A scout programme with a one million dollar fund behind it is launching in New Zealand to help ten lucky Kiwis invest into their promising business.
Los Angeles based venture capitalist, Rob Vickery, has created the scout programme to provide ten New Zealanders with the opportunity of a lifetime as well as 100,000 dollars each towards an idea worthy of investment.
“Scout programmes are a pretty established and successful way of finding hot new investment prospects in Silicon Valley, but so far, no-one has launched one in New Zealand,” says Hillfarrance CEO Rob Vickery.
“We’re looking for unique individuals that can really sniff out an interesting concept or gap in the market. The most effective scouts in Silicon Valley have been founders and serial entrepreneurs, former institutional investors who want to try the other side of the table, and well-connected individuals who have unique access to groups of people who are pursuing really cool things.”
Vickery started the 35-40 million dollar venture capital fund Hillfarrance during the Covid-19 pandemic and plans to move to New Zealand once the travel restrictions are lifted. He says New Zealand represents an opportunity towards venture capital as it has a community of entrepreneurs and companies such as Halter and Rocketlab, that push the boundaries of innovation.
“It has a small but vibrant investor community who have valiantly served the ecosystem on its own until now and now need additional sources of capital to take it to version 2.0.
“What better way to find these opportunities than through the smart, switched on business community themselves who have great connections and insights but perhaps lack the funds.”
The programme will begin with the scout identifying a team and idea that is worthy of investment. After undertaking due diligence on the investment, both Hillfarrance and the scout will decide whether or not to proceed with the investment. Finally, Hillfarrance wires the money to startup. After the company exists or creates dividends, the returns will then be split between the scout and Hillfarrance. Not just anyone will be let loose with the fund though, the chosen ten will need to demonstrate they have what it takes to pick a winner.
“Regardless of their origin story, a good Hillfarrance scout will have an insatiable curiosity for new ideas, a natural ability to connect deeply with people and a character that reflects the values of our company – humility, passion, and a sense of family.”
Vickery’s fascination with New Zealand comes from our track record of establishing wildly successful startups in a unique position to create an unfair advantage.
“What excites me about the New Zealand entrepreneurial ecosystem is that there is talent in so many different pockets of the community. It has probably one of the most active and engaged angel investor communities in the world and has already created a number of wildly successful companies. With a little more capital investment I expect that to continue to trend upwards.”
Those who believe they have what it takes can apply with a brief bio or cv about why they think they would make a good scout to firstname.lastname@example.org.