/ Kōrerorero blog / 14 Dec 2021 / Shelley Johnston
Kieran Jina is a highly experienced life sciences professional and investor. He has multiple (seriously impressive) master degrees and if you want to know about deep tech - he is a key person to talk to in New Zealand
Kieran is a Partner at Pacific Channel, managing their investment process to ensure that R&D, product development, IP and business development strategies align with market needs.
While he has held a range of COO and CEO roles in tech companies, today we chat to Kieran about his role as Partner at Pacific Channel which is the largest fund of its type and sector in New Zealand.
What does 'deep tech' mean to you?
‘Deep-tech' for us is the development of solutions to solve significant scientific and advanced engineering challenges. We've got experience in supporting companies in life sciences, med-tech, clean-tech, agri-tech, future foods, advanced engineering, and manufacturing innovation. We're looking for breakthrough innovation that addresses a strong market need and an excellent team built around it to execute.
Given your focus on deep tech, what developments are you noticing in this space?
We’re fortunate with the depth and quality of innovation that comes out of Kiwi universities and research institutes. Deep tech in NZ has emerged from the fringes and increasingly we’re seeing the commercialisation of start-up companies becoming a key focus and metric for measuring the success of these institutions.
A decade ago, we were one of very few investing into this sector. Today there’s widespread recognition of the value of companies in the sector. We’re pleased to see an increasing amount of follow-on capital for deep tech companies. We're excited at the potential economic benefits and impact such companies can create for the Kiwi economy.
What sectors is Pacific Channel focussing on in the deep tech space?
We're excited about the areas we think NZ is particularly well placed to excel at. We are a thematic investor, and have identified a few niches where we wish to invest:
What does 'investment ready' mean to you?
We have a number of principles that give us confidence that a venture is nearing investment readiness, including:
What drives you/inspires you as an investor?
The process of helping founders and teams define their product and development plans and create an organisation to solve global challenges. Being involved with a venture from the early stages is something special and being able to assist these deep-tech venture in the way of providing capital, capability, and global networks is a privilege.
Tough challenges can be overcome where a strong team with a good idea has supportive investors that stay the course. Through this support, we seek to create significant impact and value for New Zealand and all those involved in our ventures
What tips do you have for founders starting their journey?
This is our 12th Kōrerorero of the series.
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