A new £7.5m equity seed fund backing technology start-ups and IP rich university spin-out firms in Wales has been confirmed.
The Welsh Government’s Wales Technology Seed Fund, which will be managed by Finance Wales, will aim over the next five years to invest in up to 50 start up ventures.
The fund will support firms in commercialising their innovative products and technologies.
Finance Wales, the investment bank subsidiary of the Welsh Government, will provide equity investments of between £50,000 and £150,000 from the fund.
Business Minister Edwina Hart 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 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 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 under its £150m Jeremie Fund.
In the last financial year Finance Wales invested over £8m in six new technology businesses and a number of its portfolio companies. Since 2009, it has invested almost £28m in 30 technology venture companies.
The Wales Technology Seed Fund will be operational from June.
Mrs Hart will today give evidence to the Finance Committee of the National Assembly for Wales which as part of its inquiry into Finance Wales