Will Charles has been Executive Director Commercialisation since 2005. In the last five years alone UniServices has started, supported and invested in over 40 technology-based companies that have raised over $800 million in venture and seed funding. In 2016 he founded and currently manages the University of Auckland Inventors Fund, a $20m evergreen fund dedicated to start ups generated by staff and students at the University of Auckland.
He has significant experience in building collaborative technology incubation and investment programmes, both in New Zealand and Australia. With colleagues in Australia he set up the TransTasman Commercialisation Fund, a A$30 million seed fund with four Australian Universities and sat on the Investment Committee of the fund. He worked with the Group of Eight (Go8) Universities in Australia to assist in bringing the IPGroup plc to invest in a A$200m Australasian subsidiary, dedicated to nurturing and investing start-ups from the 9 largest Universities in Australasia, including Auckland.
He is the founder and is responsible for the direction of Return on Science which is part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Economic Development’s Commercialisation Partner Network. Most recently he founded Momentum, a unique national student led investment and start-up funding process that allocates the University of Auckland Inventors Fund to student ventures.