About Lance

Independent investment and business advisor providing investment readiness consultancy through Better by Capital and Return on Science investment committees, direct investments through LWCM and Punakaiki Fund and advice and directorships through LWCM and Lance Wiggs Consulting.  I write here and have a Q&A column in Idealog.

Punakaiki Fund

Punakaiki Fund invests in with Technology, Internet and Design-led companies. We target early stage investment, look for existing revenue and ongoing growth and believe in the time value of money – holding for a long time reaps the greatest rewards. Our philosophy is to be founder-centric, and to offer advice only where desired. Punakaiki Fund is company structure with qualified investors, and managed by Lance Wiggs Capital Management (LWCM). If you would like to invest please email me at lance@lwcm.co.nz.

Punakaiki Fund investments include:

Timely, which provides smart appointment booking for small businesses.

InfuxHQ, which is a beautiful app for running fitness facilities

Vibe Communications, a wholesale ISP providing simpler, better and faster services to retail ISPs, ICT service providers and companies with technical staff.

Mindscape, a provider of fantastic tools for developers, including Raygun, which provides real time error reporting you can set-up in under 5 minutes.

Better by Capital

Better by Capital is an NZTE service available to all New Zealand companies with an NZTE relationship. Get in touch with (preferably) your NZTE Customer Manager or the Capital Team and ask about how they can increase your understanding of the capital process, help your company become investment ready and find investment from NZ and offshore.

I am one of a handful of external providers to the Better by Capital service, which focusses on helping companies become investment ready. For me this usually starts with an assessment of the business using the lenses of End User (target and products), Customer (sales), Company (the team and leadership) and Investor (proposition). I’ve also helped companies craft their story and prepare for presenting to small and large groups.

Return on Science

Return on Science is a research commercialisation programme available across New Zealand. It helps turn research, from universities, research institutions and private companies, into valuable companies or licensing. While the 4 committees do authorise funding of commercialisation grants, the focus is on helping the inventors and other founders to learn and progress their offering.

To find out more and start the process contact one of the ROS Channel Partners.

I am a member of the ICT and Physical Sciences Investment Committees.

Investments and Directorships

I now only invest in private companies through Punakaiki Fund, but have a legacy of personal investments, as well as on-going advisory work and directorships. Overall I estimated in February 2014 that my private portfolio had a (largely unrealised) CAGR of over 70%.

Investor and Director for Define Instruments, an Auckland based electronics OEM designer and manufacturer and producer of electronic transmitters, controllers, meters and mini-PLCs, and Lingopal Limited, a Perth based mobile translation venture capital funded start-up.

Co-Founder and Director of MyTours, a do it yourself iPhone app tour creator aimed at Museums, cities and regions.

Investor and Director for Pocketsmith, which is a comprehensive personal financial management SaaS too that includes powerful yet simple financial forecasting.

Investor and Director for 200Square, which uses a SaaS platform to remove the pain, and the expense, from selling houses.

Independent Director for ONCE’IT, Councillor for InternetNZ.

Investor in VendTaggle, Syft, and, way too late, Xero (Xero is here for conflict disclosure purposes.)

Co-Founder of LTW Wiggs, a JV with Lee Ter Wal Design. We help NZ companies do large deals offshore. We own a shareholding in Performance Labs, which raised investment from Intel Capital.

Academic and Professional Memberships

B Technology (Honours) (Product Development) 1989, from Massey University.
MBA/MPPM (Strategy, Finance) 1998, from Yale University.
McKinsey Mini MBA corporate finance faculty tutor, 2000.
Member of NZ Institute of IT Professionals.
COMU NZ Corporate Governance course, 2011.
Member of Institute of Directors
IOD Chairing the Board course 2014.

Prior Investments and Directorships

Co-Founder of Pacific Fibre, which aimed to connect Australia and New Zealand to the USA with a very high capacity Fibre. We failed to raise the US$300m and closed down operations. Here’s some advice I wrote for following players trying to execute on what is a compelling business case.

Founder and director of PowerKiwi, which supplied Flower Power, Tree Power and carbon neutralised Green Power to Powershop, an online electricity retailer. Power Kiwi was 2nd in the Deloitte Fast 50 and 18th in the Asia Pacific Technology Fast 500. Power Kiwi sold the contract back to Powershop and has ceased to trade.

Co-Founder of AllAboutTheStory.com, a marketplace to help editors fill the gap and quality journalists and feature writers sell their stories. We folded this business after failing to get critical mass of buyers and sellers.

Co-Founder of Groupy, which was sold to Yellow then Daily Do.

Former Independent Director of Cadimage Group,

Valuecruncher (closed down) and Chanui Tea (investment exited). I was also part of an informal advisory board for PlanHQ and advised on the sale to one founder.

Selected Prior Work

I was part of Equip Design Integration, working with Ray Labone, Peter Haythornthwaite and Andrew Jones, one of three accredited Design360 teams that performed the design assessment and planning phases of the Better by Design programme.

The Better By Design programme subsequently restructured to be far more hands-on, and I trained and used the Stanford d.school methods during the transition and the first year, after which I switched efforts to the Better by Capital program.

I’ve consulted to Syft, PL Tech, ASB and sporadically to a number of other and medium sized small New Zealand and Australian clients, in the media, e-commerce and entertainment industries.

In 2007 and 2008 worked with BHP Billiton Stainless Steel Materials in Perth, through Lodestone, a consulting group that specializes in operational improvement work. Before that I led a team to help Kwinana Nickel Refinery add almost 10,000 tonnes of Nickel to their annual production, and another team to simplify and speed up improvement efforts at other BHPB Nickel assets. Later I led a team for almost 2 months in Mozambique consulting to BHP Billiton’s Mozal Aluminium smelter, and a few years earlier I was site leader for 10 months on a successful effort at BHP Billiton’s Bayside aluminium smelter in South Africa.

I was the adviser to CEO Sam Morgan and Board Chair Richard Abbott on Trade Me’s sale to Fairfax Media for NZ $750m up until the due diligence stage, but after the deal was agreed. Adviser to Trade Me from early 2004, when I helped with ongoing valuations, pricing, strategy and coping with growth. Led the analytics team at Trade Me at various times from 2004 to 2007, and later in 2007 I acted as Head of Group Digital at Fairfax Media NZ, which is still New Zealand’s largest media company.

I was an Engagement Manager for McKinsey & Company in Washington DC, with projects at clients ranging from underfunded non profits to those with hundreds of billions under management, and across a variety of sectors. I led the final stages of the 3-year, US$5 million McKinsey Evergreen research effort which related corporate performance and management practices.

I was a summer associate for Dallas PE Firm The Hampstead Group, and prior to that was at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a founder of Panic Music in Montreal.

Before my OE I had various roles at Mobil Oil New Zealand and Mobil Oil Australia, including territory manager for the top third of the South Island, and was a member of the team that rolled out EFTPOS at Mobil service stations in Australia and NZ.

Motorcycle Travel

Several major motorcycle trips, starting in 1996, including around Europe, Europe to Singapore, North and South America, New Zealand, Southern Africa, and big parts of Australia.