The end of October always brings a long weekend and a feeling of big things to come here at WNT. We held our AGM on the 29th October, and it’s always a good opportunity to bring our Limited Partners and Shareholders together with the Board and WNT team.

Many of our portfolio companies in Fund II will be raising their next round of capital in early 2020 with Foundry Lab well into the process with a large raise of $2 - $3 million. This has garnered substantial interest throughout the New Zealand angel community and from potential offshore investors. We are looking forward to closing out the round by the end of the year.

We have made a very small investment into a company called PIP IOT without the matching Callaghan Repayable Loan - the first investment of this kind for us. PIP is an industrial Internet of Things (IOT) company which has developed level sensing technology.

Startup Folk #3

Revolutionary Products and the Teams that Build Them: Lessons in Scaling from Amazon and Apple.

On Wednesday the 13th November we are hosting our third Startup Folk for 2019. The event is an opportunity for us to give back to the community here in Tauranga. This time around we have John Olsen (recently the VP for HR WWO at Amazon) and Vignesh Kumar (previously the Enclosure Engineering Manager in the Portables team at Apple) as our speakers, it should make for an enlightening afternoon and we hope you can join us here at the Basestation on Durham Street. It’s a free event and you can register at

Callaghan Innovations Tech Incubator Programme

We have submitted our tender for the next iteration of the technology incubator programme and we now wait for the shortlist to be announced. We expect to have more information on progress by mid-November and Callaghan have indicated they are still on track for a decision by mid-December.

Market Validation for Deep Tech

WNT held our second Market Validation for Deep Tech workshop in early October down in Christchurch. We run a workshop every quarter so if this is something that you feel you might be interested in reach out to us to find out more. We hope to run the next workshop in Tauranga before the end of the year.

The workshop, run by Laura Faulconer, focuses initially on developing an understanding of the problem-market fit, and is designed to enable inventors to better define the problem their technology is solving. This leads to identifying the customer segmentation and initial beachheads they may target for their initial customer interviews. Follow up meetings at 2 weeks and 1-month post workshop are included in the package. Upon completion of the programme participants will have reached customer interview milestones established during the workshop and will have a report which can be used in future grant applications and investor discussions. Feedback from the October programme included the innovators feeling it would be beneficial to do this Market Validation work as early as possible in their process.

As always, a big thank you to Kiwinet and in particular Seumas who facilitated the introduction to the various participants, and a warm welcome to Alexandra who has joined the Kiwinet team.

For some further information on how WNT views market validation for deep tech companies see Laura’s recent blog post here.

Fund 3

We are also preparing for our Fund 3 capital raise which we are targeting a $10 - $20 million fund. We should be formally in the market by early 2020 but welcome initial conversations for interested parties.