Angel investing in Australia is alive and well! That’s the message from day one of the 4th Annual Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI) conference, which opened in Newcastle yesterday.
“As alternative sources of funding (like Venture Capital) continue to decline, the importance of the Angel community to the commercialisation of Australian innovations grows in importance,” John Mactaggart, Chairman of the AAAI, said to the gathering of angel investors from Angel associations in China, Chile, Scotland, New Zealand, USA, India, Wales and Singapore.
An Angel investor is a person who provides capital for a business start-up, usually in exchange for ownership equity. Entrepreneurs looking to grow their early stage ventures usually turn to high-net worth individuals or Angels to assist with the growth of the business.
The conference, in its fourth year, was created as a forum for Australian angels to network, learn and showcase industry best-practice. The AAAI was launched in 2007 by serial angels Mactaggart and Jordan Green in response to a need for a national association able to provide research, policy guidance and education to Angel investors around Australia.
Day one provided three education workshops: The first, an introduction to Angel investing lead by Mactaggart, an experienced investor who is the founder of Brisbane Angels and includes Technology One (ASX:TNE) as one of his successes. Mactaggart was joined by co-presenter Chris Twiss from the New Zealand Seed Co-Investment Fund.
The second workshop, run by Jordan Green, founder of Melbourne Angels, was an advanced workshop taking an in-depth look into term sheets. The third workshop, run by Andrew Loch chairman of Gold Coast Angels, explored the process of conducting detailed and thorough due diligence.
“Angels represent a key link in the virtuous cycle of economic growth for our nation. Building on the success they have in their own careers, Angels bring their expertise, experience and networks together as the intellectual capital they invest alongside their financial capital,” Jordan Green said, in his capacity as Deputy Chairman of the AAAI.
Neville Sawyer, AM, Chairman of the local organising committee and Chair of the Hunter Founders Forum welcomed the 170 delegates to the conference at a reception held at the Newcastle Maritime Museum at the Wharf. Neville reminded delegates that Newcastle was the first trading port in Australia and has, as a result, been at the heart of commerce in Australia.
The welcoming dinner saw Stewart Craine from Anthill Cool Company winner Barefoot Power introduce its rechargeable solar LED lamp. The solar lamp provides a cheaper light source for families in developing nations. Many of the guests were so impressed by the device they purchased one for their own use.
The State and Federal Government together with a host of local Newcastle businesses were recognised for their assistance to the conference. The NSW Department of Industry & Investment through Regional Development Australia (Hunter Region) is the Platinum Sponsor of the conference.’
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