Venture Capital

The Giant Warm Intro: a chance for underrepresented founders to meet the best investors in ANZ

- July 13, 2022 4 MIN READ
Rampersand's Taryn Pieterse
The process of raising startup funding is notoriously difficult for early-stage founders and even more so when you don’t have strong connections to the investment community.

Simply knowing where to start and how to break in can be the biggest challenge.

Networks have historically been the key to opening the door to funding for early-stage founders. A trusted connection introduces a founder to their friends who are angel investors or VCs.

This one “warm intro” can unlock a world of opportunities for the founder — from getting valuable advice to growing more connections or raising their startup’s first round of capital.

But what if you don’t have that network? You have a promising idea that solves a real problem. You have the insight, experience and all the qualities to build a great company but that startup funding is just a conversation away.

The Australian ecosystem is still fairly new so a lack of access to investors is a problem for a lot of founders. But the data shows that this is an even bigger problem for women, minorities, migrants and founders of colour.

Rampersand, with the support of AWS Startups and the entire venture capital community, is once again hosting The Giant Warm Intro to specifically address that problem and create access for all founders – not just those with a warm intro.

What is The Giant Warm Intro?

The Giant Warm Intro matches early-stage tech founders with active investors from Australia and New Zealand’s leading venture capital funds, angel investors and accelerators. On Wednesday 17 August, 2022, more than 100 investors will meet with tech startups for remote mentoring sessions, no warm intros needed.

So, if you’re a startup founder with a promising idea that solves a real problem and you need capital to get there, The Giant Warm Intro is your chance to make connections that can help you raise funding and build a successful business.

Apply here to join us and meet investors across 2 x 30 minute sessions in a supportive, collaborative environment.

You’ll have the opportunity to meet one-to-one with investors from AfterWork, AirTree, Alberts, ALIAVIA Ventures, Alium Capital, Antler, Archangel, Aura, Artesian, Aussie Angels, Bailador, BetterLabs, Blackbird, Black Nova, Black Sheep, Breakthrough Victoria, Boson Ventures, Carthona Capital, Climate Salad, Commencer Capital, Commonsense Ventures, CUREator, CyRise, Dovetail, Dragonfly Enviro Capital, Euphemia, EVP, Five V Capital, Flying Fox, Folklore, Galileo, Giant Leap, Grok, Hyper, Investible, In-Q-Tel, Jelix, King River Capital, Lighter Capital, Macdoch, Main Sequence, M8 Ventures, Metagrove, NAB Ventures, OIF, One Ventures, Rampersand, Remarkable, Saniel Ventures, Scale Investors, Shearwater, Side Stage Ventures, Skalata, Skip Capital, Sprint, Square Peg, Startmate, Superseed Ventures, The Sypkes Group, Telstra Ventures, Tenacious Ventures, Ten13, Tidal, Tractor, Upswell, W23, x15 Venture, 1835i, 77 Partners and more.

You can ask for advice, test your pitch, create connections or simply find out about the fundraising process — and maybe, you’ll be on your way to raising your round.

Multiple startups involved in previous events have gone on to raise millions of dollars from VCs, angels and other sources including Veridooh, 1question, Steppen, Envited and Anility.

The Giant Warm Intro is open to all founders who are building a tech company that solves a real problem in the market. But in particular, this is an event focused on founders from underrepresented groups who don’t have access to getting a warm intro to investors.

Why we’re bringing founders into the warm

Since launching The Giant Warm Intro in 2020, record amounts of funding have flowed to startups in Australia and New Zealand. Yet an imbalance remains, with the vast majority of funding going to Australian born, straight, white males.

The reality is founders who get a warm intro to an investor are more likely to get funded than those trying to break in cold. And now, in tightened conditions, raising capital could get even tougher for early-stage founders, especially those without established networks.

Rampersand, AWS Startups and every investor and supporter involved in The Giant Warm intro, is committed to improving access for founders – and through this collaborative effort – our mission to get more underrepresented founders funded comes closer to reality.

85% of founders who applied for last year’s edition identified as underrepresented in one or more of the following ways:

  • 47% migrant founders
  • 42% women founders
  • 30% non-anglo founders
  • 10% regional founders
  • 4% LGBTQ!+ founders
  • 4% founders with a disability
  • 1% Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander founders

Founder applications close July 27

If you’re a founder apply here

If you’re an active Australian or New Zealand startup investor register here

If you’re a supporter get in touch here

So far, we’ve had over 200+ founders apply! The Giant Warm Intro will try to connect as many founders with investors as possible and share resources with all who apply.

We’re grateful to all the people, teams, funds, investors and organisations who’ve joined to support this movement. A huge thank you to AWS Startups for sponsoring The Giant Warm Intro.

Not only are they helping us to bring it to life and provide expert sessions in the lead-up, but they are also providing $5,000 in AWS Activate credits available to eligible startups, just for putting their hands up to apply.

Thanks also to Airwallex, Cake and Cut Through Venture for the support, guidance and insights and to Launch Vic for their foundational support.

We’re committed to creating a stronger, more inclusive startup ecosystem where all founders have the opportunity to succeed.

* Taryn Pieterse is Investment Principal at Rampersand