Northland start-up companies could now get their hands on investments of up to $100,000 as an Angel Network is ready to spread an investment mantle across the region, with up to 20 high net worth investors poised to give wings to new business. Christine Allen looks at the Dragon's Den style divine intervention blossoming in the region
There is nothing supernatural about the investors that will consider the business pitches of two Northland companies next month - they just have the capital that start-ups need and are hungry for some tasty returns.
The New Zealand Angel Association is operating networks in Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Queenstown, connecting investors with early stage companies.
Through Ice Angels in Auckland, economic development group Northland Inc has so far engaged up to 20 investors in Northland.
Two Whangarei companies, and one from Auckland, will face the panel of Northland angels in October. The companies have IT-based pitches and have been working with Northland Inc to perfect their applications before meeting investors.
Their training has focused on due diligence, business opportunities and presentation skills.
Suse Reynolds, executive director of the New Zealand Angel Association, said individual angels invest between $5000 and $100,000 in any one deal.
They often have up to 20 deals on the go at any one time and accept that 50 per cent of deals will flop.
"Angel investing is such a powerful thing to do for a local economy.
She said some angels preferred to remain under the radar.
"But others are very happy to be ev-angel-ists for the cause."
Mostly, they are looking for a meaningful return. The association offer networks and also funds, which companies can apply for, with or without opportunities for mentoring and strategic influence.
Currently, angels must earn a net $200,000 per year for over two years or have access to assets worth $2 million or more.
Financial Markets Authority reforms would soon allow smaller investors to come on board, thus expanding angel networks for smaller deals.
Technology is one of the network's preferred areas of investment. Networks are also accredited with the Seed Co-Investment Fund, allowing for potential for qualifying transactions to receive the matching Government funds.
Joseph Stuart, general manager of business growth at Northland Inc said as 25 per cent of New Zealand's top 50 rich listers had homes or holiday in the east coast of Northland, we have plenty of angels.
Mr Stuart said Northland offered an attractive lifestyle to business people, which was perhaps why we had so many potential investors here.
"Lots of wealthy New Zealanders come here on holidays, but have they been approached to become investors and mentors?
"Yes they are on holidays, but businesspeople love a good investment opportunity."