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New venture capital fund manager for WA.

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9 November 2000           00/518 


A West Australian venture capital fund has been offered one of four licences under the Commonwealth Government's Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) Program, Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin announced today. 

WA's Foundation Management will give local technology companies access to Commonwealth Government initiatives which support the growth of the venture capital industry. 

"I am delighted that the successful application by Foundation Management in Western Australia which will also service South Australia and the Northern Territory means that all states are now covered and the IIF program will be accessible to industry across Australia," Senator Minchin said. 

"In assessing the applications for the second round, I directed the Industry Research & Development Board to give consideration to applications representing areas not geographically covered by existing funds.  

Four licences will be offered under Round 2 of the Commonwealth Government's IIF Program. 

Senator Minchin said the Commonwealth's total contribution of $90.71 million, when combined with private-sector investment of about $72.7 million, would further boost the commercialisation of Australia's research and development activities and increase the pool of early-stage venture capital managers. 

"The combined funding under this round of the Program will result in about $163.4 million becoming available for investment in Australian early-stage technology-based companies," Senator Minchin said. 

"The first round of the Program announced in December 1997 provided $195 million for venture capital investment of which the Commonwealth contributed $130 million. A combined total of $358 million has now been made available for early-stage venture capital under both rounds of the Program. 

"In choosing the four fund managers, the Board was particularly impressed by

the number of high-quality applicants. Each of the managers being offered funding brings a wealth of experience through their financial and management capability. " 

The four successful applicants are:  Nanyang Ventures, which is offering a $50 million fund with a one-to-one capital-raising ratio. Private capital will be provided by institutional investors


Start Up Australia, a specialist early-stage biotechnology fund which has a strong track record in growing this new economy sector ●

Newport CDIB Fund Management Pty Ltd which sources a large percentage of its funds from overseas investors; and ●

Foundation Management (WA) which will give local access to the burgeoning technology market in Western Australia, as well as servicing South Australia and the Northern Territory.   


"The second round of the IIF is further acknowledgment of the Commonwealth Government's recognition of the importance of a vibrant early-stage venture capital industry as a key driver of Australia's future economic success," Senator Minchin said. 

"The offer of the Round 2 licences will be subject to finalisation of agreements with the IR&D Board. 

"The Commonwealth Government continues to provide the necessary support measures to make Australia's innovative companies competitive in the international marketplace. 

"The Government is currently considering the recommendations in the Innovation Summit Implementation Group's report Innovation - Unlocking The Future and the Chief Scientist's discussion paper on the Australian Science Capability Review, The Chance to Change. 

"An Innovation Action Plan is being developed as the Government's response to both these reports. 

"It will identify actions and commitments for government, industry and the research community over the next three to five years." 

Contact:  Jennifer Eddy, Minister's Office, 02 6277 7580

             Professor Don Anderson, IR&D Board, (02) 9228-3245

   Dr Russell Edwards, AusIndustry, 02 6213 7730 

A summary of the fund managers is attached. 




FOUNDATION MANAGEMENT (WA) PTY LTD  Foundation Management (WA) Pty Ltd is an established fund manager with a proven record in the general venture capital marketplace. 

Mr Ian Murchison (Managing Director), Robert Gould (Director), Mr Richard Henning and Ms Elisa Brown provide the fund with an experienced venture capital management team. 

Ian Murchison established Foundation Capital Ltd in 1994 and has eight years direct early stage venture capital experience, including the entire venture capital life cycle. He has over twenty-five years experience in developing and funding technology companies as a director, manager, investor and consultant.  

Robert Gould has been a Director and shareholder of Foundation Management (WA) Pty Ltd for four years during which he has led a majority of transactions and now manages a large number of Foundation Capital's portfolio of investments. He has fourteen years direct venture capital experience, initially as a senior investment manager with BLE Capital in Melbourne and then with his own firm raising venture capital for business expansion opportunities for private companies.  

Elisa Brown has corporate finance/investment banking background. She has sound management experience, holding the positions of Vice President (International Sales) with Quasar Ltd (UK) and the Executive Director of Megazone Technology Ltd. 

Richard Henning was Chief Executive of Scotland's North East Fife Enterprise Trust Ltd, responsible for the start-up and expansion of businesses in the Fife region of Scotland and the commercialisation of university innovations/IP. He is currently CEO of EHatch Pty Ltd located at the Technology Park, Perth. 

Foundation Management (WA) Pty Ltd has strong regional focus will target investment opportunities in Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. 

Foundation Management (WA) Pty Ltd was selected on the basis of its sound venture capital managerial skills and the strong networks it has established for sourcing deal flow, including international links. 

For further information, please contact: 

Mr Ian Murchison

Managing Director

Foundation Management (WA) Pty Ltd

Level 17, QV1 Building

250 St George's Terrace

PERTH WA 6000 

Telephone: (08) 9322 2360

Facsimile: (08) 9322 1148 





NANYANG VENTURE S PTY LIMITED  Nanyang Ventures Pty Limited will manage the St George Innovation Fund which will be a general fund with a focus on manufacturing, information technology, telecommunications, medical devices and born global companies.  

Nanyang Ventures is an Australian venture capital fund manager based in Sydney. It was formed in mid 1993 by Messrs Chris Golis, Ian Neal and Niall Cairns and currently manages two development capital funds (St George Development Capital Limited and St George Development Capital II). 

