Tauranga Welcomes You!

Tauranga Welcomes You!

Kiwi Immigrants Blog

Meet Bill Murphy of Enterprise Angels | NZ's Largest Angel Investor Fund
26 August 2016
Meet Bill Murphy of Enterprise Angels | NZ's Largest Angel Investor Fund

Everybody knows how amazing the lifestyle is in Tauranga.  But more and more people are discovering there are plenty of business opportunities for innvoative start-ups and ambitious entreprenerus in the Bay.  In fact, Tauranga is home to the largest Angel Investor funding group in New Zealand.  

Enterprise Angels is the brain child of Bill Murphy, an import from the United States who fell in love with New Zealand and built a flourishing future here.  Nowadays, he and the Enterprise Angels team are investing in the flourishing of a whole new generation of smart, creative people who are making the most of the innovation eco-system in Tauranga.

Let's meet the man behind the millions.

Bill what drew you to new Zealand? 

I met my Kiwi wife in California while she was on her OE. In true Californian style she was looking for a guru but she found me instead. I couldn’t wait to come to New Zealand. I loved traveling so the idea of coming to this little country at the end of the world appealed.  We settled in Auckland in 1980. 

How did you end up settling in Tauranga?  

After three years in Auckland we moved to London for three years then back to Tauranga from 1987 to 1990 then Seattle 1990 to 1996 then back to Tauranga.

By then we had lived in Boston, San Francisco, London and Seattle. We knew about the hassles of living in big cities but there was always so much more than the traffic, noise and crowdedness that made living in those cities worthwhile.

It would have been easier to just land in Auckland work wise but we felt Auckland had the big city hassles but lacked the culture and opportunities that balanced out the downside.  

My wife’s family lived in Tauranga and we had visited many times.  Tauranga appealed and represented the kind of life we wanted to live in New Zealand.  

Can you tell us the story of what motivated you to establish Enterprise Angels in 2008?

I’ve always been motivated to make a difference. After helping to set up Tauranga's economic development agency, Priority One, I could see businesses really needed help attracting capital and investors so that they could grow. On the other side of the coin, investors needed help finding good investment opportunities. It just grew from that.

How would you describe Enterprise Angels in a nut-shell?

Enterprise Angels is a best practice model for early stage business investing.  We provide entrepreneurs and innovators access to capital and expertise from our members to help them progress from concept to startup to success!  We have two funds totaling  five million dollars and an estimated additional twenty million dollars to invest.



Who would you like to attract to Tauranga?

New Zealanders are renowned for their inventiveness so entrepreneurs looking for a highly innovative ecosystem will love Tauranga. Since we don’t have a large domestic market nor particularly deep pools of capital we really value entpreneurs / investors who can help build a bridge for our companies to access overseas markets and capital.

We have a great entrepreneurial community here in Tauranga. When overseas (US, Asian, European) investors come to New Zealand they are always impressed with how mature the angel and entrepreneur industries are here.

How would you describe the level of support and resource available for start-ups and entrepreneurs here?  How do they tap into that eco-system?

For those wanting to raise capital we have the most important resource – New Zealand’s largest and very active angel investor group. If they need assistance in preparing to approach investors there is Priority One’s Ignition Co-working Space, Venture Centre’s Base Station and WNT Technology Incubator. Interested entreprenurs should take a look at our Entrepreneurs page on our website for more detail.


What do you think Tauranga has going for it as a city?

It’s a place people want to be. By law, angel groups are made up of wealthy, highly experienced business/investment people. How is it that Tauranga has the largest in the country?  The people who have the financial freedom to live anywhere they choose, choose to live here because of what the city offers them.  I think that's a vote of confidence worth noting.

What do you personally love about living in Tauranga? 

  • The weather (most years!)
  • It's not too big but big enough to provide opportunities. (Especially now)
  • The closeness of the harbour and bush and the beautiful coastal and rural views.
  • I love that I get to play tennis out doors all year round, tramp and look after our 1 Ha (2.5 arcre) lifestyle block.

What changes have you noticed in Tauranga in the last 5 years in particular?
A definite shift up in busyness, size, traffic. We are moving up through the gears to another level of 'cityness'. I am hoping the current elections will bring in people who recognize and support the regions’ growth and health.

Do you miss home?
In 1980 my first year in New Zealand I did. Picture it – no internet, 2 TV channels, you had to line up at the Central Post Office in downtown Auckland to send a fax on THE Fax machine. Phone calling was very expensive. You really were very far from everything.

However I didn’t realise that New Zealand had become home until we moved to London and then to the United States.  We always wanted to return to Tauranga and we are so glad we did.  This is our home and where we will build our future.


Gets You Thinking Doesn't It?

No-one can tell you when you're ready for a change of lifestyle...but when you are, we'd love to have you in Tauranga!

1. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TaurangaWelcomesYou

2. Subscribe to our montly e-newsletter to receive stories just like this one about people who have already made the big move you are thinking of making. 

Meet Kathryn Overall
Explore www.wishyouwereworkinghere.co.nz



Contact Priority One

Contact Priority One

Need help?

Send us your 100 word bio and we will send it out to local businesses who are on the lookout for good people! info@priorityone.co.nz

Tauranga Welcomes You

Tauranga Welcomes You


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About Kathryn

About Kathryn


Kathryn Overall is the friendly voice behind the 'Wish You Were Working Here' stories and Facebook posts.  Each month she chats with returned Kiwi expats,  Auckland imports and New Zealand immigrants who have moved to Tauranga, collecting their stories and advice to share with you. 

CLICK HERE to read her own story of reluctant homecoming!


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