First Cut Ventures is a group of talented, ambitious and pro-active young Kiwis working alongside The Icehouse to enable and empower young entrepreneurs.

Members of First Cut Ventures are empowered with unprecedented access to The Icehouse’s network, resources, brand and capital to enable their own learning and development into value-adding start-up advisors and investors. First Cut Ventures leverages these learnings and access to resources to:

  • Mentor and support young entrepreneurs
  • Develop scalable resources and models to disseminate learnings for the benefit of New Zealand’s entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Contribute to the management and success of funds, and portfolio companies, related to First Cut Ventures.

Since 2015 we have raised over $500k from 30+ professional investors, which we are currently deploying across founders under 30. In addition to this, we have enabled Kiwi startups like Halter and Spalk to raise more than $1M through initiatives such as the University Startup Challenge.


First Cut Ventures members are empowered, engaged and educated through a portfolio of events, resources, projects and 1:1 mentoring to enable their personal growth alongside the goals of First Cut Ventures. Opportunities available to the members of First Cut Ventures include:

  • Exclusive lunches with guests like Michelle Dickinson and Rob Fyfe
  • Invitations to attend the more than 50 events The Icehouse hosts to develop investor and entrepreneur capability and facilitate capital raising
  • Guidance and coaching from leading investors and entrepreneurs, working in collaboration to prepare due diligence and research on start-up companies
  • Board observation roles; where members may attend the board meetings of start-ups that have raised capital from The Icehouse family of entities like Ask Nicely, Halter and Spalk, working alongside professional directors and exited entrepreneurs
  • Access to and explanation of the mechanics of early-stage investment with exclusive access to real-life examples of investment documentation
  • The ability to raise, guide and manage an seed and venture investment fund. First Cut Ventures currently manages a $500k fund raised from professional investors in NZ and abroad

These First Cut Ventures’s specific opportunities are augmented by unprecedented connection into The Icehouse. The Icehouse is New Zealand’s largest start-up institution that represents an investment network of more than 500 individuals, including the likes of Ross Peat (Former MD of Microsoft), Ron Halls (Former CEO of Footlocker) and George Gong (Founder of Beyondsoft, a US$1b listed technology company in China). The Icehouse’s network has invested more than $65m into over 100 of New Zealand’s leading start-ups including notable alumni 8i, Harmoney, Crimson Education, PowerbyProxi, 90 Seconds and Flirtey.


First Cut Ventures presents an unparalleled opportunity for students to enhance their own development alongside their studies. These students do not need pre-existing knowledge about start-up investment. However, we are not looking for career C.V. builders. First Cut Ventures is an exceptional opportunity that requires serious commitment.


Email j.kennedy@firstcut.vc by 12pm May 4th 2018:

  • a one page CV
  • a personal statement on what you’d bring and why your interested in First Cut
  • Your unique perspective on one of either; young entrepreneurs founding companies, a technology trend, or a specific startup (approx 250 words).