Alberta Enterprise announces $10 million investment in Accelerate Fund LP

Angel co-investment fund launched as new source of capital for Alberta's start-up and early-stage technology companies

EDMONTON AND CALGARY, Nov. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Alberta Enterprise today announced that it has invested $10 million as a Limited Partner in the new Accelerate Fund, an angel co-investment fund. This Fund will expand the available capital for start-up and early-stage companies across all technology sectors.

"We determined that there was a funding gap for Alberta's emerging tech entrepreneurs," said Barry Heck, Vice Chairman and CEO of Alberta Enterprise. "The Accelerate Fund targets this gap, by increasing the capital available for early-stage companies in Alberta and helping more technology businesses get the human and financial capital they need to successfully execute."

"The Accelerate Fund is a creative solution to advance innovation and entrepreneurship in Alberta," said Stephen Khan, Alberta's Minister of Enterprise and Advanced Education. "This investment by Alberta Enterprise will help the Province develop and sustain a more innovation-driven economy."

The Accelerate Fund will seek to maximize the leverage of its capital by co-investing in start-up and early stage businesses with angels. The Accelerate Fund encourages collaboration among angel investors and is looking to bring multiple angel investors into deals.  Financing is open to technology companies in information and communications technology, clean and energy technology, as well as life sciences, including agriculture and biotech. For more information on the Accelerate Fund, see www.acceleratefund.ca.

The Accelerate Fund will be managed by an independent fund manager, AVAC Ltd. (AVAC). As Fund Manager, AVAC will make all investment decisions. AVAC has over 15 years' experience in direct investment in early-stage businesses, and since its inception, has invested over $118 Million in 115 early-stage commercial businesses.

To meet the challenge of providing necessary coaching and support to these early stage companies, an Industry Committee will advise the Accelerate Fund. This group will offer industry insight and mentorship, but will not influence investment decisions made by the Fund Manager. This Industry Committee will be led by the A100 organization and will include other industry leaders and investors.

Including this $10 million investment in the Accelerate Fund, Alberta Enterprise has invested $90 million of its $100 million of investment capital. (Previously announced were investments in Yaletown Venture Partners, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital, iNovia Capital, EnerTech Capital, Azure Capital, 32 Degrees Capital and Avrio Capital).  These investments have extended Alberta's VC environment by forging connections to other experts including limited partners, portfolio companies, and other VC firms, and has resulted in four new and three expanded VC offices in Alberta. The Accelerate Fund will also have a presence in both Edmonton and Calgary.  These offices provide more "VC feet on the street" to help Alberta's growing technology firms and entrepreneurs.

About Alberta Enterprise: www.alberta-enterprise.ca
Alberta Enterprise promotes the development of Alberta's venture capital industry by investing in VC funds that finance early stage technology companies. Launched with a $100 million investment from the Government of Alberta, Alberta Enterprise focuses on funds that have a strong commitment to Alberta - including a full-time presence in the province. The organization also supports Alberta's VC ecosystem by connecting investors, entrepreneurs, and experienced technology executives who share our passion for building a bright, innovative Alberta.

About AVAC Ltd: www.avacltd.com
AVAC Ltd. is an Alberta-based investment company investing in promising early-stage commercial ventures in value-added agri-business, information and communications technologies, life sciences, and other industrial technology sectors. AVAC also manages an active early-stage venture capital fund-of-funds investment pool.  AVAC's mandate is to help bridge the critical investment gap that exists between innovative ideas and commercial business success.  AVAC has invested $95 Million directly in early stage Alberta opportunities, and has assisted 61 early-stage companies reach commercial revenue and in 2011.

About A100: www.thea100.org
The A100 is a non-profit, member-funded organization of "been there, done that" tech entrepreneurs and executives, interested and dedicated in helping Alberta's next generation of innovative start-ups in becoming successful. Formed by a group of industry pioneers who have been tied to many of Alberta's technology success stories, we've now grown to over 50 members.

SOURCE: Alberta Enterprise Corporation

For further information:

Arleigh Galant Vasconcellos
+1 403 561 4810
arleigh@theagencyinc.ca