Angel Funding

Angel Funding

ICE Angels is New Zealand’s largest group of Angel investors with 130 members from all over New Zealand and overseas. Since founded in 2003, the ICE Angels have invested over $50m into 54 companies.

Who are the ICE Angels?

Ken Erskine – ICE Angels Director

Ken has extensive sales and marketing experience working with a spectrum of organisations ranging from local start ups, to global multinationals. With over fifteen years of IT sales and marketing experience in New Zealand and Europe, Ken has held senior management/leadership roles at Hewlett Packard and Compaq.He was also involved in the initial sponsorship of The Icehouse. More recently, Ken has been working with local technology companies including IPFX (NZ based Unified Communications software developer) where he was responsible for worldwide marketing, channels and vendor partnerships for the past three years. He is also an active member of the Ice Angels network investing in Nexus 6, Biomatters and Optima Corporation.

The ICE Angels Advisory Board:

Brian Casey – Chairman

Brian has managerial experience in the construction materials sector, has been a director and shareholder in company providing independent professional services to commodity traders, director of DIY retail stores, held a managerial position heading up mergers and acquisitions role at JSE listed company, director of a coal exporting company, recently GM and CEO for oil companies.

Michael Blennerhassett

Michael works as an independent financial consultant, but prior to this spent fourteen years as an investment banker with First NZ Capital/Credit Suisse and more recently undertook a two year assignment in New Zealand and the United Kingdom as an executive director of financial software company, FNZ Holdings Ltd.

Debra Hall

Debra is a strategic thinker with over 25 years experience studying consumer and business decision-making. She has led a diverse range of projects in financial services, travel, media, consumer goods and social marketing.  Prior to market research, worked in the mining industry in South Africa, as SA’s first female metallurgical engineer.  Core skills are an understanding of consumer behaviour and decision-making, and the ability to assimilate and clarify large amounts of information from a variety of sources.

Andy Hamilton

Andy has been CEO of The Icehouse since its inception and was the founding Chair of Incubators New Zealand, the industry group representing incubators in New Zealand. He is a Board member of ANZATEC – the Australian New Zealand Technology Forum based in SiliconValley, a group who is tasked with creating a gateway for NZ and Australian technology companies to enter the US.  Prior to joining the Icehouse, Andy was CEO and Director of Inventure which was the VC arm of Fletcher Building.

Mark Wynne

Mark joined ICE Angels in 2012 after returning to New Zealand from living off-shore for many years.  Mark was frustrated by the lack of New Zealand Companies that have commercialised their innovations internationally.   “Most New Zealand innovations are capable of competing globally, but we seem to lack the vision, the knowledge or the capabilities to do so.”  Mark’s experience in leadership, innovation, strategy and international markets enable him to identify, review, mentor and invest in growth opportunities, especially those with an export focus.  Previous roles include being President South Asia of Kimberly-Clark and Managing Director of Fonterra Brands in Auckland, Singapore and Middle East.  After helping the ICE Angels put together their strategic plan in 2013, Mark was invited to join the ICE Angels Advisory Board.  Mark is also Chairman of ICE Angels investee company Fly1Above.

Alan Gourdie

Alan joined the ICE Angels in 2013, he is an internationally experienced CEO/Managing Director/Global Marketing Director of large, high profile national and global organisations within the telecommunications and FMCG (Pharmaceutical and drinks) industries.  His roles have been based in Amsterdam, Singapore, London and New Zealand.  Alan is now the Principal of Gourdie & Associates who provide local and international growth strategies and new product and service development programs for some of NZs leading companies including The Warehouse Group, Methven NZ, Burgerfuel International, Griffins foods and Potentia.  He is also a Director of the major iwi owned fisheries business Aotearoa Fisheries Ltd, Design Works, New Zealand’s largest design company and on the Advisory Board of the ICE Angels.  Alan also dedicates time to working of the Board of successful early stage companies such as Stqry and Parrot Analytics where he is Chairman.


