Workshops on capital-raising

Oliviah Theyer-Collins, of Christchurch, was in Dunedin for the NZTE capital-raising workshop at...
Oliviah Theyer-Collins, of Christchurch, was in Dunedin for the NZTE capital-raising workshop at Galloway Cook Allan on Wednesday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A series of workshops have been held across Otago and Southland with the aim of educating businesses to raise capital.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), Mainland Angel Investment Network and a panel of established start-ups and investors have travelled across the region this week holding workshops in Invercargill, Queenstown and Dunedin.

The sessions were part of a national roadshow in various regions to help businesses begin building a game plan for realising international growth potential.

NZTE’s investment manager Oliviah Theyers-Collins said the businesses that attended were mainly those that exported or were seeking to export and needing investment capital for growth.

"They will probably be in market and probably have got some sales.

"But the essential piece of the puzzle is they have something to sell, they have a growth proposition in mind and also they are looking for investment in the next six to 18 months.

"There might be some that can take the knowledge away from this programme and implement it straight away or there might be those that go, OK, now that I know that we will wait six months," she said.

Ms Theyers-Collins said the contents of the workshops were tweaked "just a little" depending on the hosting town.

"Given the way we are running the workshops it is pretty much the same but for example, in Dunedin we know there is the university so there are deep tech companies here so we have someone on the panel who can talk to those deep tech investment opportunities.

"And when we were in Southland, we had more of an engineering and manufacturing focus and in Queenstown there is a tourism gap so it was about that diversification," she said.

Ms Theyers-Collins believed Covid-19 had created new opportunities for raising capital.

"In the investment side of things there is more capital available and that is at borders open and already we had a few offshore funds, typically Australian VC [venture capital] funds coming into New Zealand.

"But with interest rates at an all time low and property, even through it is sort of going through the roof in some areas, can be high-risk, so I think that asset class of investing in business is really starting to expand," she said.

That has meant there is a lot more capital around and has allowed businesses to be a bit more "choosy," she said.

"I think with Covid on the founder side of things, people have really pivoted and have been forced to really think about their businesses and they are ready to bring in that growth capital.

"So you bring those two things together: more capital and more appetite for growth and it is a really exciting time," she said.

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