Samantha Wong

What do you do at Blackbird?

I find hugely ambitious Aussie and Kiwi founders solving deeply painful problems as early as possible, and try to back them with money, time and most importantly, our belief.

What did you do before Blackbird?

I was a lawyer, then a product manager then a Startmate company founder. I joined Blackbird as Head of Operations in 2015 before moving to investments in 2017.

What do you believe that others do not?

You should internally fire yourself and re-apply for your job every year. We should optimise our careers, and life, for maximum learning. People and companies evolve too frequently to wait to do this every few years. Having an annual forcing function to ask: ’is this role or company still fulfilling my needs? Am I the best person for this job?’ prevents you wasting years of your life in jobs that you have outgrown. It follows that I don’t believe in long service leave because it incentivises the opposite of this behaviour.

What companies have you invested in?

Sunfed, Harrison AI, Heuros, Incodocs, Workyard and Mentorloop.

What projects have you led at Blackbird?

I led the Australian VC community to draft a Model Code of Conduct for the Startup Community. I launched our Women in VC Internship program. I am also heading up our office in Auckland with Phoebe.

What ideas are you excited by right now?

I am fascinated by the future of food and worry about how we’ll feed another 1.5 billion people on earth by 2030 without destroying it first. I am also interested in synthetic biology, longevity and healthcare. However, I’m a believer that through the investments I make now, I’ll learn about other new areas to invest in tomorrow, so by the time you read this, it’s probably also out of date!

Investment Notes: Foundry Lab
Investment

We’re thrilled to have led the Series A round into Foundry Lab, an Aotearoa startup pioneering digital metal casting (DMC) to create functional metal parts in less than a day.

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Investment Notes: First AML
Investment

We’re excited to have led the Series B round in First AML, an Auckland headquartered SaaS business designed to manage complex customer onboarding processes.

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A New Blackbird in New Zealand
From Blackbird

We’re excited to announce Phoebe Harrop joins the Blackbird team this week as an Associate.

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Thoughts on Founder Vesting
People & Culture

Will Blackbird take your vested shares?

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Investment Notes: Halter
Investment

We are thrilled to lead the $32M Series B round in Halter, a hardware startup that has created a new approach to dairy farming.

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Defining Your Culture: How We Created Blackbird’s Operating Principles
Leadership

Sam Wong explains how we defined our Operating Principles here at Blackbird.

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Investment Notes: Mint Innovation
Investment

Blackbird has invested in the Series B round of Mint Innovation, an e-waste startup turning garbage into gold.

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