ICE Angels support staff:

Robbie Paul – Startup Funding Manager

Robbie joined The Icehouse in 2008 after relocating from the east coast of the US. As Funding Manager, Robbie manages the ICE Angels and the $4M Entrepreneurs’ Challenge.  Robbie is the first point of contact for start-ups seeking angel investment and for investors seeking investment opportunities.As manager of the ICE Angels, Robbie has enabled investment of $6.8M into 15 companies over 30 rounds.  Robbie has trained under US Angel Capital Association Hans Serveriens Award Winner Bill Payne, US ACA Director Dan Rosen, and the US Angel Resource Institute Chairman Michael Cain. He is an Associate Council member of the Angel Association of New Zealand and a modest investor in Booktrack and 1Above.Robbie graduated from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington in 2008 with a degree in Business Development and Entrepreneurship. At UNC-W, Robbie held internships with a local angel investment network and a boutique private equity firm.

Tracey Thomson – ICE Angels administrator
Tracey joined The Icehouse and the ICE Angels in June 2010 to support the Start-Ups Director with a focus on ICE Angels. Tracey is responsible for managing and improving ICE Angels processes and tasks to enable more efficient operation, along with improved business performance.

ICE Angels Affiliate Memebers

The ICE Angels have close ties to angel networks and funds in both New Zealand and overseas. Affiliate membership is the mechanism through which angel networks, funds, and other organisations are able to formally engage with and invest through the ICE Angels.

  • Cure Kids Ventures
  • K1W1
  • New Zealand Venture Investment Fund
  • Pacific Channel


ICE Angel Investment Process

The following process outlines the typical steps taken by start-ups that are seeking capital from the ICE Angels. 

  1. Gust Applications: All start-ups seeking capital from the ICE Angels are required to submit an application to the ICE Angels’ online portal, Gust.
  2. Drop Sheet Review: The Gust application is reviewed to ensure it fits the criteria including stage of the business, opportunity to scale, uniqueness and IP position, funding required, and exit opportunities.
  3. Screening Committee Presentation: Selected applicants are invited to present to the ICE Angels screening committee.  Following the screening the most fitting applicants will have the opportunity to present at an ICE Angels Investment Evening.
  4. ICE Angels Investment Evening Presentation: Selected applicants are provided the opportunity to give a 10-minute presentation to the ICE Angels at a monthly Investment Evening.
  5. Follow on meeting: In the week following the Investment Evening, applicants spend two hours with interested investors in a meeting structured to enable the investors to establish an intimate understanding of the opportunity. Interested investors get together at the end of this meeting to indicate their interest.
  6. Due Diligence & Term Negotiations: Due diligence is performed by investors who have indicated an interest in the opportunity. The ICE Angels’ identify the key issues to tackle in due diligence and pursue a conclusive decision of whether or not to support the applicant. Due diligence usually takes 4-6 weeks. Negotiations of investment terms either take place throughout due diligence or following the completion of it.


The following are the general criteria that the ICE Angels consider when reviewing an investment opportunity:

Hard Criteria

  • Location: Company and assets must be located in NZ
  • Valuation: Company must not have a pre-money > NZD$10m
  • Industry: Applicant must not be property, mining, or banking related.
  • Applicant must be for-profit.

Soft Criteria

  • Preferred Industries: Software, media, web, mobile, robotics, biotech, medical devices
  • Stage: Beta product or service developed with validation or paying customers
  • Team: Experienced with deep capabilities relevant to the business opportunity
  • Uniqueness: defendable IP and/ or a defendable competitive advantage
  • Capital requirements for current round: $250k-$1.5m
  • Total capital requirements to exit: ideally, <$10m
  • Growth Forecasts: >$20m annual revenue in year 5
  • Exit opportunity: intention to achieve an exit within 5 years


Apply for ICE Angel Investment

For more information or to apply for ICE Angel Investment funding, please contact:

Robbie Paul
DDI: +64 9 308 6210


Become an ICE Angel

The ICE Angels is an angel investment network, not a fund. Investors make their own decisions on investments and take an active role in the company’s direction following investment. Members are CEOs, senior executives, entrepreneurs and professionals with experience in the entrepreneurial space. These active investors not only supply cash to the venture, but take a proactive role in supporting the investments.

When considering applications for membership we take into account the criteria below and your ability to ‘add value’.

