A Busy Start To The WNT Year
WNT has had an exceptionally busy year, so getting to newsletters has been difficult to say the least. As well as running Market Validation Workshops and planning for the launch of Fund III, we are pleased to announce a number of new companies joining us.
New Fund II Companies
Marama Labs – out of Victoria University of Wellington. Marama has developed CloudSpec, a new kind of spectrometer that analyses the chemical composition of liquid samples using ultra-violet visible light, giving unprecedented insight into production processes.
Insite AI – Insite is developing enterprise software which enables retailers to make better buying decisions. Insite is able to better anticipate consumer trends and pre-empt stock quantities both of which are known pain points for retailers.
OPUM Technologies – an AI/robotics company out of Auckland University – their first product is the Digital Knee™: a digital orthopaedic brace initially targeting improving ACL injury patient outcomes.
An instrumented brace collects sensor data to track and monitor the joint, together with an AI-driven platform that optimises the patient rehabilitation program. OPUM’s vision is to revolutionise the orthopaedic rehabilitation industry through intelligent automation.
Farrago AI – Farrago has developed artificial intelligence technology to automate large parts of the data scientist role, empowering non-technical users to apply machine learning algorithms to existing data with a few clicks of a button.
We also have one more that we can’t quite announce yet but has us excited with its addition to the portfolio.
Market Validation for Deep Tech
WNT held our first Market Validation for Deep Tech workshop in early March. This workshop saw four innovators of early stage technologies, from universities and Crown Research Institutes (CRI’s), attend a 1-day workshop in Tauranga developed and run by WNT’s Laura Faulconer.
The workshop is a full day focused initially on developing a better understand of the problem-market fit. It enables inventors to better define the problem their technology is solving and begin to identify the customer segmentation and initial beachheads they may target for their initial customer interviews. Following the workshop attendees get access to fortnightly calibration meetings with milestones being the completion of customer interviews and will have a report which can be used in future grant applications and investor discussions.
A big thank you Kiwinet and in particular Seumas who facilitated the introduction to the various participants.
We run a workshop every quarter so if this is something that you feel you might be interested in reach out to us at our contact details below and we can provide you with some details of what to expect as well as the cost. We will accept participants from both public sector and the private sector however places are limited to five each workshop.
The next workshop is going to be held in Christchurch in September and is already sold out.
For some further information on how WNT views market validation for deep tech companies see Laura’s recent blog post here.
Callaghan Innovation Technology Incubator Programme 2.0
Callaghan recently announced their continued support for the tech incubator programme and in recognition of its potential have increased the support.
This increased support fits neatly into WNT Ventures own vision of growth, so we look forward to being involved in the RFP process. Submissions are due in early October.
If all of that isn’t enough, WNT is beginning the initial planning for raising our third fund later this year – after our RFP has been submitted. We anticipate Fund III to be of a much larger scale – around $15m – $20m – to enable us to invest into more pre-revenue deep tech companies throughout New Zealand.
Even though we are aiming for a larger fund, we will stay true to our track record and will continue to focus on pre-seed and seed stage companies with strong IP and global potential.