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Workshop 4

What defines the best Angel investors?

5.30 - 7.30pm, Monday 4 November 2019, Northern Club, Auckland

  • Is mentoring the key to differentiating Angel investors?

  • Is Angel investing a hits business driven by a faith in the low probability of massive returns?

  • Why do Angel investors tend to gravitate to the high tech sector?

  • How much does Angel investing depend on incubator environments?

  • How is crowd funding impacting on Angel investment?

  • Angels, super Angels and VCs-where and how are the lines being drawn today?

  • Why has Angel investing been embraced in the United States more than anywhere else?

  • Is Angel investing still a key to innovation, productivity gains and growth in an economy?

  • Is Angel investment too dependent on white males?





Matt Dunbar
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Upstate Carolina Angel Network


Matt Dunbar is Co-Founder and Managing Director of VentureSouth, an early-stage investment firm that operates angel investor groups and funds supporting early stage ventures in the Southeastern United States with capital and expertise. VentureSouth got its start in 2008 with the launch of the Upstate Carolina Angel Network (UCAN) in Greenville, SC, and has since grown to one of the nation’s largest angel investment organizations with more than 300 investors across 12 local angel networks in two states and three committed capital funds. VentureSouth has invested more than $36 million in 68 early-stage companies, and the group was recognized as a top 10 angel group in the United States by CB Insights in 2014 and again by the Angel Capital Association based on dollars invested in 2018.

Matt recently completed his second term on the Board of Directors for the Angel Capital Association, where he chaired the Membership, Collaboration and Governance Committees during his tenure. Matt also serves on the Boards of Directors for Entegra Financial Corp (a $1.6 billion NASDAQ listed bank), VentureSouth portfolio company Cirtemo, and Junior Achievement of Upstate South Carolina. He has been a Lecturer in the Clemson University MBA program where he developed a course on Venture Finance, and he also authored a new Advanced Cap Tables course for the Angel Capital Association.

Matt was named one of Greenville’s 50 Most Influential in 2010, 2013 and 2017, and one of Greenville’s 35 Best and Brightest Under 35 in 2011.

Prior to launching UCAN and VentureSouth, Matt was a Project Leader with the Boston Consulting Group in their Atlanta office, and he began his career with Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN.

Matt was Student Body President and graduated summa cum laud from Clemson University in 1999 with a BS in Chemical Engineering, and he later earned an MBA and Masters in Education from Stanford University in 2005.

Rob Vickery
Co-Founder and General Partner, Stage Venture Partners


Rob is a Co-Founder and General Partner of Stage Venture Partners, which is a seed venture capital fund that invests in emerging technology for B2B markets.

Stage invests in founders from diverse backgrounds who are building cutting-edge software technology for enterprise clients. Founders, especially those solving hard problems that matter, seek us out for our unique expertise, and our alignment with their daring vision. Rob built Stage to have the conviction to be first; often the first institutional investor on the cap table and the first to identify new technological trends. Now on its third fund, Stage has invested in 23 seed stage companies from across the globe, with a particular focus on four sectors:

• Defense & aerospace

• Software-enabled hardware

• E-commerce software tools

• Vertical artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions

Before co-founding Stage, Rob hailed from a rural community in the West Country region of the UK, held a number of executive roles within large financial institutions, pioneering new distribution channels and making and managing large-scale technology investments. He moved to Los Angeles in 2010 and then began his journey as an angel investor and then founding Stage in 2014.

Rob has also served on the boards and committees of the British Academy of Film Television Arts (BAFTA) LA Games, British American Business Council, International Trade Education Programs, South Central Scholars and the Chairman of the School of Business & Entrepreneurship at Dorsey High School. In his downtime, Rob is an avid global traveler, a fan of the exploring outdoors with his family, movie and video game fanatic, and an amateur paleontologist.

Angela Jackson
Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Portland Seed Fund Oregon


Angela Jackson is co-founder and managing director of the Portland Seed Fund, a top-performing private/public seed fund with 4 funds/$24 Million under management. The Fund has invested in ~100 high growth, capital-efficient companies in sectors including technology, energy, health and consumer product, primarily in the Northwest. Since 2011, the portfolio has realized numerous accretive exits while achieving stellar metrics for place-based investing/economic impact and backing diverse teams. Ms. Jackson has also shaped Portland State University's innovation and entrepreneurship presence in Oregon for the past nine years, most visibly through its award-winning Business Accelerator and signature student invention competitions.

Ms. Jackson recently became a venture partner in Portfolia, a new women-led investing model based in San Francisco and investing nationally. Earlier in her career, she was a founding investor in Oregon Angel Fund and advised/invested in companies in multiple sectors, leading to several of the largest liquidity events in the region. She was a president of the Portland chapter of Keiretsu Forum, a Principal at Emergent Fund, and served as Chair of Angel Oregon, a premier angel investment competition. She was named 2018 Tech Champion of the Year by Technology Association of Oregon, and a Woman of Influence in 2015 by Portland Business Journal, and was a delegate to the US State Department's Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, India. She serves on the boards of Lumen Learning, the Oregon Film Board and the Angel Capital Association, and is a frequent judge/mentor for entrepreneur pitch competitions locally and globally. Ms. Jackson credits her serial entrepreneur family history with her comfort in the trenches of early stage entrepreneurship and investment. She holds a B.A. in English and history from Boston University and a M.A. in environmental studies from University of Oregon.


Allan McRae
Director, Lowndes

New Zealand

Allan specialises in corporate, commercial and securities law and has extensive experience in M&A deals, including advising in relation to NZX Listing Rules and the Takeovers Code.

He regularly advises in relation to joint ventures and other commercial contracts as well as on offers of securities, advising both issuers and trustees.