Apply for Angel Membership

  1. Provide a completed copy of the ICE Angels Membership Application
  2. Provide a Certificate of Wealth from an accountant or a Certificate of Experience from independent financial services provider.
  3. Join ICE Angels GUST portal online

Applicants must be eligible as defined by the Securities Act. Eligibility is defined as:

  1. Wealthy: net assets of at least $2,000,000; or an annual gross income of at least $200,000 for each of the last 2 financial years
  2. Experienced in investing money as defined by the Securities Act

For more information about ICE Angels membership, please contact:

Robbie Paul
DDI: +64 9 308 6210

ICE Angel Events

Investment Evenings:

Once a month, the ICE Angels come together for presentations by three start-ups selected by the ICE Angels Screening Committee.

These evenings are for members of the ICE Angels network, and by management invitation only, other eligible investors. If you would like to attend an investment evening, please contact

Robbie Paul
DDI: +64 9 308 6210

Screening Committee Meetings

The ICE Angels Screening Committee meets at the Icehouse on the first Monday of each month to review applications and presentations by start-ups seeking angel capital. Please contact Robbie Paul if you would like to learn more about presenting.


ICE Angel Investments

Mesynthes is a soft-tissue repair company commercializing regenerative tissue substitutes based on their Endoform extracellular matrix platform. ICE Angels invested $75k in syndication with private investors in January 2012.

1Above is a drink that puts the body in the best condition to combat the 3 key physiological impacts of flight travel. With 4 years in research & development, 1Above’s mission is to help the world fly well, get more from their travels and return safely to their loved ones. 1Above offers electrolyte enhanced hydration, 67-133% of you daily B vitamin needs in every bottle, plus polyphenol extracts (like those found in red wine) that studies have shown reduce the impact of jet lag & support. ICE Angels invested $95K as part of a $1.1m capital raise in December 2011.

Im-Able is a health equipment business starting global marketing of its clinically proven systems for accelerated stroke recovery. The products based on clinical research, are motivational and easy to use. Able-X was beta tested in NZ from Oct 10. They made 64 sales, delivery by courier, with no returns. ICE Angels syndicated with CureKids Ventures in November 2011. is a virtual world and community for children. MiniMonos has a social conscience, while still being a for-profit company. It encourages children to become socially and environmentally responsible while they have fun, meaningful experiences with their friends. The primary market is boys aged 6-12, and girls who prefer ‘boy’s stuff’. ICE Angels invested $85k in November 2011.

Lightknight is a next generation safety equipment company that increases awareness of workers working in dim to low level light environments. ICE Angels invested $510k in November 2011.

ShowGizmo sells event producers the ability to ‘mobilise’ their events & make money by providing them a web/smartphone application that can be reused. ICE Angels syndicated with AngelHQ in November 2011.

Snakk is a premium mobile-media aggregator; aggregating audiences on mobile screens, powering technology serving up unique brand experiences. Smartphones penetration has surpassed PCs, the iPad was the fastest selling consumer device in history and mobile advertising spend in Asia- Pac is forecast to rise from <$1bn (2010) towards $10bn by 2015. ICE Angels invested $220k in November 2011.

MicroDreams provides loans, guarantees, grants and advisory services to greenfield or early-stage MFIs. In turn, our MFI partners offer microenterprise loans, housing improvement and education loans, savings, insurance, skills-building training and ongoing guidance to poor but aspiring micro-entrepreneurs in underserved markets. They work with partners to provide meaningful economic opportunity so clients can work their way out of poverty. ICE Angels members provided interest free loans to MicroDreams.

Nextspace provides powerful tools for utility companies and cities that reduce costs, improve efficiency and decision-making through 3D visualisation. Nextspace delivers its products directly and with partners, including world-leading visual enterprise provider Right Hemisphere whose success in the global aerospace industry is leveraged to solve business problems for utility companies and cities. ICE Angels invested $1.3m in November 2011.

Photonz has developed a unique process to make high purity EPA by brewing it like beer. Currently all pharmaceutical EPA is extracted from wild fish oil which is a risky and variable source. Photonz product avoids risky dependence on wild fisheries. They will secure a significant share of EPA sales to drug manufacturers by positioning their product as the “insurance policy” in the supply of EPA. ICE Angels invested $500k as part of a $3m round in 2011.

