Association of New Zealand (AANZ)
The Angel Association is 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. It was established in 2008 to bring together New Zealand angels and early-stage funds. AANZ currently has 50 members representing over 800 individual angels associated with New Zealand’s key angel networks and funds. AANZ works closely with NZTE and Callaghan Innovation and a number of private sector partners including Jarden, PWC, Avid Legal, KiwiNet, Uniservices, Amazon Web Services, BNZ and NZX. For more, please visit: www.angelassociation.co.nz