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Fund managers get $60m boost for smart start-ups

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Innovative new life sciences, information technology and medical research companies will receive a boost thanks to a $60 million Australian Government investment in three innovation fund managers — Carnegie Venture Capital Pty Ltd, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and Southern Cross Venture Partners Pty Ltd.

Funding is being provided through the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF), which Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr highlighted earlier this week as effectively supporting start-up ventures in Australia, contributing significantly to our economy and improving the lives of Australians.

Announcing the funding at the Money, Markets and Talent business networking function in Sydney last night, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said innovation fund managers play a key role in helping smart start-up companies get their products and services into national and international markets.

“These fund managers will invest in new companies that are commercialising Australian research and development,” Senator Carr said.

More information on the successful fund managers is attached.

Previous innovation fund managers that supported companies such as, G2 Therapies and Dynamic Hearing have successfully expanded research efforts allowing these companies to bring new technologies to market sooner. For example the BTF-developed BioBall™ provides the world's most precise quantitative reference standards for microbiological testing.

Senator Carr said the IIF provides high growth companies with capital and access to commercialisation skills and international networks.

“The Innovation Investment Fund complements other Australian Government support programs like Commercialisation Australia and the proposed R&D Tax Credit. The range of programs available ensures Australian companies are supported at all stages — from start-up stage to market,” Senator Carr said.

The increased benefit to be provided by the R&D Tax Credit ensures Australian companies can continue to innovate and grow.

For more information on the Innovation Investment Fund and other industry support programs, visit and

Media Contacts Sheena Ireland, Minister's Office, 0427 092 100 David Wilson, Department, 02 6213 6025 or 0451 633 818


Carnegie Venture Capital Pty Ltd

Fund Name Carnegie Innovation Fund

Structure Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP)

Investment Focus Internet and media technology, and medical device companies

Key Personnel

Mr Mark Carnegie

Ms Nicola Young

Mr David Birkbeck

Dr David Celemajer

Dr Jacinth Fairley

Mr Mark Humphery

Contact Mr Mark Carnegie

02 9397 1400

Location Sydney

Fund Summary The fund's focus is on early-stage Australian companies driving innovation in product and process development in the life sciences, information technology and other sectors. The principals of the Carnegie Innovation Fund have long and proven track records in business and in the venture industry. These include securing investors, sourcing investments, developing investee companies with a high integrity, high value added and participative approach and achieving excellent exit returns. Among the fund's principals is Mark Carnegie, whose investing track record and contribution to the development of venture capital in Australia ranks among the most significant in the country. Carnegie Innovation Fund has committed capital of $40 million.


MRCF Pty Ltd

Fund Name MRCF IIF Partnership, LP

Structure Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP)

Investment Focus New seed/early stage investments originating from Australian medical research institutes and research hospitals

Key Personnel Dr Chris Nave

Dr David Fisher

Dr Stephen Thompson

Contact Dr Chris Nave

03 9657 0700

Location Melbourne

Fund Summary The Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF) was established in July 2007 as a seed/early-stage fund supporting the commercialisation of innovations developed within Australia’s medical research institutes and research hospitals. The MRCF is a collaboration between the investors and twenty-nine leading Australian medical research institutes and their affiliated research hospitals. In addition, the state governments of Victoria, NSW, Western Australia and Queensland support the fund’s operations.

The MRCF IIF will ensure that there is sufficient capital to provide seed funding to support the development and commercialisation of innovations emanating from its member institutes. In addition, the MRCF IIF will provide sufficient follow on capital to support the most promising companies, following the seed investment, to a stage where they can be partnered or attract capital from the more traditional venture capital sources. The existing investors have committed to supporting the MRCF IIF and will provide the $20 million of required matching private capital.


Southern Cross Venture Partners Pty Ltd

Fund Name Southern Cross IIF Fund

Structure Co-investment Fund

Investment Focus General

Key Personnel Mr Gareth Dando

Mr Bill Bartee

Mr Bob Christiansen

Mr John Scull

Mr Larry Marshall

Contact Mr Gareth Dando

02 8314 7400

Location Sydney

Fund Summary Australian-US-China early stage fund focusing on the IT, telecommunications, clean technology and materials sectors.

Southern Cross’ major strength lies in the way it has structured its business model for venture investing, with experienced people based in Silicon Valley, Sydney and Brisbane. This fund will have strong international linkages into the two key markets of Silicon Valley and China. Southern Cross is committed to building a self sustaining Australian venture capital industry which is why they have integrated their business into Silicon Valley, in order to facilitate effective commercialisation of new technologies.

Southern Cross has a strong commitment to work with domestic investees, both getting them investor ready and then through the expansion stage optimising exit value. The fund’s US presence and China relationships are a critical success factor for executing this strategy.