Maria Jose Alvarez to co-lead WNT Ventures, Aotearoa New Zealand’s most established Deep Tech investment company
TAURANGA. 27 March 2023 — Maria Jose (MJ) Alvarez and Carl Jones will be working side by side leading WNT Ventures and supporting founders solving the world’s biggest challenges today and tomorrow. MJ needs no introduction to the NZ deep tech ecosystem, and her passion for championing deep tech founders is well entrenched. MJ joined WNT in 2021 as an Investment Manager and her progression to Partner is a natural evolution for her career and for WNT Ventures.
Founder and Investor
The entrepreneurial seed was planted during her undergraduate degree in Biotechnology Engineering in Chile, where MJ took her innovation from lab to market, founding and operating VidAoX, a deep-tech start-up focused on the Agritech sector. Commercialising her deep tech innovation gave MJ experience of what it is to build a deep tech company, and she has been investing in deep tech founders since her arrival in New Zealand in 2016. During this time, she has also completed her Masters in Bioscience Enterprise and supported the innovation ecosystem through a myriad of initiatives.
MJ says, “New Zealand has world-leading science and engineering, and when it comes to deep tech innovations, WNT Ventures has the track record and experience to turn these ideas into reality. I’m passionate about investing in the best founders and working alongside them, as well as providing our LP’s great returns. I am very proud to work alongside Carl and the team developing the next phase for WNT Ventures.”
MJ’s strength lies in closing the gap between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Venture Capital and she believes this provides the bridge she wanted to find when she founded her own deep tech company.
NZ's Most Established Early Stage Deep Tech Investor
WNT Ventures was established in 2014 with the support of Bay of Plenty institutions and entrepreneurs. Since then, the company has expanded into its Auckland office which MJ leads. WNT has three funds and was the first investor in a number of great New Zealand companies including Foundry Lab, Mint Innovation, and more recently b.Spkl. Investing in deep tech and supporting these founders requires a specific skill set and expertise that the team at WNT Ventures possess, as a tight knit and uniquely inclusive unit.
MJ is currently on the board of three deep tech companies and will become a Director of WNT Ventures Management company and will join the Investment Committee. The entire team are excited about this next stage of deep tech in NZ and hope you join us in congratulating MJ.