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QSTP's $130 Million Venture Fund

Qatar Science & Technology Park announced two venture-capital funds totaling $130 million today and the renowned international firms that will manage them. The funds take Qatar a large step closer to its goal of becoming one of the world’s most attractive locations for start-up technology companies.

The $30 million New Enterprise Fund and $100 million Technology Venture Fund will respectively invest in early-stage and mid-stage technology enterprises locating in Qatar. They will be managed by a consortium of Oxford Capital Partners, a UK based venture capital firm focused on emerging science and technology, Qatar National Bank and The Ansbacher Group, a subsidiary of QNB which provides tailored financial solutions to high net worth and institutional clients worldwide.

“The vision is for Qatar’s knowledge economy to operate on a global scale, so it was important for the fund managers we chose to have international reach as well as local knowledge” said Dr. Eulian Roberts, Chief Executive of Qatar Science & Technology Park. “Oxford Capital, QNB and Ansbacher each bring a unique and valuable contribution to the partnership. Their depth of experience provides the right ingredients for the funds’ success.” The funds announced this month provide capital to commercialise technologies developed in Qatar and overseas.

The New Enterprise Fund moves technology from the lab bench to the marketplace by supplying the founding capital for new businesses. The Technology Venture Fund invests in growth-stage technology companies, helping them to scale-up production and expand their technology pipeline. The funds dovetail with the Proof of Concept Fund launched by Qatar Science & Technology Park on 5 September 2006 which offers grants to Qatar-based researchers to evaluate and develop their innovations. Qatar Science & Technology Park is also building a business incubator to provide the physical location for the start-up companies, and training programs to bolster their management skills.

Edward Mott, Founder and Chairman of Oxford Capital Partners, added “Oxford Capital has been identifying and investing in new technology companies in Europe and the US for over twenty years now, but what we see in Qatar is different. This is long-sighted and involves a very significant investment in education, science and applied research, which gives us enormous confidence that the New Enterprise Fund and Technology Venture Fund will succeed in their aim of growing Qatar’s knowledge economy.”

Vince Cook, General Manager of Corporate Banking and Capital Markets at QNB, said “It is a great honour for QNB to share a privileged and successful partnership with Qatar Foundation. We understand that our future rests in the advancement of technology. With its vast gas reserves and prudent financial management Qatar has enjoyed rapid growth. From this strong footing it becomes possible to invest significantly in Qatar's future and QNB, together with Ansbacher, is pleased to be able to contribute our deep financial expertise to the success of Qatar Science & Technology Park's venture funds.”

The New Enterprise Fund and the first $20 million of the Technology Venture Fund will be provided by Qatar Foundation. Remaining subscriptions will be raised by the fund managers later this year. The two funds are expected to become operational in early 2007. They are expected to apply to establish in and operate from the Qatar Financial Centre and be regulated by the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority.

Qatar Science & Technology Park is designed to grow Qatar’s knowledge economy by promoting links between industry and academia. Part of Qatar Foundation in Doha, it is co-located with campuses of Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, Weill Cornell and other top-ranked universities, all of which are establishing macentersearch centres. The funds announced today will help commercialise this research and attract start-up technology companies from around the world to Qatar.


Blogger Afiq Hassan said...

Well, such a big oppurtunity for young techpreuneurs.

I dont see why Edward Mott expects Qatar to be different, it may be because he is new to the market. What do you think?

3:20 AM  

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