Down to Earth Systems is a company dedicated to creating sustainable products and systems. Focusing on waste management and sanitation needs where in end-products are not disposed of, but recycled into valuable end-products. DTES specialises in creating eco-friendly portable toilets and septic systems that focus on user experience and have a positive impact on the environment. The ICE Angels made a $70k seed investment in Oct 2011.

Caldera is the advanced stages of developing a set of biomarkers that are designed to detect the presence and absence of prostate cancer with a far greater degree of accuracy than the currently available PSA test. Caldera believes it’s test will rapidly be adopted globally as the gold standard prostate cancer diagnostic and aim’s to penetrate markets worldwide through licensing deals once proof of concepts has been demonstrated in NZ. ICE Angels invested $300k as part of a $1m round raised by Caldera in 2011.

Kiwi Semi’s business is the development and sales of custom and standard semiconductor products (chips).  Kiwi Semi designs and sells innovative integrated circuits. The team is made up of semiconductor veterans, who have on average, 25 years of experience. ICE Angels have invested $150,000 in Kiwi Semi in 2011 as part of a $2m round.

Zeroshift Ltd is a privately owned British innovation company formed in August 2002. The Company specialises in the development, patenting and marketing of its automotive transmission technology. Zeroshift owns 100% of all 55 patents for the technology.  Proven technology, 8 global manufacturers are in the process of implementing the technology on a variety of applications including cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, military and motorsport.

Summa is focused on becoming the Business Intelligence solution of choice to fast growing franchises in hospitality in ANZ (and USA in the future). Creating a different view of a customer’s hospitality business and how it really works. The primary focus is on selling directly to large franchises in ANZ, and selling through distributors in NZ and Australia to focus on smaller customers. Summa’s target market is franchise networks with 50+ outlets. ICE Angels invested $640,000 in this company in 2011.

Podscape Holdings Limited has developed a ‘‘next-level’ virtual world for children that combines social gaming with musical creativity – two activities that kids worldwide spend significant time and money on (or rather their parents money!). Their unique approach delivers a positive, engaging experience for children that parents will love, whilst providing significant revenue opportunities in a proven, rapidly growing global market. ICE Angels invested $1m into BigLittleBang in 2010.

Vesper Marine manufactures innovative marine safety products which use the Automatic Identification System (AIS). The AISWatchMate family of collision warning devices are sophisticated instruments. They are very easy to use and consume minimal power yet are the most advanced warning system available. Sailing and power enthusiasts find the AISWatchMate and AISWatchMate RX to be the easiest to use AIS display. Far simpler to operate than a chart plotter,, computer or radar, yet much more capable. Unique filtering eliminates false alarms. Prioritization of targets eliminates clutter on the screen allowing you to focus on the highest risk targets. ICE Angels, affiliates and co-investors have invested: $815,000. First investment round: 1 March 2010.

RDI’s software will enable video game developers to easily create quality video games for the booming smart phone gaming market. RDI’s potential customers want to license software to enable them to rapidly build video games that are good looking, fun and deployable across as many different phones as possible. RDI plans to license its software inexpensively to smaller game developers and create its own games for income and rapid market feedback.ICE Angels invested $210k into RDI in 2010

KayaSand makes sand making equipment for use in quarries. This equipment produces very high quality sand from the crusher dust (less than 5mm) stream which is usually a very low value product. This sand can be produced to consistently meet the most demanding specification and is finding use in high grade structural cement and asphalt applications. The economics of the production of this sand can be very attractive indeed if there is sufficient available crusher dust and the sand is now being used to make cement for use in the most demanding of applications including nuclear power plants. The technology is proven and working in more than 50 Japanese quarries. ICE Angels invested $1m into Kayasand in March 2010

The Green Button is an API that is embedded in an application. Users can access large amounts of processing power to design new drugs, render animations for games or movies and compute engineering designs at the push of a button. The user only pays for the actual time used and the software vendor receives a share of the revenue.ICE Angels and SCIF invested $490k into a round led by Wellington’s AngelHQ in April 2010.

Unimarket provides a disruptive SaaS collaborative eProcurement solution that significantly reduces costs and improves efficiency for our customers. Unique functionality includes the collaboration of sourcing and procurement functionality across organizations. In 2009 ICE Angels invested $500,000 into this company with SCIF and followed with a further round of co-investment of $690,000 later in the year.

