Immigration program revamp can help venture capital firms commercialise university research

Australian venture capital firms could assist Australia’s economic recovery by investing more in commercialising the valuable intellectual property developed by universities.

Stoic Venture Capital Partner and member of the Uniseed Investment Committee Dr Geoff Waring said not enough seed stage venture capital was allocated to the commercialisation of university intellectual property.

While established late-stage venture capital firms have received a lot of superannuation funds lately, there is a shortage of seed-stage venture capital, Dr Waring said.

Stoic Venture Capital is the co-investment Fund of Uniseed, a commercialisation fund which focuses on financing start-up companies that spin out from Australian member universities.

Uniseed partner research organisations comprise five of Australia’s top six research organisations which collectively developed more than 50 per cent of all patents from Australian research organisations.

“Venture capital firms are not investing enough in seed-stage startups,” Dr Waring said. “A portion of these startups will become internationally competitive technology companies that generate domestic jobs and prosperity.

Recent research has revealed significant employment benefits for communities where startups have been spun off from university research. These benefits extend beyond local cities and economies.”

Dr Waring said the Australian Government’s revamp of the Business Innovation and Investment Program for permanent resident visas could play a critical role in driving these benefits.

“The Significant Investor Visa provides a significant source of investment to fund venture capital that will help our economy recover,” Dr Waring said.

“The Global Talent Visa would enable Australia to attract some of the world’s smartest and innovative talent with skills and experience to help us boost our innovation capabilities.”

Dr Waring said the Government should use immigration policy to attract capital and talent to boost the Australian economy. Monetary and fiscal policy had reached the limits of their effectiveness in growing our economy.

“More capital should be required to be allocated to seed-stage venture capital,” he said. “This will help universities commercialise their research and stimulate the growth of startups that create new employment and new industries in Australia.”

Stoic Venture Capital’s investments with Uniseed include:

• Probiotic drink (PERKii);

• Drone radio-tracking technology (Wildlife Drones);

• Smart helmet for motorcycling (Forcite);

• Agricultural robots (Agerris);

• Drug to enhance immunity to fight respiratory diseases (Ena Therapeutics);

• Drug for treating kidney disease (Certa Therapeutics);

• Drug for addiction rehabilitation (Kinoxis);

• Drug for eye damage from diabetes (Occurx);

• Breast cancer side effects treatment (Que Oncology);

• Magnetic nanoparticles for cancer diagnosis (Ferronova).

About Stoic Venture Capital

Stoic Venture Capital provides financing for early-stage companies, particularly those arising from university research. Stoic is unconditionally registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP) and takes a collaborative approach to investing in the highest potential companies. Atlas Advisors Australia AFOF is the major limited partner for the Fund. www.stoicvc.com.au



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