You can now view the WNT Ventures website at

In the next couple of weeks, WNT Ventures will be announcing the identity of the successful applicant to the recently advertised Venture Manager vacancy. Expect a Version 2.0 of the website to be released shortly after. In the meantime, it has been full throttle for the wider WNT Ventures team.

The Bay of Plenty: Home to WNT Ventures

The Bay of Plenty: Home to WNT Ventures

Discussions with universities and crown research institutes have begun. Identifying complex IP that has the potential for commercialisation is a key part of the required deal flow. As Oren Gerstein advised when we all met in Tauranga last week, there is no shortage of great innovation in New Zealand. We just need to harness our resources, take the risk and then exploit the opportunity.

Talking of opportunity, I am heading out to San Francisco next month to meet a number of potential business and investor partners in the city and Silicon Valley. At his public presentation on Friday, Oren talked about the need to ‘Think Global from Day 1”. That mantra is shared by the whole team at WNT Ventures. To build a technology with the view of commercialising it to the New Zealand market only, is not part of our plan. Going global is. It will enable WNT Ventures to scale the opportunities we deliver.

One of the great things about the founding partners of WNT is our shared vision for the future. Both TiDA and Newnham Park have extensive offshore connections and networks. By leveraging those dots from Day 1, we will be able to accelerate the growth of our incubating businesses. Wharf42’s strengths are primarily focused on the ICT sector. By bringing in our two partners’ focus areas of high value manufacturing and innovative AgriTech to support the primary sector, we have the opportunity to build the significant high-tech enterprises as envisaged by Callaghan Innovation.

In a related conversation, NZ Herald Business Editor, Liam Dann, made some interesting observations under the heading ‘Time to lead NZ beyond ‘the cusp’  on Monday. To those reading this post offshore, these observations followed Saturday’s New Zealand General Election in which the National Party formed the next Government. Again.

‘Business wants to see renewed focus on research and development. National must continue to drive the commercialisation of the country’s great innovation and science.

Only by embracing technology will we shift our economy up the value chain. So, let’s not be shy. We are a small nation. We should aim to lead the world in that space – at least per capita. The Government does need to pick some winners and back some fledgling industries, without getting in the way of business or creating new layers of bureaucracy’.

I agree with Dann’s words.

Today’s upload of the WNT website is the first public positioning of the venture. Going forward, our vision is to lead the drive to commercialise the country’s innovation and science space. It’s a vision designed to take New Zealand beyond the cusp and help transform this country’s economy.

That work is now underway.

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