VCs to run new $107m pre-seed plan

By Pete Young
Friday, 10 May, 2002

Large venture capital entities have snared all four of the licences to manage the Federal government's new $107 million plan to fill the pre-seed funding gap facing promising technologies.

Starfish Ventures, Rothschild Genesis, Allen and Buckeridge and SciVentures will bring an extra $34 million in private investment funds into the Pre-Seed Fund program which is underpinned by nearly $73 million in taxpayer money.

The fund is designed to assist the early commercialisation stage of promising R&D at universities and public-sector research agencies.

Of the new fund managers, only Rothschild Genesis will focus exclusively on life sciences. Starfish Ventures and SciVentures will direct investments across a broad range of technologies while Allen and Buckeridge will concentrate on the information technology and communications space.

The funds will invest up to $1 million in each selected project or company and are expected to be operational by the first quarter in 2002-03.

Rothschild expects fine-tuning of documentation to close the fund will take "a couple of months" with the first investments being made a few months after that.

"We've already hit the ground by hiring a new team of three people and we are talking with a number of universities in a structured way to review applicable technologies," said Rothschild Bioscience managing director Dr Geoff Brooke.

Associate director Brigitte Smith said the 10-year fund's anticipated investment period will be five years, meaning its total capital will be invested in the first five years.

Rothschild Bioscience is establishing the Rothschild Genesis Fund with a total capital between $28.75 million and $30 million, of which the government contribution will be $21.25 million.

The Starfish Ventures Pre-Seed Fund, whose team includes Sir Gustav Nossal, will have total capital of $24 million including $17 million from the Commonwealth.

The SciVentures Pre-Seed Fund total capital will be $33 million (Commonwealth $20.3 million) while the Allen & Buckeridge Pre-Seed Fund will have total capital of $20 million, of which the Commonwealth is expected to provide $14.15 million.

Related News

Brain 'rewires' to heighten senses in the blind

US scientists have found that the brains of those who are born blind make new connections in the...

Missing protein causes OCD behaviour in mice

German researchers have discovered what they believe to be the underlying cause of...

The human skull evolved as our ancestors learned to walk

Researchers have confirmed that the evolution of bipedalism in fossil humans can be detected...

  • All content Copyright © 2017 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd