Earlier this week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper shared major
plans to bolster Canada's venture capital (VC) industry by
injecting $400 million in new capital over the next seven to ten
years. The Government's Venture Capital Action Plan aims to
help increase private sector investments in early-stage risk
capital and strengthen the large-scale venture capital funds led by
the private sector.
The message was also clear in continuing to champion the
importance of innovation. "Significantly, and this is key,
these funds target and accelerate investments in innovation, on a
large scale," stated the Prime Minister earlier this
Main objectives of the Action Plan include contributing to the
development of a sustainable VC ecosystem, increasing the number of
successful Canadian companies, and attracting foreign expertise to
deepen the pool of experienced fund managers in Canada. These
objectives will be achieved through partnering with the private
sector. The Prime Minister explained that the goal is "to work
with the private sector to maximize the impact of the funds
announced today, and to ensure that investment decisions are
substantially market driven and private sector led."
Of the $400 million in new capital to be deployed, $250 million
will be designated to establish new "funds of funds" (a
portfolio consisting of investments in several VC funds), in hopes
to partner with institutional and corporate strategic investors. Up
to $100 million will be deployed mainly at the provincial level to
recapitalize existing private sector-led funds. The remainder (up
to $50 million) will be available in the near term to a few
high-performing private sector-managed venture capital funds in
hopes of making an immediate impact on the development of
At this stage, the Government is encouraging potential investors
to express their interest in participating by February 8, 2013.
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