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Meet our fifth cohort of Explorers

Published on
January 25, 2023
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New year, new Explorers, and a huge welcome to Cohort number 5! This year we have more than doubled the number of Explorers, added more in-person events, lined up more incredible speakers and created more chances to connect across ANZ.

Where it all began

Back in 2020, we had a big hairy audacious goal: to change the angel investment landscape across Australia and New Zealand, and to get more diversity into Angel investing. 

It started with cohort 1. 30 budding angels, who learnt everything from deal sourcing and due diligence to term sheet 101 and how syndicates work. Many of these Explorers have gone on to do incredible things. 

Fast forward to January 2023, we are 5 cohorts in and now have 300 Explorers across Australia and New Zealand. These angel investors are seeing, supporting and investing in brilliant founders.

Expanding across ANZ

This cohort is our biggest one yet, with experts, execs and enthusiasts spanning the ANZ region. From Queenstown to Queensland, Port Macquarie to Perth, Fremantle to Fitzroy, and Canberra to Christchurch, it’s safe to say that we have a significant chunk of the ecosystem covered.  

Through the AirTree Explorer Program, our new Explorers will gain world-class angel investing education, have access to investment opportunities, attend events and connect with other Explorers. We’ve designed the program to provide individuals with the skills and confidence needed to invest in exciting and innovative startups in Australia and New Zealand. 

We’ve been intentional about the gender and ethnic diversity of our previous cohorts, with an equal gender split and 40% have come from under-represented ethnicities in the startup ecosystem. But we’re conscious the vast majority–and the bulk of angel investors, more broadly–are based in Sydney and Melbourne metro areas. 

This isn’t an isolated trend. The majority of venture capital raised in Australia goes to startups based in metro cities on our East Coast. This is a big missed opportunity, not only for us as investors but also for the future prosperity of Australia’s tech ecosystem.

By creating regional chapters of the Explorer Program and increasing the number of Explorers who can take part in a cohort from 40 to 100, we aim to improve the level of support available for regional and non-metro entrepreneurs and startups, and diversify deal flow, so, alongside our Explorers, we’re better placed to back our region’s next big ideas, no matter where they come from.

To future founders:

These Explorers are the lifeblood of the startup ecosystem. They’re here to support you, believe in you and be your biggest cheerleader as you navigate your startup journey. With much uncertainty in the tech startup space, they’re more important than ever. So, if you're looking to raise soon, here’s a group that would like to meet you.

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