Siberia | Finance, business | Technology & innovation

Siberias Tomsk announces venture fund

8 Apr '13
The Tomsk region has announced plans for the creation of a local venture fund to support small innovation companies from across economic sectors, news agency RIA Novosti reports citing Alexei Knyazev, the vice governor for science and innovation.

If we manage to initially raise at least $16.5m, it will be a very good start for the fund, Mr. Knyazev said.

According to the vice governor, the future fund will be set up as a for-profit partnership, and Gazprombank, a sizable Russian bank established and controlled by Gazprom, the national natural gas monopoly, is expected to become its first partner. Other potential partners might include Russian Venture Company, Medica (an Israeli pharma developer), and some other domestic and international entities, Mr. Knyazev explained.

Now were facing a situation, in which the number of people seeking venture investment roughly matches the number of those willing to provide investing. In May, we will start collecting applications for investments and will be already working with the venture fund, the vice governor added.

He complained earlier this year that innovation companies in far-flung areas of the region were facing problems finding investors because of their remote location and lack of useful connections to promote their projects.

As of January 1, 2013, there were about 150 small innovation companies in Tomsk, operating as university spin-offs or as residents of the Tomsk Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
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