Angel investing is more than just investing capital in start-ups; it is also about rolling up your sleeves and getting involved with start-ups – including sharing networks, joining the board and mentoring. Last week Enterprise Angels celebrated its Annual Angel Awards; an opportunity to acknowledge those who have really embraced what it means to be an Enterprise Angels member over the last year.
New Member of the Year
This award recognizes a member who joined in the last 12 months and has been actively engaged during that time, embracing what it means to be a member of Enterprise Angels. The criteria for the award is based on a combination of investment contribution, event attendance, and active engagement.
There was a strong lineup of finalists, with Nik Burfoot taking the award for 2022 that was proudly sponsored by Priority One.
Nik became a member of Enterprise Angels in October 2021 and dived straight into due diligence. Due diligence is a great way for members to really understand what makes a company tick and is a critical part of angel investing. In addition to undertaking due diligence, Nik attended seven member events, provided specialist input into screening and invested in a couple of companies.
Nina Le Lievre, CEO of Enterprise Angels said “One of the things that our team value about Nik is how he is always keen to learn more and actively seeks ways to get involved and help out.”
Investor Rep of the Year
Enterprise Angels encourages members to take on the role of Investor Director or Investor Rep with one of their portfolio companies. The Investor Director role is self explanatory and is appointed in conjunction with the company and other investors, typically where our investment parcel is 10% or greater.
An Investor Rep is appointed to every company we invest in. This role is informal but important as it aims to maximise value for both the assigned company and its investors. The Investor Rep is a key contact point between the investee company and Enterprise Angels to ensure an active ongoing relationship that leverages the resources of EA to help support the company’s growth.
The finalists in this category highlighted the different ways Investor Reps support our portfolio companies, from looking after founder wellbeing, to building connections and adding value with expertise in a specialist area.
In acknowledgement for the work that he has done as the Supie Investor Rep, Hadleigh Ford was announced as this year’s winner. Seeing our experienced founders support the next generation of startups evidences the maturing of the startup ecosystem in New Zealand.
Sarah Balle, Founder of Supie, shared how much she had valued Hadleigh’s support. “As a founder, having someone on board who has experienced the startup journey and can support through all the highs and lows is incredibly invaluable. Hadleigh’s SwipedOn journey was hugely successful, and he brings this experience to the Supie journey. He’s also well aware of his obligations to investors and balances these sometimes-conflicting obligations effectively. The Supie board is grateful and proud to have someone of Hadleigh’s calibre as part of our journey.” Strategic partner and supplier of our investor portal, Syndex, sponsored this year’s Investor Rep award.
Angel of the Year
The final award of the evening was the 2022 Angel of the Year sponsored by Cooney Lees Morgan, our strategic partner and host for the Tauranga event. This was awarded to a member who has shown exceptional participation including committee involvement, due diligence participation, event participation, investments made and response time to emails to name a few – this member is an exceptional all-rounder.
From a great calibre of finalists, Andrew Knowles was awarded the title. Andrew has been a member of Enterprise Angels since the very beginning, and his enduring tenure and commitment to the group is humbling. He is a regular attendee at events, both online and in person and has been a significantly active investor during the year. Additionally, he has offered his expertise around Intellectual Property to a number of investee companies during the year, participated in due diligence, and volunteered at ADI (Angelic Drop In) Clinics.
Andrew unfortunately was unable to be at the awards as he was in Chicago, for a Patent Attorney sailing regatta. It was the first pitch night he has not attended for more than two years!
On hearing he had won the award Andrew said, “It is a most unexpected honor to be named Angel of the Year. I have truly enjoyed being a member of Enterprise Angels, right from the beginning with Geoff Wain, then the great leadership of Bill Murphy and more recently Nina.“
With over $62 million invested in 106 startup innovative companies since inception in 2008 Enterprise Angels is proud to be involved in supporting the growth of the New Zealand economy. This would not be possible with the commitment of the 200 members who make up the Enterprise Angels community.
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