After serving on the WNT Ventures Investment Committee for six years, both Bill Murphy of Enterprise Angels and I officially stood down from that role yesterday .
It’s been a real honour to firstly co-found WNT to provide the Bay of Plenty with a very important cog in its emerging innovation ecosystem. Secondly, the Investment Committee has played a key role in building up the incubator’s portfolio of companies. The good news is that I am not saying goodbye to WNT.
I remain a member of the WNT Ventures GP Board helping look after the interests of Fund 1. And what an exciting group of companies we have supported and helped grow from their early beginnings; Avertana, Mint Innovation, Nyriad and Mastaplex. Not forgetting of course OneSixOne which was acquired by a major US interest in 2019.
Yesterday, Bill and I were joined by Carl and the WNT Executive team for lunch. I am posting the photograph above so that family and friends back in the UK can see how we lunch in Tauranga in mid-winter! It was also good to have my original co-founders join us; Steve Saunders, Ian Macrae, Beppie Holm and Scott Hamilton. It’s been a blast.
WNT Ventures itself goes from strength to strength. In December, Callaghan Innovation announced a license for a further 8 years of co-funding using the Technology Incubator model. WNT has publicly announced that it’s raising Fund 3. You can find out more details about this at our website. The Board is also looking for a couple of new independent directors who will also sit on the Investment Committee. As deals get bigger, we are keen to ensure that new blood can contribute to the ongoing growth of the organisation and the portfolio of companies that we invest in.
My departure from the IC is part of a more general clearing up of some of my current workload. As I’ve indicated elsewhere in these blog posts, closed borders are impacting on New Zealand’s agritech sector both now and I believe in the future. The offshore landscape will not revert to ‘normal’ any time soon.
Focusing on that challenge is where I intend to ‘invest’ more of my time now.
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