General Partners and Staff

The GP team runs the fund, managing the investment pipeline, conducting due diligence on opportunities, engaging in capital raising, and keeping Limited Partners (fund investors) informed.

Greg Sitters

Greg Sitters

Managing Partner
E-mail: [email protected] Greg is an experienced executive professional with over 25 years’ experience in the IT sector throughout Australasia, Asia and the USA. Over the past 15 years, Greg has been involved in an executive capacity with Sparkbox Venture Group, a leading early-stage private investment fund. Their investments traversed a wide range of industry sectors and technologies and originated from all sectors and stages of the economy. Leveraging many of the learnings from his earlier investment experiences, Greg has introduced many key attributes into the Matū investment framework such as mandatory syndication, the importance of and availability for follow-on funding, the need for a strong and capable Advisory Group, and the value of market and sector partnerships especially on a global basis. He sits on the Investment Committees of the ICT, Physical Sciences, Agri-tech and Momentum for Return on Science as an independent specialist. In addition, he also holds a number of Director or Chairman positions with science-based companies.
Ken Erskine

Ken Erskine

Principal General Partner

E-mail: [email protected]

Ken has over 30 years of international strategy, sales, marketing, start-up, and investment experience. He is accomplished in building high performance teams and networks to achieve key business goals.

After an international career with senior roles in Europe and Australasia with Honeywell, Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq Computer and Hewlett Packard, he successfully led and grew The Icehouse start-up business for seven years. This included the ICE Angels team which led investment of close to $50 Million into high growth Kiwi start-ups and a business incubator working with over 100 start-ups a year which was identified in 2010 as one of the World’s Top 10 by Forbes Magazine in USA. Ken also established a strategic partnership with Creative HQ, Canterbury Development Corporation and Callaghan Innovation that led to the establishment of the Lighting Lab business accelerator in Auckland which has recently been developed into the new Icehouse Flux accelerator.

With close ties to business incubators throughout NZ, the University of Auckland and UniServices, Ken was engaged in the establishment of the National Network of Commercialisation Centres, which in turn led to the creation of KiwiNet and Return on Science focused on the effective commercialisation of NZ science.

Dr Andy West

Dr Andy West

General Partner

E-mail: [email protected]

Andy specialises in the investing in and governance or managing of high technology start-ups, mainly with a green technology specialisation (clean technology). These include Inviora Ltd (anaerobic digestion waste to energy), Ligar Polymers Ltd (high value or polluting molecules and heavy metals extraction), Aquafortus Technology Ltd (extremely low energy water and alcohol extraction, and zero liquid discharge), Lanaco Ltd (wool-based air and liquid-filtration) and Synthase Biotech Ltd (unique food and life extension enzyme). Andy is Chairman of three Māori Investment Companies with a combined balance sheet of in excess of $250million.

He is a Scientist and holds a PhD in Microbial Ecology with many international publications. For 17 years he was Vice-Chancellor of Lincoln University, Chief Executive of AgResearch CRI, founding Executive Chairman of the Tertiary Education Commission, Chief Executive of the NZ Qualifications Authority, and Chief Executive of GNS Science CRI. A number of years ago he also led the reform of New Zealand’s Public Science System and then Tertiary Education System.

Jaco Pretorius

Jaco Pretorius

Venture Partner (USA)

Jaco has over 25 years of experience in product development and realization, specializing in bringing high-tech innovation to market. Jaco started his career as an aerospace engineer and has designed, built and space qualified equipment that is on-orbit in the Space Station today.

After receiving a Master’s Degree in Business and Engineering from MIT, Jaco focussed on high technology commercialization and counts US government institutions such as NASA, Department of Energy, Department of Defence, as well as Fortune 500 companies in the aerospace, chemical, energy and transportation sectors as his clients. He is skilled in the entire process of technology-to-market: Conception, IP Protection, R&D, certification, sales, marketing, O&M and fund raising.

Andrew Chen

Andrew Chen

Venture Associate

E-mail: [email protected]

Andrew is a PhD Candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Auckland. His research focuses on embedded vision, helping computers, namely robots and surveillance systems, ‘see and understand’ the world around them in real-time. In light of this, Andrew has a keen interest in surveillance and privacy implications, particularly how we can use technology to better protect privacy and avoid abuse by system owners.

Andrew also teaches digital systems and software design, and sits on the Auckland Momentum and ICT investment committees for ReturnOnScience to help identify and commercialise innovative, entrepreneurial ideas. Andrew is part of the Matū team as a venture associate, responsible for running the due diligence processes of the fund and managing the intern program, as well as providing technical and operational support.

