The Hawke's Bay start-up investment scene has been given a boost with an announcement that Icehouse Ventures will partner with Hawke's Bay Angels.

The Angels said they had found that finding and grooming high-growth deals for professional investors is a time-consuming task, and finding and upskilling investors was also a constant challenge.

This is why the partnership with Icehouse Ventures is so important, says Dean Prebble, economic development manager, Napier City Council and Chairman of HB Angels Inc.

"In the past, local companies like Rockit Apple had nowhere local to go and ended up heading to Enterprise Angels in Tauranga for their capital.


"We have plenty of founders living in Hawke's Bay who have either recently exited their ventures or soon will be. They provide the basis of a rich investor community that can add significant skills and expertise to support the next phase of Hawke's Bay start-ups."

HB Angels was established in October 2017 with the help of Napier City Council, local law firm Sainsbury, Logan & Williams and a group of Hawke's Bay businesspeople, to identify and grow early stage Hawke's Bay businesses.

Chief executive of Icehouse Ventures Robbie Paul says the company is well positioned to meet the demand of top calibre founders who have raised the bar in New Zealand.

"The founders and leaders of our fast-growing young companies are understated heroes of this country, the backbone of the economy and the creative fibre of our future, solving real problems for a better future and better lives.

"We are seeing more second and third-time founders starting new companies. With our new partners we have this fantastic opportunity to step up and be a catalyst by proving greater amounts of capital over the next five to 10 years to fuel their global ambitions."

Icehouse Ventures collectively manages $50 million in funds and has invested over $106 million in 165 start-ups since establishing Ice Angels, one of NZ's first early stage investment groups, in 2003.

Icehouse Ventures is the investment arm of The Icehouse, which established itself in the region six years ago.

The Icehouse was established in 2001 to help New Zealand's entrepreneurs and business owners' growth, offering a range of programmes to help small and medium enterprises realise their potential.


In 2018, the Icehouse community invested $22 million into 56 start-ups.

HB Angels and Icehouse Ventures will hold investment pitch evenings four times a year in Hawke's Bay, and hold regular investor education events for aspiring investors.