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Qi3 supports £4m Rainbow Seed Fund

Qi3 supports £4m Rainbow Seed Fund (2002-09-03)

Qi3’s Jonathan Gold has been appointed as Operations Manager for the new Rainbow Seed Fund, working with the Fund Managers, MIDVEN Ltd.

The Rainbow Seed Fund was formerly launched by Lord Sainsbury, the Science Minister, in May 2002 and is now open for business. It was established with £4 million, won by competition, from the Office of Science and Technology (OST) in the DTI. It supports the early stages of business formation from ideas emerging out of research in the public sector science base.

‘Rainbow’ invests in individual projects from around £10,000 to a maximum of £250,000 to fund activities including; enhancement of IP, market research, preparation of a business plan, building a prototype and early business development.

‘Rainbow’ is a partnership involving CLRC (Central Laboratory of the Research Councils), Dstl (Defence Science and Technology Laboratory), NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), PPARC (Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council) and UKAEA (Fusion). Between them the partners spend over £700 million annually on research across more than 28 locations and institutes. From this wide base of research ‘Rainbow’ can extract promising technologies and provide the early stage funding that leads to the formation of spin-out companies and related business initiatives.

Qi3’s role in ‘Rainbow’ is an essential ingredient to the future success of the Fund. The Operations Manager will manage the communications across the partner laboratories, work up ideas into proposals to investment readiness for consideration by the Investment Manager, Terry Swainbank at Midven and assisting with the evaluation of proposals. Our support is based upon Qi3’s unusual combination of expertise in development of high-tech businesses and understanding of the way in which these prestigious research institutions generate and manage their Intellectual Property.

‘Rainbow’ is the first Government-funded seed capital fund to support the development of high technology businesses emerging from public sector research laboratories. It mirrors the successful University Challenge Funds formed in a range of universities established by OST with competitions in 1998 and 2001.
Further details on the Rainbow Seed Fund and its operation can be found at http://www.rainbowseedfund.com

The Fund Manager Midven also manages the HSBC Fund for the Midlands, an equity gap venture capital fund, and Aberystwyth Challenge Fund, a university challenge seed capital fund. Midven are specialists in making equity gap investments, typically less than £0.5m. Its managed fund presently has a portfolio of 26 companies.

Additionally, Midven has recently been awarded the franchise to manage the £20m DTI supported Enterprise Fund for the West Midlands, by the Small Business Service. Midven has a staff of five and has offices in Birmingham and Nottingham. It is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

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