Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Quickstart Canada: Reimbursements for Seed Investors

Millions of dollars are spent each day on R&D in Ontario's universities and research centres. The University of Toronto alone boasts of $2 million dollars a day spent on R&D in life sciences, IT and communications. Now, investors wishing to dabble in investing in university spinoffs will be able to take advantage of a one-time reimbursement program which will allow you to recoup 30% of seed investments. Here's how:

The Ontario Commercialization Investment Fund will reimburse 30% to any eligible investor who makes 3 investments in university spinoffs, up to a maximum of $750,000 invested (for a total $225,000 reimbursement). To become eligible, investors simply have to incorporate or form a partnership with at least one high net worth individual (more investors can be added later). That entity then needs to get one university to sponsor it (again, more universities and research institutions such as hospitals may be added later as sponsors).

Once you have your sponsorship letter, send it with a two page application and a brief "investment plan" indicating your proposed investment focus to the government. You will then have until 2010 to make three eligible investments. Upon the third investment, you will receive the 30% credit on all three. There are no limitations on what your investment vehicle may do, or who may participate - only on what credits it may claim.

This is an interesting way of dabbling in seed stage investments across optical sciences, e-helath, biotech, photonics....and a great chance to get closer to the work at world leaders like the University of Waterloo, Toronto, etc. Here's the catch: only investors who have gone through the process BY DEC 31 will be eligible. Only a handful of investors have filed, which means at a minimum any vehicle you create may be desirable to resell down the road.

Any takers? We'll set one up for you for a flat fee - just email us.

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