Business · 12 Mar 2020

Southland’s New Angel Investor Network Gets Its Wings

News Desk

News Desk


A new funding and support collective has been launched in Southland and Otago, creating a network for startups and investors to converge. Mainland Angel Investors (MAI) an angel investment network founded by Startup Dunedin, COIN South and Startup Queenstown Lakes, officially launched on Wednesday evening with a group of potential angel investors and local business community attending.

The launch recognised the continued development of COIN South as an investment pathway for startups and emerging businesses in Otago and Southland.

“We are very excited to launch the Mainland Angel Investor network. This has been part of the broader vision that we have had for COIN South from the beginning.

In Southland and Otago, we’ve proven it’s possible to ‘bootstrap’ a startup to a few staff, but scaling a company is different. Our size and isolation can make it inefficient and cost prohibitive for startups to raise capital locally” Prue Halstead, Chief Starter of COIN South says.

By collaborating, MAI can streamline the capital raise and avoid double-handling so founders can spend time on their business. And investors get more deal flow, and greater depth in due diligence resources” Halstead says. “It’s a win-win.”

Suse Reynolds, Executive Director of Angel Network New Zealand agrees, “The Angel Association is very supportive of Mainland Angel Investors and is delighted to see the level of activity and collaboration happening across the region”.

COIN South has engaged with over 100 founders since its inception in August 2019. Since then COIN South has been working hard on providing support through mentoring, events and connections for these local startups. MAI is a further evolution of the local startup ecosystem, creating a pathway for angel investors to invest in local businesses. Angel investors who become a member of the network will have the benefit of investment opportunities and supporting innovative businesses in the regions.

Amongst the innovators there’s a clever solution for tractor couplings, tech to make fundraising easier; a fisherman fighting fishing-fatigue and a video gamer fighting youth suicide rates.

The MAI launch was live streamed connecting with other member centres in Queenstown and Dunedin. Katherine Sandford Chair of UBCO was the guest speaker from the Dunedin event. Katherine spoke from her experience as an investor and board member in a NZ early stage technology company. UBCO designs and manufactures a range of electric utility vehicles for both in and off-road use and it’s 2×2 has been tested in the New Zealand farm environment for more than four years – and is now exported to markets around the world.

“The investment ecosystem is complex and raising capital is difficult for any company, let alone an early stage one where the risks are significant. The angel investor network has the opportunity to add real value – not only with early stage capital but with advice, insights and access to their broader networks.” Katherine Sandford said.

Investors interested in finding out more about becoming an angel investor can get in touch with Prue Halstead [email protected] or head to the website