A new £7.5 million Welsh Government fund announced today by Economy Minister Edwina Hart is set to invest in up to fifty new, fast-growth, early stage technology businesses, providing much needed finance.
The new five-year Wales Technology Seed Fund is aimed at technology start-ups, University spin outs and IP rich companies to help them commercialise their innovative products and technologies and bring them to market.
It will be managed on a commercial basis by Finance Wales and provide equity investments of between £50,000 and £150,000.
The Minister said: “This new Fund will address the current dearth of early stage capital identified by the Innovation Wales strategy. It will provide structured investment to technology start-ups and university spin-outs that are currently failing to secure support to commercialise their respective Intellectual Property.
“We want to increase the number and growth of successful, IP rich, technology based businesses in Wales. We also want to attract future leading technology businesses to Wales, which will trade globally, strengthening the Welsh economy and creating high-calibre new jobs.
“Finance Wales already has a strong track record of investing in early stage technology ventures and can now back more of them at a critical early stage. These companies will also be able to benefit from Finance Wales’ links with leading private and institutional co-investors as they grow.”
The Fund has the potential to help create over 100 high-calibre jobs in the next five years and investments from the fund can also be used alongside a range of other Welsh Government support to encourage innovation and business growth.
As these businesses grow and become more successful, they can then benefit from further investment from Finance Wales through the Wales JEREMIE Fund.
In the last financial year Finance Wales invested over £8 million in six new technology businesses and a number of its portfolio companies. Since 2009, it has invested almost £28 million in 30 technology venture companies in Wales from the Wales JEREMIE Fund.
The Wales Technology Seed Fund will be operational from 1st June 2014.