The management team for the St George Innovation Fund will comprise Mr Chris Golis (Executive Chairman of Nanyang Ventures), Dr Michael Hirshorn (Chief Executive Officer) and Mr Simon Uzcilas (Investment Manager). 

Mr Golis has been working in the Australian venture capital industry since May 1984 and has had extensive experience in all aspects of venture capital. Mr Golis has been responsible for the growth of successful companies such as Neverfail Spring Water and DKS. He also has had extensive experience in general management at GEC and TNT, information technology at IBM and ICL, and merchant banking at BT Australia. Mr Golis is the author of Enterprise and Venture Capital - A Business Builders' and Investors' Handbook. 

Dr Hirshorn has over 22 years of experience in commercialising Australian technology and building internationally successful companies. Dr Hirshorn co-founded Cochlear and played a major role in its development internationally. In 1988 he was awarded BRW's Businessman of the Year (Technology) for establishing Cochlear in the USA and Europe. Dr Hirshorn was also a co-founding Director of Resmed, now listed on the NYSE, and Chief Executive Marketing for Polartechnics, currently listed on the ASX. Dr Hirshorn has served on many Federal and State advisory committees and is a director of several early stage, technology-based companies.  

Mr Uzcilas has over 8 years of experience in the domestic and international financial markets. He has completed investments across a wide range of industries and technologies including manufacturing, information technology, transport, infrastructure and industrial equipment. Mr Uzcilas has held positions with the St.George Bank in Sydney and BT Alex.Brown (now Deutsche Alex.Brown) in Europe.  

For further information, please contact :

Mr Chris Golis

Executive Chairman

Nanyang Ventures Pty Limited

Level 5, National Australia Bank House

255 George Street


Telephone:   02 9247 4866

Facsimile:  02 9241 1087





NEWPORT CDIB FUNDS MANAGEMENT PTY LIMITED  Newport CDIB Funds Management Pty Limited (Newport) is a new joint venture between Newport Capital Group Pty Limited and China Development Industrial Bank (CDIB) of Taipei.

Newport is raising capital from Australian and overseas companies for a Newport Technology Fund of which the IIF will be a subfund dedicated to investment in seed, start-up and early stage companies in Australia. The IIF will target the IT, Internet, e-commerce, telecommunications and related technology sectors.  

The management team of Mike Hilsden, Brett Morris, John Wang and David Beale have years of experience in venture capital and commercialisation in the information industries. The team will operate nationally from its base in Sydney. 

Mike Hilsden has worked at senior executive level within the IT&T industry for the past 20 years, with both multinationals and Australian start ups. His experience covers manufacturing, beverages, oil, television/media and biometrics. During the last 5 years, Mr Hilsden has concentrated on assisting investors, venture capitalists and senior management to build local companies into major exporters. He is also the former CEO of AMWIN, a licensed fund manager from Round One of the IIF program. 

Brett Morris has considerable experience in sales, marketing and general management of Australian companies and will be able to provide investee companies with strategic and operational expertise. 

David Beale, formerly with British Telecom, has over 25 years experience in advanced IT&T engineering operations, business negotiations and product development. 

John Wang, currently Assistant Vice President, Credit & Research Department, CDIB, will bring over 10 years experience in selection, investment and divestment of start ups in Taiwan. Mr Wang has been involved directly with start up companies, due diligence, equity finance and financial advisory work through his previous role as Manager, Investment Banking & Trust Department. 

Newport was selected on the basis of its experienced technology executives, strong backing by global technology investors and expertise in the commercialisation of research and development in the information industries. 

For further information, please contact: 

Mr Mike Hilsden

Chief Executive Officer

Newport CDIB Funds Management Pty Limited

Level 3, 170 Pacific Highway


Telephone:  02 9438 3388

Facsimile:  02 9438 5808





START-UP AUSTRALIA PTY LTD  Start-up Australia Pty Ltd is an established venture capital fund manager with a specialist focus on early stage bioscience. 

The management team of Dr George Jessup (Managing Director), Mr Stephen Robinson (Executive Director and Company Secretary) and Dr Michelle Miller (Investment Manager) provides a strong mix of complementary skills in venture capital, bioscience and early stage commercialisation. Chairman of the Board, Mr Ken Roberts, AM, brings significant managerial expertise to the fund in the areas relevant to its operations. 

George Jessup has worked in the VC industry since 1994 specialising in seed and start-up deals. His background includes employment with US multinational pharmaceutical companies and board positions on a number of early stage biotechnology companies.  

Stephen Robinson is a chartered accountant with broad commercialisation experience. He has worked in the venture capital industry since 1994 and has sat on the boards of a number of early stage biotechnology companies.  

Michelle Miller is a scientist with a background in microbiology, biochemistry and molecular genetics. She has sourced and investigated investment opportunities for Start-up Australia for the last eighteen months. 

Ken Roberts has extensive experience in early stage commercialisation gained through involvement with Wellcome Australasia, the Australian Technology Group and the University of Queensland Centre for Drug Design and Development. He has sat on the boards of a number of early stage biotechnology companies. 

Start-up Australia Pty Ltd operates out of Sydney, but has a record of investing throughout eastern Australia. 

Start-up Australia was selected on the basis of its strong management team which has sound experience in venture capital, commercialisation and the international bioscience markets, including strong links to the USA.   

For further information, please contact: 

Dr George Jessup

Managing Director

Start-up Australia Pty Ltd

Level 5

15 Castlereagh Street


Telephone: (02) 9235 1140

Facsimile: (02) 9233 8129 



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