The Business Development Bank of Canada’s (BDC) venture capital arm announced a commitment of $10 million to the Atlantic Canada Regional Venture Fund which is being set up to finance start-up companies in the IT, clean energy and healthcare sectors. This contribution by Canada’s largest institutional venture capital investor brings to approximately $50 million the total amount committed to date by the various partners to the fund, which is now open for business and actively seeking investment candidates throughout the Atlantic Provinces.
“There are many great ideas in the Atlantic Provinces waiting to become great companies”, says Dominique Bélanger, a Director in BDC Venture Capital’s Strategic Investments and Initiatives division, who negotiated the deal. “And there are talented and motivated entrepreneurs too. The Fund’s job now is to find the most promising start-ups and support their growth.”
The Atlantic Canada Regional Venture Fund is a privately-managed seed and early stage fund jointly initiated by the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in November 2010. With its participation, BDC VC joins the governments of Nova Scotia ($15M), New Brunswick ($15M) and Prince Edward Island ($2.5M) as well as privately-owned Technology Venture Corporation ($5M). Fundraising activities will continue following the first closing of the fund in the New Year, which is expected to be between $50- and $60-million.
Selected technology companies will be provided with funding between $1- and $5-million to finance product development and commercialization. The fund is especially welcome given the significant disparity between the Atlantic region and the rest of Canada with regards to the availability of venture capital. Mr. Bélanger adds that “the fund will complement the current active investors in the region, as well as serve as a co-investor of choice for out-of-region funds.”