Odette Lees

Odette Lees

Research Intern

E-mail: [email protected]

Odette is currently completing her Masters in Bioscience Enterprise. She has an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology in which she had interests in microbiology and immunology. She is particularly interested in how we can harness microbes to solve a variety of problems.

Odette is involved with Return on Science as an investment committee member, sitting on the Auckland Momentum and Digital Technologies committees. She is also involved with the university organisation Chiasma, which aims to up-skill and connect students in STEM with relevant industries.

Odette is part of the Matū team as an intern, helping with research for our market intelligence activities and due diligence operations.


Investment Committee

The IC decides if each investment into an opportunity should be made or not, as well as approving other significant fund events. 

Greg Sitters

Greg Sitters

Managing Partner

E-mail: [email protected]

Greg is an experienced executive professional with over 25 years’ experience in the IT sector throughout Australasia, Asia and the USA.

Over the past 15 years, Greg has been involved in an executive capacity with Sparkbox Venture Group, a leading early-stage private investment fund. Their investments traversed a wide range of industry sectors and technologies and originated from all sectors and stages of the economy. Leveraging many of the learnings from his earlier investment experiences, Greg has introduced many key attributes into the Matū investment framework such as mandatory syndication, the importance of and availability for follow-on funding, the need for a strong and capable Advisory Group, and the value of market and sector partnerships especially on a global basis.

He sits on the Investment Committees of the ICT, Physical Sciences, Agri-tech and Momentum for Return on Science as an independent specialist. In addition, he also holds a number of Director or Chairman positions with science-based companies.

Dana McKenzie

Dana McKenzie

Independent Member

For the last 20 years, Dana’s corporate career has taken her from her native Romania, to the US, Switzerland, France and New Zealand. She was often at the intersection of technology/science and its commercialization, in software, hardware, utilities, biotechnology, education and consumer goods corporates.  Learning what it takes to successfully take innovation to the world, in different markets, helps Daniela have a pragmatic assessing and guiding approach to the startups that attempt the same with limited financial resources.

In New Zealand since 2014, Dana has made several investments via the Ice Angels, served on their Board as Vice Chairperson and is the Lead Investor and Chairwoman of Dexibit, a SaaS data analytics provider for the Cultural sector.

Ian Fletcher

Ian Fletcher

Independent Member

Ian is a highly experienced organisational leader and diplomat who is highly regarded for his organisational change management work. Ian has led organisations as diverse as the GCSB, the UK Patent Office, the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (like MBIE), the UN Customs Service in Kosovo, and chaired a G8 committee on innovation and intellectual property.

Suse Reynolds

Suse Reynolds

Independent Member

Suse has been a foundational part of the New Zealand angel investment community for over a decade. She is currently the Executive Director of the Angel Association NZ. Suse has been on the AANZ Council since its inception in 2008 and took up the Executive Director role five years ago. Angel Association NZ is the industry representative body for early stage investment. Currently the AANZ has 30 plus members including 12 angel networks spanning the country, 4 funds, 2 equity crowd-funding platforms and the investor-led tech incubators.

In 2005 Suse helped to found AngelHQ, the Wellington region’s angel network and remains on the Board. Today AngelHQ has over 80 members and has invested over $20m into 68 high-growth startup companies. Suse is an active angel investor with about 20 ventures in her portfolio. Suse is also on the board of CreativeHQ, a member of VicLink’s Momentum Investment Committee, a member of the Institute of International Affairs Standing Committee, and a committee member of the Wellington branch of the Institute of Directors.

Prior to her roles in angel investment, Suse was the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Investment at Grow Wellington. Before taking up these positions, she was the Executive Director of the Trade Liberalisation Network. This followed a 10 year career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade which included working for the Foreign Minister and a posting in London representing New Zealand’s trade and economic interests.

Suse has a Bachelor of Commerce and an Honours Law Degree, both completed at Victoria University. She has two gorgeous teenage children, an ancient Tonkinese cat, and an over exuberant golden lab and lives at the foot of Mt Kaukau in Wellington where she remains a staunch Crusaders rugby supporter.

Dr Sam Yu

Dr Sam Yu

Independent Member

Sam has over 15 years experience in commercializing technologies from New Zealand and exported products globally.

He has a track-record in growing revenue through focused sales-conversion from zero, and had established offices and distributorships across USA and Asia, and managed the two continents from NZ base, and created critical mass and keynote clients, e.g. Amgen Life Sciences, USA Army, Mayo Clinic, AerasVaccines, Beckman Coulter, Harvard, MIT, etc.

