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Capital games: raising capital for agritech business at Fieldays

This is a Tech Alliance event

  • Free

With the recent launch of the $40m Finistere Aotearoa Venture Capital Fund, the landscape of agritech capital options has changed significantly. In combination with other funds such as the Pacific Channel Elevate fund in New Zealand and Tenacious Ventures in Australia, there are multiple options for innovators in the region. Arguably, the continuum of investment from angel/seed to growth capital is more complete than it has ever been for agritech businesses.

In that context, we take the time to ask investors what ‘investability’ looks like for agritech and ask agritech business leaders to share their capital journey stories and insights.

The Investors:

Dean Tilyard, Venture Partner, Finistere Ventures

Dean is the Venture Partner for Finistere Ventures in New Zealand, where he specializes in seed-stage agtech companies. Additionally, Dean is Chief Executive of The Factory and Executive Director at Sprout Agritech, a New Zealand start-up advisory and accelerator. He has experience with multiple start-ups and technologies and is a founding member of the New Zealand Angel Association where he received the Association’s inaugural Kotahitanga Award. Dean has founded an angel investor network and two seed investment funds. He has a BA(Hons) in Economics and Geography from Otago University. Finistere Ventures and New Zealand Growth Capital Partners have recently launched a $40M NZD Agrifood technology fund focused on sustainability and nutrition innovations.

Maria Jose Alvaez, Investment Manager at New Zealand Growth Capital Partners

Before joining NZGCP, MJ worked as a Commercialisation Manager for the Inventors Fund at Auckland UniServices, investing in early-stage deep-tech and start-up companies that originated from the University of Auckland. In 2012, and while undertaking her undergraduate degree as a Biotechnology Engineer at Universidad Andres Bello in Chile, MJ co-founded and operated VidAoX, a deep-tech start-up focused on the Agritech sector. Maria Jose is an Independent Committee member at StartUp Science, the Seed Accelerator and Investment arm of the Chilean Ministry of Science, which focuses on providing funding and support for deep-tech ventures. She is also a founding member of the Momentum Investment Committee, a national organisation that provides advice and access to funding for young entrepreneurs. MJ is a part of the AgriTech & Food Investment Committee at Return On Science, and mentors early-career women in STEM that are transitioning into Industry, as well as young entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. New Zealand Growth Capital Partners (NZGCP) is a venture capital fund established by the New Zealand Government to stimulate investment into early-stage Kiwi tech companies with high-growth potential.

Eleshea D’Souza , Corporate Development Manager at LIC

As a qualified Chartered Accountant and enrolled Barrister and Solicitor with experience in marketing, sales, strategy and finance, Eleshea has developed opportunities in the European, New Zealand and ASEAN regions, with a focus on strategising and executing new business ideas. Previously Eleshea held marketing and business development roles at Landcorp/Pamu and Fonterra. Eleshea was behind the launch of the LIC AgCelerator Fund, which invests in early-stage dairy agritech start ups globally to support strategic innovations in the industry. Eleshea is also the Founder and Director of the Art In Bloom Academy, an art entertainment business with the goal of turning every home in Auckland into an art gallery.

Brent Ogilvie co-founder and Managing Director of Pacific Channel

Brent S. Ogilvie is the Managing Director of Pacific Channel, New Zealand’s leading venture creation, development and investment firm focused on early-stage health, clean-tech and ag-tech innovation. Mr Ogilvie was the founding investor director of Engender Technologies, which developed a proprietary process to separate X (female) and Y (male) bearing bull sperm cells to enable cattle farmers to choose the sex of offspring. Mr Ogilvie co-founded Engender and led it from foundation to its successful sale to a global dairy genetics company generating a significant capital return for its scientists, Auckland UniServices, Pacific Channel and its co-investors. Mr. Ogilvie was also co-founder, founding CEO and Director of Somnaceutics, which developed a sleep enhancement tonic, which was sold to NIG: Mr. Ogilvie was also Director of Ecodiesel, a biodiesel technology company that sold its business assets to Z Energy. Prior to founding Pacific Channel, Brent was New Zealand Consul & Trade Commissioner to New York. Pacific Channel is an early-stage investment and development firm focused on building successful deep-tech ventures from New Zealand. Brent manages the $55m Pacific Channel Fund II, an early-stage venture investment fund focussed on life sciences, cleantech, agritech, future foods and advanced engineering and manufacturing innovation in New Zealand.

Event details
Date:  Thursday 17 June
Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm NZST 
Venue:  Fieldays – Mystery Creek Pavilion – Annex space
125 Mystery Creek Rd, Mystery Creek

Map Location for the event ( The Annex Space – on the side of the Pavilion Building right in the centre of fieldays)

Cost: Free 



Jun 17
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
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