Some of Australia’s leading venture capitalists are visiting our shores in August. For New Zealand tech startups looking to raise capital, this might be a great opportunity to meet, connect and engage.

The visit is being put together by the aptly-named High Expectation and its co-sponsors, Amazon Web Services and New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE). You can learn more about the application criteria and the pitch dates here.

The Aussies are coming

Time to apply is short: You have until 5pm (NZ time) this Friday 21 July to submit your pitch. The pitch dates are:

  • In Auckland: Thursday, 24 August: The 12 selected startups will pitch – 6 over breakfast and 6 over lunch
  • In Wellington: Friday, 25 August: The 6 selected startups will pitch over breakfast

I can work out the numbers. The inbound Aussie delegation is looking to view up to 18 Kiwi tech startups over 2 days. That I guess will be made up of the shortlist from those applying.

Some key messages then; (just confirming what we already know):

  • New Zealand’s startup tech sector is maturing to the point at which it is a source of investment opportunity and deal flow for offshore venture investors
  • New Zealand’s own angel investment community is in good health. It’s building a strong pipeline / portfolio of companies for follow-on global (and hopefully some domestic) venture investors. Just check out Enterprise Angels, Ice Angels, AngelHQ and Kiwi Flying Angels. These folks do the walk and the talk.
  • New Zealand’s incubators and accelerators also have the opportunity to reach out and engage with the global venture community. At this afternoon’s WNT Ventures Investment Committee meeting, I expect this to be on the agenda.

One of the interesting things about next month’s visit to New Zealand by our Aussie mates is that I knew nothing about it until the end of last week. Absolutely zero. I must be spending too much time in Tauranga. It has had little to no real visibility in the channels I would normally expect to see coverage for such an event.

So over the weekend I had an email exchange with Sue Hogan who is organising the trip on the other side of the pond. Sue is the former General Manager of Innovation Bay in Sydney and is currently Program Manager for SBE Australia. Sue confirmed that the in-bound list was looking great with representation from several of Australia’s top tier VC firms. They are looking at Kiwi tech startup and early stage businesses in the market for Seed to Series B funding.

Sue also asked me for help in spreading the word to the startup community. So here we go.

There are just 5 days left to apply.

  1. You can complete the online application form at
  2. Alternatively, if you want to find out more, I suggest contacting Sue directly at

I look forward to learning more about how this interesting-looking initiative maps out.