NZ Games Investment Panel

Date: Friday 1st September


Sam Marsh hosts Alex Dam from Hillfarrance, Chris Jagger from Alt Ventures and Jessica Manins from Beyond Studios to discuss everything investments in the games industry.

About the speakers

Sam Marsh is an experienced partnerships professional with a passion for gaming and startups. With a background in research and analysis,he has worked in the defence and security industry and currently lead the Security Champions Program at Xero.

Sam is  also the Engagement Manager at Pylot, a New Zealand-based startup developing a performance state tracker for gaming and productivity. Sams involvement with various gaming and startup communities has allowed me to stay up-to-date with emerging trends and connect with like-minded individuals.

At heart Sam is a big geek, he can’t get enough of games and  wants to support the NZ games industry however I can. This has taken many forms in the past including some contract work at studios. Now he is getting more involved in the investments and funding areas and wants to bring this knowledge to people in the games industry and help them navigate the vast maze of Venture Capital and funding applications.

Chris is the Managing Partner of Alt Ventures; in 2021 he set up NZ’s first dedicated game venture fund and to date has invested in over 15 Kiwi creative tech and gaming companies across the country.  In his spare time (spare time???) Chris plays all the Fund’s studio games (poorly) and these days you may occasionally find him stumbling, diving, fishing or being a bit of a charlatan around the towns of Faerun.

Alex Dam is the Principal at Hillfarrance, Aotearoa’s largest gaming, AI/ML & Climate venture capital fund.

Alex’s passion for gaming really started from Nexon’s Combat Arms, where he sunk several hours into. With a failed stint at University (played too many games and not enough studying), Alex went back to achieve a Bachelor’s in Finance and later joined Hillfarrance where he developed the funds first gaming investment thesis. Since then, Hillfarrance has invested in 4 gaming studios, 1 VFX & Animation studio and 1 game technology company.

When Alex is not learning or reading about new technologies and industries, you can find him actively kickboxing, playing guitar or trying out fried chicken restaurants.

Jessica Manins is the Co-Founder & Co-CEO at Beyond, VR game making maestros and creators of the world first free-roam VR game Oddball and the sold out virtual Burrows collection.

A ball of energy and ideas who has virtually willed big chunks of New Zealand’s gaming and VR industry into relevance. Her talented team creates immersive virtual worlds designed for inclusivity and joy.