Written by SWTeam

'The main thing for an entrepreneur is that depth and passion of commitment' and this is something Carl experiences first hand every day.

Carl runs WNT Ventures, an early stage fund and technology incubator actively establishing and building companies from the ground up

"I have been involved in the startup world for a number of years now...  I made my first two “angel” investments 16 years ago into a therapeutic and a battery technology, both of which I lost my investment entirely – in hindsight not an entirely unexpected result.  I have a background in investment both in London and in New Zealand and have attempted several startups in my own right none majorly successful but great learnings all the same. 

I have also owned a small company in the construction business for a period of time which I extracted from a private equity firm I worked for, but have since moved on from that. 

My experience over a number of years with New Zealand Ventures Investment Fund really introduced me fully to the structures now revolving around building startups. It was an immense opportunity to have a helicopter viewpoint across 160 startups, 9 VC funds and 15 angel groups to really understand what does and doesn’t work and why – in short I’m as in the dark as everyone else is.   

Fast forward to today I now run WNT Ventures, a technology incubator and investment fund, in which we invest into IP-rich technologies from research institutes in New Zealand and from the private sector. We form companies, build teams and company strategies and meet some amazing people and ideas in the process.  We invest into companies in engineering, materials, software, hardware, high value manufacturing, medical devices, tools and diagnostics, food and nutraceuticals, ag tech and many other areas.   

The main thing for an entrepreneur is that depth and passion of commitment – because it always gets hard at some point and that’s when you need to dig in deep.  You have to love what you do.   

I get a real kick out of helping companies and entrepreneurs think through their ideas and I love being made redundant as the entrepreneurs knowledge grows.   I’ve watched plenty of pitches to know what comes across well, am deeply across the financial side of things, strategy, and understanding whether companies have actually validated their product/service or if they are still just guessing.    

TGASW is a fantastic process. I’ve been a judge before and involved on the fringes prior to that and I’m always impressed by the process the participants run through and the learnings they achieve as a result.  It seems to have addictive qualities as people keep coming back which is great to see. 

I can’t think of a better way to get your business idea validated that allows you to consider the views of many to make your decision and build your strategy, rather than the views of one person you happened to seek advice from who is vaguely related to you and “knows business”.  "

Come and meet Carl and other exceptional business mentors on September 23-25 - Secure your spot here


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