Techboard and AngelLoop are pleased to announce the winners of the the Australian Angel Awards for 2023
(The winners were announced by Simon Horne, Chief Executive Officer of AngelLoop at the Perth Angels' Annual Angel Breakfast in Perth on 7 December 2023 during West Tech Fest Week.)
The purpose of these awards is to celebrate the contribution Angel investors make to the startup ecosystem and overall economy and community in Australia. Angel investors not only provide their own money as capital to startups and early stage businesses, they are also generally active in their support of their investee companies, providing guidance, mentoring, introductions and more.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of the Judging Committee, who for this year were, Jordan Green, Raf Kimberley Bowen, Rick McElhinney, Sharif Sethi and Peter Chenoweth.
At the Awards presentation we celebrated the contribution of angel investors across six award categories. Three "most active" awards for Group, Individual and Regional Group, The Angel Investor of the Year and our two new categories Champion of Investment Diversity and Angel Impact Investment of the year. With fewer angel-backed exits for 2023 the Judging panel elected not to award Exit of the year for 2023. The award category will be back in 2024.
Starting off with the preeminent award category of Angel Investor of the Year, which for 2023, was awarded to Josh Garratt, from Adelaide's Southern Angels. Josh is highly regarded by founders for going the extra mile to make introductions and provide guidance and mentorship. This reflects well on angel investors as a whole, strengthening the reputation and the role of angel investors in the ecosystem.
Josh has played a leading role in the Angel investment landscape in Australia, most notably in South Australia. Josh's influence has not only been seen in the magnitude of investments he has facilitated, but also in his efforts to foster, nurture and unify a thriving angel community. In March 2023, Josh pioneered the National Angel Investor Summit as a part of the _SOUTHSTART Conference. This significant event brought together 85 investors, marking a historic gathering after a long hiatus. This Summit wasn't just about investment; it was about collaboration, exemplified when Josh assembled the leaders of all the major Angel investment group’s from across the country for a collaboration meeting.
One of Josh's significant contributions has been the unwavering commitment to the startup sector in Australia. Leading Southern Angels since its inception in 2018, Josh has been the driving force behind its growth, expanding its member base from 8 to 40. Under his stewardship, $6 million has been invested by members into 24 promising companies. He has also participated in several of these investments as an angel investor in his own right.
Cognisant of the under-representation of female angel investors in the ecosystem, in 2021 Josh created an Ambassador Membership class for Southern Angels designed to increase gender equality and diversity of experiences to Southern Angels’ membership.
The Best Australian Startup Funding Data
Techboard has been collecting data on Startup funding rounds since 2017 and over that time as documented the massive growth in Australian Startup Funding which climaxed in FY22 with a crazy nine months of large numbers of MegaRounds (of over $50m). In more recent times funding levels have returned to a new normal, up slightly from the peaks of 2021/2022. Techboard has been producing regular reports that illustrate this growth, slump and recovery.
The Australian Angel Awards and Techboard's relationships with Angel groups across Australia are an important aspect of our funding data capture and all deals reported to Techboard as part of these awards will be added into the best collection of Startup Funding data in Australia.
In addition to powering the best Startup Funding Reports our data is also available to paying subscribers via our Funding Event Search Engine or by spreadsheet. We are also looking to add API access into our data offering. Find out more about a data subscription.
Carrying on with the theme of diversity, for this year's awards we had two new categories, starting off with the Champion of Investment Diversity Award
The inaugural winner of the award for 2023 is Tracie Clark. The judges acknowledge Tracie for her long history of supporting women entrepreneurs,
Tracie has been instrumental in the formation of VentureX Capital to address the imbalance of investment in female led businesses. She has personally invested in many female led companies over the years and continues to give much of her time to assisting females get investment ready. Tracie has also worked tirelessly to educate females in investing in tech.
The second new award category for 2023 Impact Angel Investment of the year
The judges felt that this new category in the awards should be presented to Lisa Siganto as deal lead from Brisbane Angels for the investment in SmileyScope.
Smiley Scope reduces pain of children in hospitals across the USA and Australia. The health and social impact is significant. It has the potential to be used in other health situations and other geographies.
Lisa was the deal lead for the Brisbane Angels Investment plus private investors into Smiley ScopeWww.smileyscope.com. $400k invested into Series 3 round of $5.8M.
Brisbane Angels were an important plank in their funding round with connections and recommendations.
Some changes were made this year to the "Most Active" awards with a focus for the year on new investments, not including follow-on investments as they have in previous years. This change did little to change the results from recent years, with 2023 mirroring the result in 2022 across the board.
The winner of the Most Active Group was again Brisbane Angels, for the 5th year running Brisbane made 13 new investments with a total investment of just under $1.5m. Brisbane also made 19 follow-ons investments totalling $990K.
The winner of the Most Active Individual Angel award this year is Richard Moore from the Brisbane Angels, This is the third year in a row that Richard has taken out this category, this year with 13 eligible investments into companies from four states.
Our Most Active Regional Group for the 2023 awards for the second time running was Byron Bay Angels with five eligible investments.
We will be making some changes to the awards for 2024 and would welcome any feedback or suggestions to [email protected]