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Meet our fourth cohort of Explorers

Published on
September 29, 2022
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We’ve just kicked off our 4th cohort of the AirTree Angel Explorer Program and it’s shaping up to be a goodie.

Explorers began back in 2020 with the goal of empowering a diverse group of budding angel investors in the Australian and New Zealand startup ecosystem to invest in brilliant future founders. We tested and tweaked it, and now it’s time to make this one of AirTree’s big bets: To build the most engaged and diverse Angel Investment Community in Australia and New Zealand.

You’ve probably seen the (declining) numbers around investing in diverse groups and it’s a huge issue to try and fix. For instance, only 0.7% of funding secured by startups went to solely women-founded companies in FY22. If you look at that figure for Bla(c)k women and Women of Colour founders, it’s only 0.03%.

This poses the question: Without a diverse group of early-stage investors (i.e., our Angels), how can we challenge the status quo and increase investment to a broader range of startups?

We need diversity in gender and ethnicity, but also in region and experience. Our latest cohort is made up of just that. We have 50% women and 45% BIPOC, located throughout Australia and NZ, from various roles in the startup ecosystem. They are program managers, university leaders, government officials, community builders–the list goes on. The one thing they all have in common is the desire to be a part of the Angel community and support the founders of today to build the companies of tomorrow.

Two years on, we now have 180 Explorers and Alumni who are collectively changing the Angel investing landscape. We’re hugely impressed by what some of our Explorers have gone on to achieve. Whether it’s running their own startup like Dan Brockwell from Earlywork, creating a game changing Angel Investment platform like Cheryl Mack, or running a seriously impressive family office, like Judy Anderson-Firth. The calibre of the individuals in the community is second to none. 

Program overview

What’s involved, I hear you ask? There are 3 key areas which we're excited by: 

Course work: 

We bring in the best of the best to teach you the ins and outs of Angel Investing and take you through fortnightly sessions over 3 months. Our explorers learn everything from Angel Investing 101, deal sourcing and due diligence all the way through to how to build an investment portfolio and create a syndicate.

A taster of how the AirTree team invest

As James Cameron says, “Always be sharing” and that’s exactly what we aim to do. As the Explorers find new startups we bring them along for the journey, starting from the first meeting with a founder through to an in-person session at the weekly AirTree investment committee. 

It’s all about you.

The real magic, however, happens outside of the classroom and within the growing Explorer community. We’ve seen friendships form, networks grow, co-investments made and syndicates created. 

So, if you’re a budding angel investor or a startup looking for some capital, take a peek at the latest group of Angels.

Interested in being a part of the next cohort? It starts January 2023. Fill out an expression of interest form here

AirTree Ventures Pty Ltd holds AFSL No. 456766 and AirTree Ventures Custody Pty Ltd holds AFSL No. 544106.