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Venture capital for New Zealand innovators

Wednesday 15 May 2002

The selection of six venture capital fund managers to set up seed funds backed by the government’s New Zealand Venture Investment Fund is excellent news for New Zealand’s innovators, says Minister of Research, Science and Technology Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson and Venture Investment Fund board chairman John Grant today announced the six fund managers who will enter negotiations to establish VIF seed funds, to invest in high potential New Zealand start-up and early stage businesses. They are:

- NZ Biotech Fund No. 1 Limited (based in Otago, and focused on agri-biotech innovations, managed by Quest VC Limited, whose directors include entrepreneur Howard Paterson);

- Endeavour I-Cap (associated with Neville Jordan, the first New Zealander to list a company on the Nasdaq (MAS Technology) and Dr David Teece, an expatriate kiwi investment leader based in San Francisco);

- IO Fund (a joint venture between Infratil, the listed New Zealand infrastructure investment company, and Orion New Zealand, a South Island electricity network management company);

- iGlobe Treasury Funds (a joint venture between an established Singaporean venture capital company with worldwide high tech investments and New Zealand based merchant banker Tony Bishop);

- TMT Ventures (a venture capital fund seeded by Telecom New Zealand and managed by Direct Capital and US based private equity investor Advent International);

- No 8 Ventures 2002 Fund (No 8 Ventures is an established venture capital fund manager with strong US links, focused on IT, electronics and biotechnology.)

“The Venture Investment Fund is a key measure amongst the government's initiatives to stimulate business growth and transform the New Zealand economy,” Mr Hodgson said. “I am delighted we are now so close to seeing the individual seed funds established. This money will back New Zealand's innovators in universities, Crown Research Institutes and the private sector.

"Venture capital is vital to the formation of innovative new businesses and with the Venture Investment Fund the government is taking a bold step to accelerate its development in New Zealand. The world-class managers of these funds will bring expertise and capital to New Zealand’s finance sector that will significantly improve the commercialisation of world-class New Zealand ideas.”

The selected fund managers must match every dollar of Venture Investment Fund money put into their funds with at least twice as much private investment. They will choose their investments without government involvement, subject to Venture Investment Fund criteria.

“New Zealand’s economic success requires an environment in which innovation can thrive. The establishment of the new seed funds in the next few months will be a real boost to New Zealand’s capacity for turning smart ideas into new businesses and jobs.”

For more information on the Venture Investment Fund visit www.nzvif.com

Ends


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