NZ startups to get boost from new Chinese angel group

The first Chinese angel investment network in New Zealand could be up and running as early as next year.

The first Chinese angel investment network in New Zealand could be up and running as early as next year.

The funding for the group and its investments will come from local and overseas Chinese investors. Other investors include the privately-funded Ice Angels group – the largest Australasian angel investment group with 100 directors, set up by business incubator The Icehouse – and investment firm Pacific Channel.

Brent Ogilvie, managing director of Pacific Channel and Ice Angels advisory board member, is one of the seven directors of the new Chinese-focused subgroup. 

He said the idea was formed after he realised how few New Zealand Chinese directors were involved in the angel investment group.

It aims to connect successful Chinese investors with Chinese entrepreneurs working in New Zealand who lack the investment and market connections to be successful. The group will mainly focus on Chinese entrepreneurs in the technology sector including those working in the life and medical sciences, manufacturing and ICT.

“New Zealand is good at innovation and technology, however, beyond the first two million it is difficult to fund ventures. The group will provide an injection of capital, knowledge and market connections with east Asia," he said.

“We’re excited by this opportunity, to inject new capital and new market connections into young companies.”

The Chinese angels are looking to expand to 12 directors and have advertised through Auckland University and New Zealand Asia groups for an intern. Ogilvie said the group had received a number of applications so far.

Ogilvie said the first group meeting would likely be held at the Auckland Town Hall after Chinese New Year in the week of February 20.

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