Right Hemisphere’s (RH) software solutions manage the entire process of making 3D design files small and  easy to use, combining them with business information, and then automatically delivering visually enhanced documents and applications that support the various business processes across the enterprise. RH solutions reduce cost in the range of 50% while improving time to market and customer satisfaction. In March 2009 ICE Angels had the opportunity to invest into a later stage and high growth company, at the same valuation as the most recent Series B1 investment and invested US$300,000. Right Hemisphere’s investors include K1W1, No 8 Ventures, TMT, Pioneer Capital, Sequioa, Sutter Hill, N-Vidia and SAP.

Lypanosys is developing a novel, intrinsically safe, systemic treatment for Eczema. Eczema affects an estimated 10% of the US population with an incidence in young children estimated to be as high as 20%. The company believes that the market for a product that is intrinsically safe and can be used systemically is in excess of US$1b in the United States alone. In March 2009,  The ICE Angels completed a co-investment in a Series B round syndicating with iGlobe Treasury (a NZ based venture capital fund), ICE Angels investing $325,000 of a $1.5m round.

Nexx is New Zealand’s first peer-to-peer lending site, bringing together people who have money and people who need money-just like a TradeMe for loans.The company offers a new online service that connects people who need money with people who have money. They are not a finance company, but an online money matchmaker. Borrowers are able to list their financial projects, specifying an amount and maximum interest rate they can afford and their credit score. Lenders can then search these listings and pledge funds and an interest rate they’re willing to lend at, just like an online auction. Nexx does the paperwork. ICE Angels invested $600,000 in 2008 syndicating with Venture Accelerator.

Mobile Mentor has built a world class service delivering a platform which unlocks potential for business people by showing them how to use a mobile device as a tool to improve personal productivity. ICE Angels lead a $1.5m round in February 2008 in partnership with Nelson Group Venture Accelerator and a group of private investors. ICE Angels co-invested on a further round of $1.5m in April 2009.

BlackHawk Tracking Systems Limited specialises in the telematics space producing devices which combine GPS GSM and web based mapping technologies. ICE Angels and SCIF invested $700,000 across three rounds of investment. In May 2009 Blackhawk was sold to Payment Technologies Limited.

INRO uses disruptive robotic technology to automate customers forklift fleets providing productivity and cost efficiency advantages beyond the capability of their competitors. The INRO deal settled in January 2008 with $3m invested. INRO was a ground breaking deal for the Ice Angels as it was the first where a major corporate entity was part of an angel round in partnership with VC Pioneer and a group of regional angels from Nelson – Venture Accelerator. In December 2009 INRO raised further investment of $4.5m from new and existing shareholders. ICE Angels have syndicated with Pioneer Capital, Fonterra, Sparkbox, BOP Investors Forum, Greenfields, Venture Accelerator and SCIF.

Simtics has developed an interactive multimedia solution where surgeons practice their skills in virtual reality on a computer and very much easier if all the information needed to learn a clinical procedure was just a mouse click away. In March 2009 Simtics signed an  extraordinary deal with a Nasdaq listed company CEC  and work on a number of projects for them is well underway as well  as other existing projects in Europe and the UK. ICE Angels have invested $2.8m across 4 rounds of investment syndicating with Sparkbox and SCIF.

Databrake sell a device which is designed to reduce nose-to-tail vehicle accidents by warning following motorists when the driver of the vehicle brakes heavily. ICE Angels invested $470,000 in Databrake syndicating with SCIF.

Post-a-Movie is a media company producing DVD post-cards for the tourism market. In 2007 ICE Angels invested $800,000 syndicating with SCIF. This investment did not turn out well and the company was put into liquidation 18 months later.

Calcium is an intuitive e-marketing software development company. They devise, build and deliver to market, smart, flexible and easy to use email software solutions that deliver tangible outcomes for their clients. A young, dynamic company they offer simple to set-up and use – yet very powerful 1-2-m or 1-2-1 email marketing solutions, web behaviour analytics or content management systems. Calcium’s key product is a software tool, mailPrimer, which lets businesses automatically incorporate customised marketing messages and branding into outgoing email. Calcium has received investment from ICE Angels through syndicating with lead investor Sparkbox.

