Open Sourcing Investing: 2021 Explorer Program

Published in
3 min readJul 28, 2021


AirTree’s 2021 Explorer Program for aspiring Angel investors is open for applications! Closing date: Wednesday 18th August End of Day AEST

What’s the Explorer Program about?

Angel investors are the lifeblood of a healthy startup ecosystem. They’re often the first port of call for new ideas, and they play a critical role in supporting founders.

We launched the Explorer Program last year as our way of addressing the worrying trend of declining angel and seed-stage investment in our ecosystem and to encourage more diverse and underrepresented groups to invest in startups.

Our 2020 program offered a cohort of 32 Explorers angel investing education and networks, access to our internal Investment Committee meetings, and funds to invest.

As the startup community continues to grow and mature, we want to help the many experienced founders and early employees back the next generation as investors and advisors.

We also want to empower more diverse and underrepresented groups of talented people who are actively contributing to the success of our sector to become angel investors for the first time and benefit from our sector’s wealth creation potential.

We want to keep doing everything we can to foster an active, vibrant and world-class angel investment community in Australia and New Zealand.

So we’re running the Explorer program again this year, bigger and better!

What does the 2021 Explorer Program involve?

Funding to Invest

As an Explorer, if you introduce AirTree to a company that we invest in, we’ll bring you in on the investment alongside us.

Time Commitment

The 2021 Explorer Program will run for 4 months from 1st September — 3rd December 2021. There will be fortnightly 1-hour zoom sessions (8 in total) where we’ll cover startup investing content.

As an Explorer, you’ll also be invited to in-person networking events (COVID permitting) and some of AirTree’s internal Investment Committee meetings (1 hour in duration).

Program Content

The educational content we will cover in the program include:

What does it cost?

Nothing, this is a completely free program! 🥳
All that’s needed is an internet connection & the willingness to learn, actively contribute, and invest in startups!

Open Sourcing Angel Investing 101

We were overwhelmed by the interest from the startup community last year with close to 1,000 applications. We ran the program with a cohort of 32 superstars, but we’d love to empower everyone interested in angel investing to do so.

So this year, while we’ll keep the cohort size small and close-knit, we’ll share a bunch of our educational content with everyone who applies for the program.

Who are we looking for?

We’re looking for curious and hungry people who’ll have a great chance at identifying and backing the next generation of globally successful, category-leading startups.

You may be someone who:

  • Spends time with ambitious founders, or are a founder yourself
  • Has a unique lens into the highs and lows of startup life
  • Actively contributes to the startup ecosystem
  • Is an expert in your field
  • Has a good eye for identifying trends
  • Believes in the potential of technology to transform the world

Does any of the above sound like you or someone you know? If so, we want to hear from you!

How do I apply?

Apply via this application form, by the closing date Wednesday 18th August End of Day AEST.

Have more questions?

We are running an Explorer Program AMA on Thursday 12th August 1pm AEST (3pm NZST), where we’ll answer your questions about the program and feature Explorers from last year’s cohort to share their experiences. Register for that here.

For a sense of the content in the program, you can also check out ‘The Making of an Angel’ by Jason Atkins, Co-founder of Cake Equity and 2020 AirTree Explorer.




AirTree is a venture capital fund that supports the most ambitious Australian and Kiwi tech founders. First round, multiple rounds.