I represented Hatcher at the Asian Business Angels Forum in Queenstown, New Zealand, on 15-16 October 2015. (Queenstown is a small city in the southwest of the South Island of New Zealand, nestled amidst some spectacular scenery)
The forum was well attended. I noticed some things and gained valuable insights from speaking with members of the community. A few things jumped out at me:
It seems much of the mechanics of the community’s working are a result of having to deal with the circumstances in which the community operates:
What I appreciated about the community was that there was recognition that some of the early phenomena resulting from the natural evolution of the community should be corrected. In particular, it used to be seen as a badge of honour for startups to do second or third rounds at large valuations, which ended up trapping some start-ups up a tree they then had to make the unpleasant decision to climb down from. Today there seems to be more understanding that valuations need to be explainable by reference to where the company was in its growth journey.
The community was also very open to learning how to do things better.
There, I feel the experience we have had growing Hatcher’s processes and portfolio could add some value. Points I made in my panel session about the value of applying process and intensive involvement as a venture builder, focusing on a niche (B2B in our case), having a clear idea of founder profile (we preferred older founding teams that had a range of experience and competences), were not lost on those listening. I had many good conversations about this after my panel session at the event and look forward to more such exchanges.
Another thing that struck me – and this is larger than just the angel or venture scene - was how down to earth, open and sincere people in the community were. There was a lot of warmth, tremendous amounts of kind sentiment, and a willingness among people I spoke with to make introductions. This community clearly has a strong ethic and all the ingredients for progress together.
Hatcher looks forward to being involved with the New Zealand venture community in the years ahead.
For more information on the NZ angel investment scene, see here:
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