He was involved in public-private-partnerships that created the ‘FoodSouth’ Factory, ANZCO innovation centre, and China Yili Dairy Group’s R&D centre with the business agreement signed witnessed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM John Key. He has worked in diverse segments, which include biotechnology, vaccine, drug delivery, medical diagnostics, agri-technologies, eco-tourism, and education.

On a science level, he has published 20 papers in US, UK, and Japanese journals, and has a PhD & BSc(Hons). He was awarded The Fenwick Chemistry Prize, University professorships, was a TEC Top Achievers Doctoral Scholar, and a MacDiarmid Institute MBA Scholar.

Advisory Board

The Scientific and Commercial Advisory Boards provide support to the General Partner and Investment Committee teams when needed, lending their expertise to help the fund succeed.

Dr Andy Shenk

Dr Andy Shenk

CEO, Auckland UniServices Limited.

Andy has extensive experience in Strategic Venture Investment and Partnership Development in the life sciences sector. He served as Chief Science Officer for a global food ingredient and consumer products company involving general management of strategy and intellectual property, new product development, and partnership development. He has also done strategic development, research and technology directorship, business development and science leadership in a listed biotechnology company

Ian Fletcher

Ian Fletcher

Ian is a highly experienced organisational leader and diplomat who is highly regarded for his organisational change management work. Ian has led organisations as diverse as the GCSB, the UK Patent Office, the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (like MBIE), the UN Customs Service in Kosovo, and chaired a G8 committee on innovation and intellectual property.

Dr Simon Lovatt

Dr Simon Lovatt

Waikato University, Director Research and Enterprise.

Simon is a professional engineer with a PhD in Biotechnology, and with a background in Food Engineering Research, Consultancy, Technology and Software Product Development. He has particular skills and experience in quantitative modelling, design, strategy development and managing expert teams and is especially interested in innovation strategy and implementation.

Paul Brislen

Paul Brislen

Over the past 20 years Paul has built an unrivaled understanding of the New Zealand media landscape.

In his time he has been an editor, columnist, commentator, external communications manager, lobbyist and consultant working with clients ranging from some of New Zealand’s leading ICT start ups through to large corporate players.

From Computerworld and CIO Magazine to the New Zealand Herald and Idealog to Radio New Zealand, Newshub and TVNZ, Paul is regularly called on to comment on issues affecting the technology sector and in his day job, advises clients both large and small on how to engage with journalists to achieve the best outcomes.

From guiding social media strategies to building crisis communications plans, Paul can help build the communications strategy needed to achieve cut-through in this crowded media market.

Prof Richard Furneaux

Prof Richard Furneaux

Director, Ferrier Research Institute.

Richard founded and grew Industrial Research (now Callaghan Innovation) Carbohydrate Chemistry research team for the last 20 years. He has been involved with (and for a year managed) the GlycoSyn business unit, which undertakes process development and cGMP manufacturing by organic chemical synthesis of small molecule drugs for use in proof-of-concept human clinical trials. Together Richard manages a total of 55 technical and support staff. He had post-doctoral positions at the University of Montana (USA) and Victoria University, before joining DSIR Chemistry in 1980, and which became IRL in 1992.

Hon Pete Hodgson

Hon Pete Hodgson

Chairperson, Callaghan Innovation

Pete has also previously been the CEO of Otago Innovation, as well as an MP for Dunedin North and a Minister in the Fifth Labour Government. He held roles including the Minister of Commerce and Minister of Research, Science, and Technology. Pete’s academic background is in veterinary science, but Pete brings significant experience in wide range of fields, having seen a bit of everything over an extensive career in innovation and commercialisation.

Jeffrey Lai

Jeffrey Lai

Jeffrey is a corporate/commercial lawyer and advisor with 25 years of experience, especially in the private capital and technology sectors. He has advised and acted for investors and investment funds (angel, pre-seed, seed, VC and growth/midcap private equity) as well as investee companies in a diverse range of growth industries, including IT, SaaS, robotics, renewable energy, environmental technology, specialised engineering, materials, and the commercialisation and productisation of science and innovation generally.

He is known for his pragmatic, strategic advice and ability to provide creative, cut through thinking on complex issues and problems. He is particularly skilled in designing legal structures and commercial arrangements (e.g. joint ventures, licences and distributorships), and assisting companies with international business expansion. He is a founding partner and the managing director of Anderson Creagh Lai, a boutique law firm based in Auckland. New Zealand. He is also an investor in early stage high-tech companies and funds.