Optima specialises in providing easy-to-use, visually appealing interfaces that conceal complex mathematics and solve a number of resourcing problems concurrently. They take as input an organisation’s personnel, machines, capital, and staff requirements and produce staff scheduling, shift generation and staff rostering, machine scheduling, production planning and vehicle routing solutions that can result in massive savings. Optima staff have deployed optimisation solutions to a number of major companies, including Comalco, TabCorp, Norske, Skog and New Zealand Customs. ICE Angels raised $350,000 in a second round of investment in January 2009 to assist the company to continue developing new products and develop new geographical markets. ICE Angels syndication partners include Sparkbox and K1W1.

Nexus6 Ltd improves the quality of life of people who have asthma and COPD, helping them be the healthiest they can be. Focused on the research, development and application of software and medical device technology to provide the World’s best respiratory management solutions. The company has established a number of affiliations with recognised business leaders enabling the employment of world class technology in both devices and software. ICE Angels have invested $1.6m over two rounds of investment syndicating with Endeavour Capital, K1W1, Cure Kids Ventures and SCIF.

Bioinformatics offers significant opportunities to improve science in important areas of disease research, human health and environmental. Biomatters software products help scientists discover the genetic basis for diseases such as diabetes, osteo-arthritis, breast cancer and HIV.This software combines statistical, biological and computational knowledge with user-friendly front-ends to create research platforms that greatly speed up the processes of scientific and medical discovery, improve collaboration between individual researchers, save money and comply with ethical guidelines in wet lab research. ICE Angels have invested in 7 rounds of investment in Biomatters for a total of $2.3m syndicating with Seed Co-Investment Fund (SCIF).


ICE Angel Partners

Gold Sponsors

ICE Angels Gold Sponsors are a selected group of corporate sponsors. Sponsorship of ICE Angels offers them a unique opportunity to be positioned alongside the best and brightest start-ups and the successful individuals who guide them. Gold Sponsors are enabling the ICE Angels to foster an environment which is conducive to entrepreneurial success in New Zealand.


Bank of New Zealand was founded in 1861 and has been an integral part of New Zealand life ever since. Today the bank employs over 5,000 people in New Zealand; works with Personal, Business, Agri and Private Wealth clients; and has 180 retail stores and Partners’ Centres across New Zealand. The main management and administration functions of the Bank are located in Wellington and Auckland. To run their business they spend more than $370m annually on goods and services, which is spread across more than 3,500 suppliers, creating jobs right around New Zealand. Bank of New Zealand is a subsidiary of the National Australia Bank Group of companies; and is governed locally by a fully empowered New Zealand Board of Directors.


JBWere is New Zealand’s preeminent provider of Private Wealth Management services to successful individuals, their businesses, and family trusts.  We access unmatched resources that allow us to gain unique insights into investment markets, through our alliance with Goldman Sachs and National Australia Bank.

We offer a bespoke service to Ice Angels where a portfolio is built specifically around their long-term investment strategy.  The context for this strategy is set by the needs and objectives of each unique client.

We have, and continue to work with angel investors.  The willingness to invest in early stage ventures involves high risks, and this needs to be offset by how other assets are invested.  When taking a high-level holistic view, we conduct detailed modeling and analysis for Ice Angels to determine a strategy that allows continued investment in early stage ventures, yet provides the added security and growth or income for the balance of the portfolio.


KPMG is a professional services firm offering audit, tax and a full range of advisory services.

Our partnership with ICE Angels, provides investor members and investee companies access to a depth of expertise across a range of financial and business disciplines.  This provides the opportunity to strengthen the selection, governance and development of the businesses ICE Angels invest into.

KPMG is working with ICE Angels to develop the content of an education programme to build on members capability to carry out due diligence on potential investments, and to help those businesses to succeed.  This education programme will include sessions following the life cycle of an investment – including due diligence processes, governance and business performance, and tax issues when expanding offshore.

Our hope is that this will help to increase the rigour and consistency of the due diligence process, but more importantly increase the pool of people willing and able to act as lead investor.


To discuss your business call or email us on:

64 9 308 6200

64 9 308 6200
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