… is fundamental to delivering next-generation clean technology to market. So that cleantech can kick coal’s high-carbon butt. And early-stage investing happens to be where you get the biggest returns. But – it’s hard to do.
You need lots of deal flow – a massive pipeline – and the resources to filter that pipeline down into the few opportunities that have a real chance at global leadership. So not many ‘angels’ do it on their own. And since the deal-size is so small early on (a million or less), nor do institutions like the typical venture capital firms. Not really – VC’s take execution risk, which means a company needs to already have done a lot: product developed, management team built, intellectual property strategy executed, even a few customers under their belt. And in cleantech – that takes capital.
In comes the $30 million MaRS Cleantech Fund LP. We’ve got a strategic relationship with MaRS – one of the world’s leading innovation centres right here in Toronto – which mitigates a lot of that early-stage risk, and provides one of the best early-stage cleantech pipelines in the world. We’re privately funded. We’ve closed our first round – open to investors on the second (minimum $500K). We’ve launched, and done two deals.
Long live cleantech. Long live the risk-takers. Thanks to all those who stepped up to support this idea. You know who you are. And thanks to MaRS.