Waikato University Spin-Off Success
5 Oct 2005
Waikato University Spin-Off Success Brings Major New Company Into The Region
An award winning IT company spun-off from Waikato University has been purchased by TANDBERG, global leaders in interactive video communication.
"TANDBERG'S purchase of Waikato University spin-off company Ectus Ltd, is a net win for all with news that TANDBERG will not only retain the Ectus team and Waikato Innovation Park base, but also plans to expand it" , said Waikato University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Roy Crawford, "The purchase of Ectus brings this highly innovative global company into the Waikato region."
Ectus was spun off from Waikato University in 2004 as a privately held company with an investment from venture capital company Endeavour-icap, one of the four managers of the Government's Venture Investment Fund (VIF). This sale is the first of the VIF companies to achieve a highly successful exit - evidence that the fund is working and producing results.
"The sale is an excellent example of how science and technology is being developed in the Waikato - with the assistance of venture capital - and then spun out into the commercial world with benefits accruing to all," says Professor Crawford.
"We envisage that TANDBERG will continue to use Waikato University as a test bed for world-leading e-learning and video conferencing software."
"This relationship with TANDBERG will enable the University to build on our Vision goals of excellence and international connectedness as well as creating new jobs in the region and bringing a new stream of revenue to the University. We will use our proceeds from the sale to develop research initiatives that have the potential to generate intellectual property with commercial property," he says. "It is yet another example of how the University is contributing to wealth creation in the region."
TANDBERG, which has dual headquarters in New York and Norway, designs and develops software for video, voice and data. It provides sales support in over 90 countries around the world and its shares trade publicly on the Oslo Stock exchange.
TANDBERG Spokesperson Steven Peri says that Ectus appealed to the company because of its innovative, on-demand, rich media solutions, which provide for the capture and distribution of video, audio and graphics content.
"Ectus offered an exciting suite of capabilities not previously presented in a single solution. The uniqueness of the solution lies in the integration of collaboration tools with the rich media-streaming environment," he says. "We are excited that this cutting-edge technology will now be taken to a global audience."
TANDBERG is a leading global provider of visual
communication products and services. The Company has dual
headquarters in New York and Norway. TANDBERG designs,
develops and markets systems and software for video, voice
and data. The Company provides sales, support and
value-added services in more than 90 countries worldwide.
TANDBERG is publicly traded on the Oslo Stock Exchange under
the ticker TAA.OL.
About Ectus Ltd
Ectus evolved out of Waikato
University where it began as the Waikato Innovation Centre
for electronic Education (WICeD). WICeD was established in
2001 to enable the University to meet one of its five key
objectives - to be a world leader in electronic education.
During 2003 and 2004 Ectus was formed as a privately held
company with help from New Zealand Venture capital company
Endeavour-icap and the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund.
Ectus was able to bring staff from WICeD into the new company and has a very experienced team of educational technologists, software developers, strategic consultants and designers.
The main business focus was on integrating synchronous and asynchronous collaboration technology, the theory of online communities and learning and best practice. Ectus worked to apply theory, best practice and technology to provide interactive, stimulating and supportive working and learning environments.
Ectus delivered innovation in video conferencing, streaming media, and electronic education and has partnerships with a variety of institutions and organisations at local, national, and international levels.
Endeavour Capital was founded by successful businessman Neville Jordan as a result of his desire to put something back into the New Zealand economy and to help ensure that small companies based on science and technology had access to vital venture capital funding. As a licensed manager under the New Zealand government's Venture Investment Fund scheme, Endeavour has raised more than $40 million of investment funding. This is presently being invested in exciting New Zealand-based companies working on world-class developments in biotechnology, ICT, the creative industries, and advanced manufacturing.
Chairman of Endeavour-icap, a company operating with a
licence from the government's Venture Investment Fund. In
this role he has multiple investments in NZ-based science
and technology companies.
Endeavour Capital Ltd and I-cap Partners Ltd were successful applicants to manage one of the New Zealand Government's Venture Investment Funds (NZVIF).
This is a NZ Government initiative to stimulate investment in innovative and growing companies within New Zealand.
The selection process included due diligence performed by the international firm, Wiltshire Partners. Through this process, the EIP Fund was awarded investment grade status.
The EIP Fund invests in NZ-based seed, start-up, and early expansion stage companies that operate in, but are not limited to, chemical and biological discovery, advanced electronics and software. Each investment will be subject to the EIP fund's defined investment strategies, specific investment criteria and investment structuring methods.
The EIP Fund, while internationally focused, and boasting considerable international networks, is New Zealand owned and operated, and will continue to operate within New Zealand to develop both the venture capital and intellectual property industry.