Demo Day bags funds for half of startups

DAVE BURGESS
Last updated 05:00 18/06/2014

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Half the digital startups who pitched for early stage investment through the Lightning Lab Demo Day are likely to receive funding.

The Demo Day held in Wellington late last month generated $3 million in offers of seed investment funding.

Founders from 10 startups, mostly online platforms and tools for both businesses and consumers, took the stage at the Demo Day to pitch for investment from a room crammed with more than 100 registered investors.

It is likely that five of the 10 teams in the programme will get the money they asked for but the process could take another couple of months to finalise. The 10 teams were selected from more than 150 applications from around the country and places as far flung as Ukraine, Vietnam and New York.

Lightning Lab programme director Dan Khan said it was pleasing that investors' engagement was so high in the deal room after this year's presentations.

"Even teams that didn't ask for funding or still needed to complete some additional validation work left with plenty of positive leads for both money and advice."

Creative HQ chief executive Stefan Korn praised the increased investment in the programme's second year.

"Lightning Lab's brilliant team of mentors, partners and investors are delivering not only bigger investment results, but making strides in the entrepreneurial capability of the individual founders that pass through."

The investment offered is more than from Lightning Lab's inaugural Demo Day in 2013, which resulted in four companies confirming $2.2m in seed funding.

The programme is looking to expand next year to Auckland and Christchurch.

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