Don McKenzie is an award winning entrepreneur turned private assets investor. Don has been investing for nearly 20 years, with 15 years investing in venture and early stage companies, with a focus on ‘active investment’ – that is investing in companies where he can provide value-added support for his portfolio investments through strategic advice, systems thinking and experience based mentoring.
Don’s focus on active portfolio support stems from his own entrepreneurial journey of successes and failures with businesses founded in Australia, New Zealand, UK and US, including taking one of them to listing on the ASX. These companies were all B2B focused, including international SaaS sales, grown organically and through acquisition.
After transitioning from Founder/CEO, Don led the Adizes Institute in Australia – a global management consultancy firm that transfers frameworks and tools to help companies build rapidly growing organisations in the face of ever increasing change and complexity.
Through his entrepreneurial ups and downs and his role as Managing Director of the Adizes Institute Australia, Don developed an approach combining repeatable frameworks to help portfolio companies solve common challenges during growth and international expansion. Don has since been using this approach to work closely with founders and family offices to help traverse the common challenges of growth and founder transition.
Don has been a director/member of the Board of both private and public companies, but uniquely, also has a track record of rolling up his sleeves to step in and provide operational support to turn advice into action and outcomes.
Don manages a personal investment portfolio across listed investments, property, private equity and venture capital currently tracking at 3.6 times return over 5 years. Don manages over $140 million of venture, property and private equity assets for a Brisbane based family and has worked closely with Brisbane Angels to assist with their founder transition program and ongoing growth initiatives.
Don has been a finalist in the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, winner of the Insurance Innovation of the Year Award from the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Insurance and Finance, and winner of Telstra Business of the Year, but his passion is using this experience to help entrepreneurs navigate what can be a lonely and challenging road with empathy, experience and emotional and practical intelligence.