An invitation to a University of Auckland Bioscience Enterprise Friday Forum, sponsored by NZTE

Date: Friday 16th September 2011
Time: Presentation – 4.30pm. Followed by drinks and nibbles
Venue: Reception Lounge, Main entrance of Thomas Building, 3 Symonds Street.
Speaker: David Fisher from Brandon Capital Partners (a Sydney based VC firm that have invested widely in the bioindustry)
Title: And it’s Aussie vs Kiwi....or maybe it’s more Aussie and Kiwi vs the Commercialisation Challenge.

Dr David Fisher, from the Sydney and Melbourne based firm Brandon Capital Partners, will be the guest speaker at the next Bioscience Enterprise forum. Brandon Capital Partners runs the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, a very similar set up to the Trans Tasman Commercialisation Fund.

Like the TTCF, the MRCF has $30 million for ‘risk tolerant investment’ and, like the TTCF, is a mix of private and government funding. Both funds exclusively support research opportunities from their member organisations with up to $200,000 for research as early as proof-of-concept and a greater amount for supporting the formation of a company (up to $2 million with the MRCF).

The MRCF is a slightly more mature fund, starting in 2007. With the expectation of attracting approximately 10 members, the MRCF now has 27 member organisations.

David’s presentation will look at what has worked for the MRCF and what hasn’t; how they manage the assessment process; what makes a successful bid for funding; how they manage ‘co-opetition’ (where it is to all members’ advantage for the fund to succeed, also advantageous to collaborate to develop a commercial product, yet the funding is limited and, by definition, competitive); how they have worked with –and encouraged – co-investment.

The UofA has access to similar funding through the TTCF, but in co-opetition with four Australian Universities. Questions remain – would this funding model work for NZ Inc?; would NZ organisations support such a model?; is this model the best one for success for NZ companies?

Please join us to hear about David’s experience with the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund – and to contribute to the question. Do we want this for NZ too?

All welcome. RSVPs to Margot Bethell for organizational purposes would be greatly appreciated. Please email or phone (09) 373 7599 ext 89625 or 0274 305 758.